A prayer before reading scripture, Isaac Errett, 1877

O Lord, I am about to read thy holy word. I pray for a teachable spirit. May I come to thee hungering after righteousness. May my soul pant for thee as the hart panteth for the water-brook, and drink of the water of life and be satisfied. Open thou mine eyes to behold wondrous things out of thy law. Enable me to receive the word of the kingdom into a good and honest heart, that I may bring forth fruit unto eternal life. May thy word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path; and may I give heed to it as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in my heart. May I love thy law, and rejoice in its teaching as one that findeth great spoil. May it be more desirable to me than gold, yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, or the droppings of the honeycomb. Be pleased, O Lord, to enlighten the eyes of my understanding, that when I read I may understand thy will. And may thy doctrine drop upon my waiting spirit as the rain, and thy speech distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. Let thy word be unto me the joy and the rejoicing of my heart. Save me from every blinding influence of passion and prejudice, and from all perverseness of spirit, lest I should handle thy word deceitfully. And let thy truth search my inward parts and discern the thoughts and intents of my heart. Let me receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save my soul. And do thou search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and show me if there is any wicked way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting. These petitions I humbly offer to thee in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Isaac Errett, Letters to a Young Christian. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing Company, 1877, pages 162-164.

Mac is Special Collections Librarian and Archivist at Abilene Christian University.
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Author:  Publish Date: May 15, 2015

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About CHARIS

CHARIS hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. The website is intended to support education for Christian life and community through contemporary discussions and historical sources that variously witness to the gifts (“charis”) of God among Churches of Christ, especially their plea for visible unity among Christians through ongoing renewal and restoration of Scriptural beliefs and practices among God’s people.

The CHARIS website is supported by Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX, USA), the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The purpose of CHARIS at ACU is to seek God’s blessings for a healthy relationship between the Christian college/university – its faculty, staff, and students – and the church heritage that gives identity and meaning to such a school. This underlying concern for Christian colleges/universities, and their relationship to the churches, is reflected in the form and content of the CHARIS website.

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