God the All

This prayer is another prayer of complete humility. Life really is all about God. He does everything. Does that mean we do nothing? Not at all, says the prayer… but everything we do is because of God working in us. We talk about God being in control of everything, but whenever we worry we’re trying to take control back. The writer of this prayer knows how useless that is, and ‘is pleased with whatever God wants’.

However there’s also a note of realism. He knows he should trust God and always want his will, but he has to put in ‘or at least I should…’ Sometimes its enough to ‘want to want…’ We don’t always trust God enough, but he wants us to want to trust him. This is a prayer expressing that ultimate trust in God’s control (his sovereignty).

O God, whose will conquers all,
There is no comfort in anything,
apart from enjoying you,
and serving you;
You are All in all, and all enjoyments are to me
only what you make them.

I am pleased with what you want, whatever it is,
or at least I should be in everything,
And if you want me to decide for myself in something
I would choose to ask you,
for you are infinitely wise and cannot do anything wrong
as I am in danger of doing.

I rejoice to think that all things are yours to use
and it delights me to leave them with you.
Then prayer is simply about praising you
and all I can do is praise and bless you.

What shall I give you for everything you give me?
I’m caught between two things, not knowing what to do;
I really want to give you something back, but I have nothing to offer,
and can only rejoice that you do everything,
that no one in heaven or on earth shares your honour;
I cannot do anything by myself to glorify your name,
but I can through grace happily surrender my soul and body to you,

I know that you are the author and finisher of faith
that the whole work of redemption, buying us back, is yours alone,
that every good work or thought found in me
is the effect of your power and grace,
that your sole motive in working in me what I should want and do
is for your good pleasure.

O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much
about man’s creaturely power and goodness,
when, if you did not hold us back every moment,
we should be devils in the flesh.
This, by bitter experience, you have taught me concerning myself.