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OCCASIONAL PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS FOR THE SICK
AND UNFORTUNATE IN EXTRAORDINARY CASES.
A Prayer for a person whose Illness is chiefly brought on
him by some calamitous Disaster or Loss, as of Estate, Relations, or Friends, foc.
(From Bishop Patrick.) O most gracious and glorious God, supreme Judge and governour of the world, in whom we live, and move, and have our being,' and from whom all the blessings we enjoy, and "every good and perfect gift cometh,' grant us, we humbly beseech thee, such a measure of thy grace, that whenever thou art pleased to remove any of thy blessings from us, we may bear it with a perfect resignation to thy divine will, and with all patience, humility, and contentedness of spirit, consider how unworthy we are of the least of thy mercies.
More particularly, O Lord, we beseech thee to give this peaceableness and contentedness of mind, to this thy servant, whom thou hast so sensibly afflicted, by taking so near and dear a blessing from him. O give him such a portion of thy blessed Spirit, and such a lively sense of his duty, that he may have power to surmount all the difficulties he labours under, and freely to resign all his thoughts and desires unto thee, submitting himself entirely to thy good providence, and resolving, by thy gracious assistance, to rest contented with whatsoever thou in thy wisdom appointest for him. Thou knowest, O Lord, the weakness and frailty of our nature, and therefore be pleased to comfort him in this bed of sickness; establish him with the light of thy countenance; and grant that no repining thoughts may increase his illness, or discompose his duty towards thee, or his neighbour ; but enable him to think wherein he hath offended thee, and carefully to amend his errours; to set his affections on things above, and not on things below, and to lay up for himself treasures in heaven, even the treasures of a good life, which no disasters or calamities shall ever be able to take from him. Grant this, O heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person who by any calamitous Disaster
hath broken any of his Bones, or is very much bruised and hurt in his Body.
(From Mr Jenks.) O Lord the only disposer of all events, thou hast taught us that ' affliction cometh not forth of the dust; neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;' but that the disasters which befall us, are by thy appointment. Thou art just in all thou bringest upon us : and though thy judgments are far above out of our sight, yet we know that they are right, and that it is in very faithfulness thou causest us to be afflicted. Why then should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins ? Let these considerations prevail with thy servant to submit to thy dispensations. Make him resolve to bear the effects of thy displeasure, and to consider it as the just desert of his sins. O Lord, give him patience and strength, and grace, proportionable to this great trial; and enable him so to conduct himself under it, that after the affliction is removed he may find cause to say, 'it was good for him to be afflicted.' Thou that hast torn and smitten, thou art able to heal and to comfort. Be pleased to remember him in this his low estate. Cause him to search and try his ways, and turn to thee, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.'
We know, O Lord, thou canst raise him up from the deepest afflictions: 0, let it be thy gracious will, to glorify thy power and mercy in his recovery; or, however thou shalt think fit to dispose of this vile body,' grant him, O God, a mind entirely resigned to thy will, and satisfied with thy dispensations. O, make this calamity the messenger of thy love to his soul, and the happy means of his conversion; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person that is afflicted with grievous
Pains of his Body.
(From Mr. Jenks.) O LORD, thou art a merciful God, and dost not willingly afflict the children of men ; but when necessity requires, thou chastisest us for our profit, that we may be partakers of thy holiness. Remove, we beseech thee, this affliction from thy servant, or enable him to bear what thou art pleased to lay upon him. Lord, all his desire is before thee, and his groaning is not hid from thee. Regard his affliction, when thou hearest his cry.' Enter not into judgment with him, nor deal with him according to his sins, but according to thy mercy in Jesus Christ. O gracious Father, sanctify to him what thou hast laid upon him, that his present affliction may work out for him an eternal weight of glory. Support him under his pains, till it shall please thee to grant him ease and comfort. And, however thou shalt deal with him, let him not repine at thy correction, nor sin in charging thee foolishly. Make him sensible, that thou doest nothing but what is wise and just; nothing but what thy servant shall one day have cause to bless and praise thee for doing. And let this consideration teach him to glorify thee in the time of his visitation, by an humble submission to thy will, and a sincere reformation under thy providential dispensations; that thou mayest visit him in mercy and love, and show him the joy of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for one who is troubled with acute Pains of the Gout, Štone, Cholic, or any other bodily Distemper.
