26 August 2009

More Joys from Starck

Here is the meditation and prayer during the day for Wednesday:

Believing Christians Pray God to Wean Them from the World.


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12:2

When believing Christians reflect that the love of the world, like a weed, grows spontaneously in the soul, while the fear and love of God, like a beautiful and fragrant plant, must be planted in the heart and diligently and constantly tended, they will understand with what concern and anxiety they are expected to guard their hearts. According, they should (1) be aware that the world is both inside and outside of them. Inside them there is the world in the form of evil lusts, wiles, desires, and thoughts of their heart. Outside them there is the world in the form of the examples, enticements, and temptations of evil people. (2) All these evils true Christians must resist: the lusts and the thoughts arising in them, by prayer and supplication; the allurements of the world, by avoiding its society, habits, customs, and mode of living. (3) Now, since it is not in their own power to do this, they must fervently pray God for help and assistance.

(4) This separation of the world must not be effected by locking themselves away, shutting themselves in, and refusing to speak to or associate with anyone. It must consist in refusing to join the children of this age in their sins, declining to imitate their works and deeds. For if we were to have absolutely nothing to do with the children of this age, we would have to, as Paul indicates, go out of this world entirely. We are to be in the world, as Joseph was in Egypt, as Lot was in Sodom, as Daniel and his companions were in Babylon. All these did not practice the wicked ways of the people and cities where they lived. (5) This separation from the world is not to be effected merely for show and for a few days, when we are about to go to confession and to the Lord's Supper, but we are to be constantly engaged in this work. The world must be turned out of our hearts every day, and every day Jesus must enter our hearts.


Merciful God, Lover of mankind, how great is Your loving-kindness toward us! You patiently bear with our many faults and weaknesses. You do not punish us as our sins deserve. You have opened my eyes by Your Word, so that I now know myself and sadly have seen how depraved my heart really is. I feel the world both inside and outside me. I find the world inside me: the evil desires of my heart, my sinful inclinations and promptings to evil. I find the world outside me: evil people who would entice and mislead me by their sinful examples and temptations. O Lord, my heart, which is evil by nature, takes greater delight and pleasure in these things than in Your holy Word. Woe is me, that I have such a long time, so often, and to such a degree allowed myself to be enticed and drawn away by this age! I am ashamed to lift up my eyes to Your presence when I think of the follies of my youthful years. Alas! I have served the world better than You, O my God! I have tried more to please the world than You. I have clung to the world more than to You. With these things I have offended You, have wounded my conscience, and aroused Your anger.

Behold, my God, I return and repent in dust and ashes. O my God, remove the love of the world from me so that You and You alone may possess and rule my heart. Let Your Holy Spirit sanctify me completely and drive all worldliness from me. Make me consider the sad end of the children of this age so that I cling to You and not to the world, that I obey You and not the world. Draw me back when I am about to run and sin with the world again. Keep me always in Your fear, and remind me constantly that You have created me for Your service, and that I should daily put on the new self created in God's likeness in true righteousness and holiness. Cause the world to become more and more distasteful to me. Let me with ever-growing relish strive after holiness, the fear of God, and the joys of heaven. Grant that I may constantly despise the lust of the world, which passes away. Grant me to run from the lusts and joys of this world, because after one has drained them, there follows nothing but anxiety, unrest, an evil conscience and the destruction of the soul. Pluck from my heart whatever is still remaining in it of the world, and plant Your holy fear within me, so that I may carefully avoid all that is evil out of love for You.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
And make our hearts Your place of rest;
Come with Your grace and heav'nly aid,
And fill the hearts which You have made.

To You, the Counselor, we cry,
To You the gift of God Most High:
The fount of life, the fire of love,
The soul's anointing from above.
--LSB 498:1,2


Rev. Allen Yount said...

Just pre-ordered my copy of Starck's from CPH. I figure since it's being released before TLSB, getting this book *might* make me a little less impatient for October 31 to come. :)

Gorgeous cover for the book, too.

William Weedon said...

Right on!

Dawn K said...

What a wonderful prayer...Thank you for posting this, Pr. Weedon.