John Bradford, Prayer for Sunday 7-17-2022
As David, seeing your angel with his sword ready drawn, most righteous Lord, to plague Jerusalem, cried out unto you, “It is I, Lord, who have sinned, and I who have done wickedly; your hand, Lord, be on me, and not on your poor sheep”; because of which you were moved to mercy, and commanded your angel to put up his sword—even so we, gracious Lord, seeing your fearful sword of vengeance ready drawn and presently striking against this commonwealth and your church in the same, we are occasioned now to cast off our eyes from beholding and narrowly spying out other men’s faults, and to set our own only in sight, so that, with the same David your servant, and with Jonah in the ship, we may cry, “It is we, O Lord, who have sinned, and procured this your grievous wrath.”
And this we who are now gathered together in Christ’s name do acknowledge, confessing ourselves guilty of horrible ingratitude for your gospel and pure religion, and for the peace of your church, and quietness of the commonwealth, besides our negligences and many other grievous sins, because of which we have deserved not only these but much more grievous plagues, if that even presently you did not, as you are wont, “remember your mercy.”
Upon this (that you “in your anger remember your mercy” before we seek and sue for it) we take boldness, as you command us to do in our trouble, to come and call upon you to be merciful unto us. And of your goodness now we humbly in Christ’s name pray you to hold your hand and cease your wrath, or at the least so to mitigate it that this realm may be quietly governed, and the same once again to be a shelter for your church and true religion: which do restore to us again, according to your great power and mercy, and we shall praise your name forever, through Jesus Christ our only Mediator and Saviour.