The Prayer of Samuel Johnson - - by Rev. Weldon Bares


Samuel Johnson was a great English poet, essayist, literary critic and biographer who lived in the 1700's. He published “A Dictionary of the English Language” in 1755, after nine years of working on it.

This brilliant and influential writer and scholar was also a devout Christian. I would like to share with you a prayer that Dr. Johnson wrote many years ago. May it be the prayer of our heart today as we begin a new year.

“O Lord, in whose hands are life and death,

by whose power I am sustained,

and by whose mercy I am spared,

look down upon me with pity.

Make me to remember, O God, that every day is Thy gift,

and ought to be used according to Thy command.

Grant me, therefore, so to repent of my negligence,

that I may obtain mercy from Thee,

and pass the time which Thou shalt yet allow me

in diligent performance of Thy commands,

through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(“The Meaning of Prayer,” Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1917, page I-2)

The beginning of a new year can be a great time to make a new start in our lives. A time to ask for forgiveness and another chance. A time, with God’s help, to try to do things right. What better time than the beginning of a new year to do that?

As I bid the old year farewell and welcome the new one, I am going to ask God's forgiveness for the past and for His help and strength for the year to come.

Will you join me in that prayer?

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