April 10, 2014

a poem of praise & thankfulness

a few months ago, a friend of ours recommended a puritan book of prayers and devotions to us. even with all of its 'thees' and 'thous,' the words of these verses are soul-stirring to us, calming. lately, i've been starting my mornings with that leather-bound book in hand. its timeless words provide a fresh perspective and direction for each day. 

the prayer below struck me this morning. the writer's overflowing love and thankfulness are moving. are we thankful, every day, for our senses, the food we eat, the people we spend our time with, our body and its abilities? they are things we so often take for granted, i think, but if i prayed like this every morning, i know i'd find much more to be thankful for and much less to complain about. 

When I think upon and converse with thee,
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, 
crowding into every moment of happiness. 

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigor,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for the royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly;
I love thee above the powers of language to express. 

Increase my love, o my God, through time and eternity. 

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