Man A Nothing

O LORD,

We are shells full of dust,

    but animated with invisible rational souls

    and made anew by an unseen power of grace;

Yet we are no rare objects of valuable price,

    but ones that have nothing and are nothing,

    although chosen of You from eternity,

        given to Christ, and born again;

We are deeply convinced of the evil and misery of a sinful state,

    of the vanity of creatures,

    but also of the sufficiency of Christ.

When You would guide us we control ourselves,

When You would be sovereign we rule ourselves.

When You would take care of us we suffice ourselves.

When we should depend on Your providings we supply ourselves,

When we should submit to Your providence we follow our wills,

When we should study, love, honor, trust You, we serve ourselves;

We fault and correct Your laws to suit ourselves,

Instead of You we look to man’s approval,

    and are by nature idolaters.

Lord, it is our chief design to bring our hearts back to You.

Convince us that we cannot be our own god, or make ourselves happy,

    nor our own Christ to restore our joy,

    nor our own Spirit to teach, guide, rule ourselves.

Help us to see that grace does this by providential affliction,

    for when our credit is good You cast us lower,

    when riches are our idol You wing them away,

    when pleasure is our all You turn it into bitterness.

Take away our roving eyes, curious ears, greedy appetites, lustful hearts;

Show us that none of these things

    can heal a wounded conscience,

    or support a tottering frame,

    or uphold a departing spirit.

Then take us to the cross and leave us there.

Amen.