I love to read the beautifully written prayers of saints long gone. Recently I was listening to a sermon by Alistair Begg … a sermon from a series entitled ‘A Charge to a Man of God‘. As Brother Alistair was winding down the series he closed by giving a quote from someone, quite frankly, I had never heard of before. It was from William Grimshaw of Haworth, a prayer he had written down as a covenant between himself and God. Oh what a magnificently beautiful prayer.
The Personal Covenant of William Grimshaw
[Editor’s note: On December 4, 1752, the Reverend William Grimshaw wrote out the following personal covenant with God, which he renewed four times each year with a day of fasting.]
Glory be to You, O triune God. I desire to be wholly Yours forever. This day I give myself up to You as a living sacrifice. I solemnly renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil. No more, directly or indirectly, will I obey them.
O Lord, I would steadfastly persevere to my last breath in obedience to Your commandments. I pray that every day of my life may correct the failures of the former, and that by divine grace I may be enabled to grow more active in doing right.
I also most humbly resign and submit all that I have to Your sovereign will. I leave to Your management and direction all that I possess and all that I wish. I set every enjoyment and interest before You to be disposed of as You please.
Although I dare not say that I will never complain, yet I will labor not only to submit but also to acquiesce to Your will. I will not only bear the heaviest afflictions on me but I will also consent to them, and praise You for them, contentedly resolving my will into Yours. I esteem myself as nothing, and You, O God, as the great Eternal All whose word should determine, and whose power should order, all things in the world.
Use me, O Lord, as the instrument of Your glory, and honor me by allowing me to bring praise to Your name by both action and suffering. Receive me, O heavenly Father, being already washed in Christ’s blood and clothed with His righteousness. Sanctify me thoroughly by the power of Your Holy Spirit.
Destroy, I beseech You, the power of sin in my heart more and more, and transform me more into the image of Jesus, whom I would henceforth ever acknowledge as my Teacher, Sacrifice, Intercessor, and Lord.
Grant unto me all the needful influences of Your purifying, cheering, and comforting Spirit, and lift up that light of Your countenance upon me that will put the greatest joy and gladness into my heart. Dispose of my affairs, O God, in a manner that will be wholly useful to Your glory and my own true happiness. When I have done and endured Your will for me upon the earth, call me to Yourself at whatever time and in whatever manner You please. Only grant that in my dying moments I may remember these my commitments to You.
I desire to live and die with my hand upon the hope of eternal life. When I am numbered with the dead and all the interests of mortality are over with me forever, if this solemn memorial should fall into the hands of any surviving friends or relatives, may it be the means of making serious impressions upon their minds. May they read it not only as my language but as their own, and may they learn to fear the Lord my God and, with me, to put their trust under the shadow of His wings for time and for eternity. May they also learn to adore with me that grace that inclines our hearts to enter into the covenant, ascribing with me, and with all the nations of the redeemed, that glory, honor, and praise that is so justly due to You. Amen.