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A Prayer for a sick Person, who intends to receive the
blessed Sacrament. O Thou infinite and eternal Spirit, from whom every good motion of our hearts proceedetb! who both quickenest the dead, and, after thou hast given life, givest the increase : increase, we beseech thee, the good seeds of thy grace, which thou hast sown in the heart of thy servant, by inclining him to receive the sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord, in which thou art more immediately present, to illuminate the faithful, and to comfort and refresh all that are 'weary and heavy laden with their sins.'
O, cause thy face thus comfortably to shine upon thy distressed servant, who now intends to draw near to thee in this sacrament, as thou hast commanded him.
Help him, in the mean time, O Lord, to fit and prepare himself for this holy communion : fill his soul with reverence and godly fear ; with earnest desires and longings after divine life; with serious repentance for all his past offences, and heart.y resolutions of living for ever after unto Jesus, who died for him. O, let him meditate upon his bleeding Saviour with a broken and a contrite heart, which thou hast promised 'not to despise :' forgive him all that is past, and give him grace for the future, to 'live more soberly, righteously, and piously, in this present world,' if it shall be thy good pleasure to continue him in it.
A Prayer for a sick Person that wants Sleep.
(From Bishop Patrick.) ADORED be thy love, thy wonderful love, O most gracious God, who hast so many ways expressed thy bounty towards us. Thy mercies in Christ Jesus surpass all our thoughts : we are not able to number all the other blessings thou hast bestowed upon us.
How much do we owe thee for the quiet sleep of but one night! We see, in this thy poor afflicted servant, how much we ought to thank thee for this single blessing, that our eyes, when we would close them, are not held waking.
Pardon, good Lord, our ingratitude for this and all the rest of thy undeserved mercies; and be pleased graciously also to visit him, who still languishes on his sick-bed, looking up to thee, from whom cometh our help. Renew his wasted spirits with comfortable sleep; compose him to a sweet and undisturbed rest; refresh him thereby so sensibly that he may be restored to such a degree of strength, as may make him able, in some measure, affectionately to acknowledge thy goodness, when thou hast dealt so bountifully with him : or if thou delayest to bestow that blessing on him, in the multitude of his thoughts within him, let thy comforts delight his soul. If he still continues without any rest, grant that his mind may rest, and repose itself in the bosom of thy dearest love, and may feel the most sensible consolations from heaven, not only quieting, but greatly rejoicing his heart. Preserve the use of his understanding, and let the enemy have no advantage of him; but make him able to say, 'I will wait patiently for the Lord, till he incline his ear unto me, and hear my cry.-0, hear his prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto his cry: O, spare him, that he may recover strength before he go hence ;'* 'for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
A Prayer to be said when a sick Person grows light-headed.
(From Bishop Patrick.) O LORD, look down from heaven, in pity and compassion, upon this thine afflicted servant, who is not able now to look up to thee: the more sorrowful his condition grows, the fitter object he is of thine infinite mercies; who acceptest, we humbly hope, of the submission he made of himself, in the beginning of his sickness, to thine almighty wisdom and goodness. And therefore, since it is thy pleasure to suffer his distemper to proceed to this dangerous extremity, do thou no less graciously love him, and delight in him, than if he could still give up himself to thy blessed will.
And hear, O most merciful Father, our prayers in his behalf, when he can no longer commend himself to thy mercies. Pardon, good Lord, pardon all his sins; impute not to him any of his former follies ; lay not to his charge his not improving ,or misusing, his reason and understanding, which we earnestly, but humbly, entreat thee to restore to him, together with such a measure of thy divine grace, as may quicken and assist him to employ his thoughts to the best purposes, especially
* Psalm xl. 1. and xxxix. 12, 13.
in meditating on thy mercies, in studying thy praise, and in exhorting all others to love thee, to trust in thee, and sincerely obey thee.
And while he remains thus deprived of his reason, be pleased to quiet and compose his spirits, or to prevent all furious motions there, or quickly to abate such violent passions, if any arise : for which end, be pleased to remove all frightful imaginations far from him, and suffer not the evil one to approach him ; preserve him from doing any harm, either to himself or to any others. "Forsake him not, O Lord our God, be not far from him. Make haste to help him, O Lord our salvation. *
So will we give thanks unto thee forever.
