A Prayer of John Baillie

diary_of_prayer.jpgYou might enjoy the following lines from A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie.  I came across these lines some years ago.  These lines appear on the prayer for the evening of the second day.  Baillie speaks of behaviors for which he needs forgiveness for the day.  Perhaps these lines will be useful in praying for your day.  They have certainly been useful to me.

You might begin praying this prayer by uttering these lines.  "Lord, please forgive … "


My failure to be true even to my own accepted standards;

My self-deception in the face of temptation;

My choosing of the worse when I know the better;

O Lord, forgive.

My failure to apply to myself the standards of conduct I demand of others;

My blindness to the suffering of others and my slowness to be taught by my own;

My complacence toward wrongs that do not touch my own case and my over-sensitiveness to those that do;

My slowness to see the good in my fellows and to see the evil in myself;

My hardness of heart towards my neighbors’ faults and my readiness to make allowance for my own;

My unwillingness to believe that Thou hast called me to a small work and my brother to a great one.

O Lord, forgive.

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4 thoughts on “A Prayer of John Baillie

  1. Jim Martin,

    I’m very glad you chose these words.
    Baillie’s style, that of fresh cold Northern (Calvinist) air,
    can serve as a tonic to those of us used to less thorough and
    honest prayer. . .

    Not surprised that Richard Foster includes one prayer of JB in the Celebration of Discipline. There are more postings there (“My first thought.”)