Sunday, March 13, 2022

Unquiet thoughts

Reviewing the posts here tagged "Samuel Johnson" I came to this prayer:
O LORD, my Maker and Protector, who hast graciously sent me into this world, to work out my salvation, enable me to drive from me all such unquiet and perplexing thoughts as may mislead or hinder me in the practice of those duties which Thou hast required.

When I behold the works of Thy hands and consider the course of Thy providence, give me Grace always to remember that Thy thoughts are not my thoughts, nor Thy ways my ways.

And while it shall please Thee to continue me in this world where much is to be done and little to be known, teach me by Thy Holy Spirit to withdraw my mind from unprofitable and dangerous enquiries, from difficulties vainly curious, and doubts impossible to be solved.

Let me rejoice in the light which Thou hast imparted, let me serve Thee with active zeal, and humble confidence, and wait with patient expectation for the time in which the soul which Thou receivest, shall be satisfied with knowledge.

Grant this, O Lord, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Most heresy and much of the uncertainty and doubt in a Christian's life result from attempting to know more than we can know — from an inability to accept ambiguity and a consequent need to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable rather than a willingness to wait until that time when we can know fully.

This good prayer is found in the collection Daily Readings in the Prayers of Samuel Johnson, edited and with a good introduction by Elton Trueblood.

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