56. Prayer in Sickness.
Gracious God and Father, I acknowledge and confess unto Thee that I have done evil all the days of my life and have not lived to Thy honor. I have fulfilled the lusts of the flesh and have served myself and the world more than Thee. O Lord, I am very sorry that I have passed the few days of my life in doing evil. I acknowledge that Thou art only visiting my iniquities upon me in sending this sickness. By this Thou wouldst call me to repentance. O Lord, Thou judgest me righteously and chastenest me that I may not perish with the ungodly world. By this sickness Thou puttest me in mind of my mortality and teachest me to know mine end and the measure of my days, what it is. Verily, every man at his best state is altogether vanity, surely every man walketh in a vain show, he heapeth up riches and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? Deliver me from my transgressions. I know, Lord, that my times are in Thy hand, Thou hast written all my members in Thy book, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. My substance was not hid from Thee when I was curiously wrought in my mother’s womb. Since it is Thy will that I should be sick, may I cheerfully do this Thy will. O Lord, Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore, there is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger, neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sins, as a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. O my God, preserve my soul in every temptation, let this bodily sickness be a medicine for the healing of my soul. Keep Thou my heart and mind, and through the peace of my Lord Jesus Christ protect me with Thy shield and buckler against all the fiery darts of the devil. Lord, Thou knowest it that I am the work of Thy hands, Thou hast formed me out of the clay; we are the clay and Thou our potter. Alas! how I am broken in pieces! Spare me, O Lord; Thou wilt surely not, in Thy wrath, cast away nor break in pieces the work of Thy hands, Thou hast separated me from my mother’s womb, Thou didst make me hope, when I was upon my mother’s breasts. Thou art the Lord and giver of my life, and hast power to take it again at Thine own appointed time. Should it be Thy will, deal kindly with me, as Thou didst with king Hezekiah, to whose days Thou didst add fifteen years. Behold, for peace I have great bitterness, in love to my soul, deliver it from the pit of corruption and cast all my sins behind Thy back. Should this sickness not be unto death, then, O Lord, lift me up again and heal me, for I am very weak. O Lord Jesus, Thou heavenly physician, take me under Thy treatment, alleviate my pains and heal me by Thy wounds, and make Thy bitter sufferings and death my medicine. Lord, let me touch the hem of Thy garment, that is, Thy Word and sacraments, in which Thou art wrapped up, and make me whole by the virtue which cometh out of Thee. Should it be Thy will however, that in this sickness I shall go the way of all the earth, be it so, for I am no better than my fathers, only let Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. Amen.