O Christ, Sovereign Commander of the Universe

As some of you have already heard, my sister-in-law (the wife of my youngest brother) has been diagnosed with a mass behind her right eye. In the next week or two there will have to be a surgery to remove that mass. As I thought about my brother’s family, and all that God has placed before them at this time, my mind was drawn again to the Puritan prayers. The Puritans had the language to speak both of a wholly Sovereign God who commands all things, and the language to speak of our truly human emotions during times of distress and grief. The blessed doctrine of God’s sovereignty does not remove our very real experiences in this life. So here is doctrinally sound, yet highly emotion-filled prayer found in The Valley of Vision (a book of Puritan prayers).  This one is entitled Peril.

Sovereign Commander of the Universe,

I am sadly harassed by doubts, fears, unbelief, in a felt spiritual darkness. My heart is full of evil surmisings and disquietude, and I cannot act faith at all. My heavenly Pilot has disappeared, and I have lost my hold on the Rock of Ages; I sink in deep mire beneath storms and waves, in horror and distress unutterable.

Help me, O Lord, to throw myself absolutely and wholly on thee, for better, for worse, without comfort, and all but hopeless.  Give me peace of soul, confidence, enlargement of mind, morning of joy that comes after night of heaviness; water my soul richly with divine blessings; grant that I may welcome thy humbling in private so that I might enjoy thee in public; give me a mountain top as high as the valley is low.

Thy grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am vile as he; yet thou hast made me a monument of mercy, a trophy of redeeming power; in my distress let me not forget this.

All-wise God, thy never-failing providence orders every event, sweetens every fear, reveals evil’s presence lurking in seeming good, brings real good out of seeming evil, makes unsatisfactory what I set my heart upon, to show me what a short-sighted creature I am, and to teach me to live by faith upon thy blessed self.

Out of my sorrow and night give me the name Naphtali – “satisfied with favour” – help me to love thee as thy child, and to walk worthy of my heavenly pedigree.

Brother, may God cradle you in the palm of His sovereign hand, and in the midst of your distress give you the name Naphtali – “satisfied with favour.” God’s grace and peace to you!


One Response to “O Christ, Sovereign Commander of the Universe”

  1. Sean Wilkening Says:


    Thank you for this entry, I found it today as I was going through Facebook and catching up. Thank you for the words of encouragement, they came just at the right time.

    P.S. I think someone should think about writing a book or two in the near future.

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