(From Mr Spinkes.) O BLESSED God, just and holy, who dost not willingly afflict the children of men: withhold not, we beseech thee, thy assistance from this thy servant in the extremity of his pain. His sorrows are increased, and his soul is full of trouble. He has none to flee unto, for the ease and mitigation of his agonies, but to thee, O Lord. He freely owns that his sufferings are infinitely less than he has deserved; yet, since they pierce deep, and are become almost too heavy for him to bear, we presume to call upon thee for aid; and to entreat thee not to punish him according to his deserts. “For if thou shouldest be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it?' Spare him therefore for thy mercy's sake; and correct him 'not in thine anger, lést thou bring him to nothing. Endue him with that patience which may enable him cheerfully to submit to thy chastisement; and grant him an unfeigned repentance for all his sins. Comfort his soul, which melteth away for very heaviness, and let thy loving mercy come unto him. Sanctify this thy fatherly correction to him, that it may be for thy glory, and his advantage. And when
thy gracious ends in afflicting him shall be accomplished, which we know are not for thy pleasure, but for his profit, give him, we beseech thee, a fresh occasion to rejoice in thy saving health; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person in the Small-Pox, or any such-like
raging infectious Disease. O GRACIOUS and merciful Father, the only giver of health, look down, we beseech thee, with an eye of compassion, upon thy miserable and disconsolate servant, from whom thou hast taken this great and valuable blessing; and, instead of it, hath filled every part of his body with a sore disease.
Teach him, O Lord, and teach us all from hence, to consider how soon the beauty of life is blasted, like a flower, and our ' strength dried up like a potsherd, that we may not put our trust in any of these transitory things, but in thee only, the living God, who art able to save and to destroy, to kill and to make alive.
Our brother, whom we now behold a spectacle of misery, was lately, like one of us, in perfect health. But now (thou makest his beauty to consume away, as it were a moth fretting a garment. Thine arrows stick fast in him, and thy hand presseth him sore; so that there is no soundness in his flesh, because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in his bones by reason of his sin.
• O, reject him not utterly, but take thy plague away from him. Return, O Lord, and that speedily: for his spirit faileth. O leave him not in his distress for though the world may forsake him, his sure trust is in thee. To thee, O Lord, does he cry; to thee doth he stretch forth his hands; his soul thirsteth after thee as a barren and dry land. Lord, all his desire is before thee, and his groaning is not hid from thee. Comfort him therefore again now after the time that thou hast afflicted him, and for the days wherein he hath suffered adversity.
Put a stop, O Lord, we beseech thee, to this raging infection, and say to the destroying angel, “It is enough. Protect us under the shadow of thy wings, that we may not be afraid of any terrour by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noon day :' but that, with ease
in our minds, and health in our bodies, we may serve thee cheerfully all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person in a Consumption, or any linger
(From Mr Jenks.) O MERCIFUL God, thou hast long kept thy servant under thy chastening hand; thou hast made him acquainted with grief; and his sickness is even become his familiar companion : yet, O blessed Lord, grant that he may not be impatient under thy chastisement, who art pleased to wait so long for the return of a sinner : but let him remember that thou hast kind intentions, even in thy bitterest dispensations; that thou chasteneth him whom thou lovest, and scourgest every son whom thou receivest. Teach him, O gracious Father, to see love in thy rod, and justice in all thy dealings; that he may humble himself under thy mighty hand; that he may think it good for him to have been afflicted, and patiently wait for thy loving-kindness.
Yet, that his faith may not fail, nor his patience be overcome, give him ease and relaxation from his pain; and a happy conclusion of this long visitation. In the mean time, grant that he may neither despise thy chastening, nor faint under thy rebukes; but employ the time which thou lendest, and improve the affliction which thou continuest, as a gracious opportunity for his spiritual advantage; that under the decays of the body, the inner man may be renewed day by day; and that whatever appertains to his everlasting salvation may be promoted and perfected, through the riches of thy grace, and the multitude of thy mercies in Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person, who is lame in his Sickness.
(From Mr Lewis.) O ALMIGHTY God, who 'art eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame,' have pity, we entreat thee, on thy servant: help him in his distress, and bless, we pray thee, the means made use of for his cure. Make him sensible of thy design in visiting him with this affliction ; cause him to remember, how in his strength and health, he followed his own devices, and