We will still be praising thee, and showing forth thy loving kindness to those who succeed us:
That they may set their hope in thee our God, and not forget thy works, but keep thy commandments. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person when Danger is apprehended by
(From Mr Kettlewell.) O MERCIFUL God, let not this deep sleep, which is fallen on thy servant, prove the sleep of death; make it the sleep of a recovering person, to relieve and revive him: and awake him out of it in thy due time, to offer thee praise, and to labour still among us, in doing thee honour and service.
But if thou art pleased to take him to thyself, Lord, remember and accept of all his former prayers and repentance, faith, and patience.
Look not upon his sins, but to pardon them; nor on his weaknesses, but to pity them : and when he awakes in the next world, let him find himself surrounded with light and bliss, instead of gloominess and sorrow, and awake to eternal life.
Lord, hear us for this thy weak servant in distress. Hear our prayers for him, who seems not able now to offer up any prayers to thee for himself. And accept both him and us to the blessed enjoyment of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
* Psalm xxxviii. 21, 22.
A Prayer for a Person lying insensible on a Sick-bed.
O thou Preserver of men, who knowest the frailty of our constitutions; how soon our senses may fail us, and our understanding depart from us; to what accidents, distempers, and decays, our weak nature is subject : even such as may make the most acute and judicious quickly become as fools ; and the ablest and strongest, weak and insensible ;-0 look down, we beseech thee, upon thy servant, who now lies in such a weak and insensible condition.
The less able he is to assist himself, the more need hath he of our prayers, and of thy tender mercy to him. O thou great Creator of the world, who broughtest light out of darkness, and madest all things out of nothing, and canst restore our dead bodies again after they are mouldered into dust, be pleased to repel the clouds of darkness which now have taken away the light of our brother's understanding, and rendered him a companion for the dead.
Quicken him again, O Lord, and restore him to his former senses, that his soul may bless and praise thy holy name.
Hear our petitions, O Lord, and receive our prayers for our brother, that this image of death may not be converted into death itself, but that he may live to proclaim thy power, and to celebrate thy praises longer upon earth.
But if it be thy will to remove him hence in this insensible condition, O pardon, we beseech thee, all his offences, and accept of the preparation and repentance that he was able to make before the distemper prevailed upon him in so deadly a manner. Receive him, o Lord, into the arms of thy mercy, and accept him for thy well-beloved Son's sake; that so this short night may quickly be turned into everlasting day; and, after these dark shadows are removed, he may find himself in a heaven of happiness, where, in 'thy light, he may see light for ever. Amen.
A Prayer for one who hath been a notoriously wicked Liver.
O LORD God, of infinite goodness and compassion, whose mercies are over all thy works: who makest the sun to shine, and the rain to descend upon the unjust' as well as the 'just, and art kind even to the most unthankful; we humbly beseech thee to look down in mercy upon this thy unworthy servant, who hath so long 'trampled upon the riches of thy goodness, not knowing that it should lead to repentance.
Let thy rod, therefore, awaken him now to a sense of his condition, whom thy goodness hath not reclaimed, and let him still find mercy at thy hands, notwithstanding his continual abuse of it.
Thou hast promised, O Lord, that, 'when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. O make good this thy promise to thy servant here, who stands in so much need of it.
* Hide thy face from his sins, and blot out all his iniquities:' though they be red as scarlet,' yet do thou make them white as snow,' by repentance, which we beg of thee to give him, and to accept, though late, through thine infinite mercies.
Simon Magus, though in the 'gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity,' was exhorted to repent, and to pray for pardon; and therefore we hope the gate of life is still open
for our brother, though he hath so long shut himself out of it, by going on in a course that leadeth to the chambers of death.
Blessed Lord, let thy terrours at length awaken him out of this lethargical condition, before he is overtaken by thy judgments. Afflict him here, that thou mayest spare him hereafter. Soften his heart, that he may bewail his ill-spent life, like Mary Magdalen, with tears of contrition.
O quicken him to a sense of his duty, and of his danger, before it be too late: and when thou hast brought him to his right mind, receive him, we beseech thee, as the compassionate father did his prodigal son, or the shepherd his lost sheep.
Thou, O Lord, who didst pardon the thief upon the cross, hear our prayers for our brother, in these his great, and, for any thing we know, his last agonies.
And, as the fore-mentioned instances are lively significations of thine unbounded goodness, and were written for our comfort and instruction, that none should despair of pardon ; so with the greatest confidence we now recommend this our distressed brother to thy divine protection, beseeching thee to forgive all that is past, and to receive him at last into thine everlasting habitation. Amen.