Prayer Enroute to the Mission Field

Lord, remember my relatives, friends, and flock at home. I have separated myself from
them; but Thou art in the midst of them. Cast the skirt over all my sins among them, and may nothing be remembered but what may be in some way useful to them. Lord, teach me to pray. Oh that I might live in the secret place, and put prayers into Thy golden censer, O Lord! And now, when I enter on a new sphere, oh that I might be strangely humbled, purified, guided! Lord, leave me not under the known or unknown dominion of any of my sins. Thou wilt subdue our corruptions. I ask deliverance from self-seeking. Take Thy right place, O Lord, and be all in all. Let self be growingly eclipsed and forgotten. Let me decrease, and do Thou increase. Let me learn to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. I feel that the serpent’s brood are in me; let me watch and pray. There is no more condemnation to Christ’s dear ones, who walk not after the flesh. . . . I see that I am entering a scene of trial and a place of the shadow of death. Help me to watch and strive. Save from sloth, from merely enduring life, instead of living to Thy glory.

Lord, help me. Thou knowest my heart. Search and try, and lead me in the way everlasting. O my Savior! a little, helpless, foolish child, I now implicitly commit myself to Thee. I know that, by Thy grace in the past, I have been brought hitherto. O my Lord! I cast myself on Thee. Leave me not, forsake me not, forget me not. Let me never misconstrue or judge hardly of Thy dealings. May I trust, and hope, and rejoice. Seek and find Thy servant. Let Thy strong hand be my help. Graciously use me, bless me; make me willing to learn, and willing to teach; willing to be led, and willing to lead. I am uttering all my words before Thee. Thou knowest how stripped and bare I am. I have no idol to bring and kill save this indwelling corruption ; and I do think I should like that it were slain; and that, in a new, strange simplicity and godly sincerity, I might serve and honor Thee henceforth. This inner war now lies specially before me. I expect in this new land to be hedged up by outward circumstances. But just so much the more may I fight against the evil that is within. O my Lord! to Thee I look, on Thee I wait. May my character be transparent, and my life blameless, holy, earnest. I commit myself wholly and eternally to Thee. I am well pleased with Thy person, offices, benefits, cross, rod, and all Thy ways. Those whom I have ever truly loved have been Thy people, and anything worth the name of joy has been found in Thy service. I love to praise Thee, and to hear Thee praised. Lord, help me! . . .

The men are busy cleaning the cabin. It is the end of a voyage, and the preparation for a new one. I accept the lesson. O my Lord! sprinkle me with hyssop; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Give me the peace, the softness, the joy of Thy forgiven, gentle, hopeful children. Bless me in my meeting with friends to-night. I have no plans, yet Thou knowest my foolish heart. Oh, how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee!

-John Milne, enroute to India, 1853. As recorded in The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 178-179.

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