As we approach the Lord's Day once more, here is another great poem from John Newton. He reminds us of our utter dependence upon God to bless our efforts that they might be effective. This is a useful prayer we can appropriate.
A Prayer for Power on the Means of Grace
O Thou, at whose almighty Word
The glorious light from darkness sprung,
Thy quickening influence afford,
And clothe with power the preacher’s tongue.
Though ‘tis Thy truth he hopes to speak,
He cannot give the hearing ear;
‘Tis Thine the stubborn heart to break,
And make the careless sinner fear.
As when of old the water flowed
Forth from the rock at Thy command,
Moses in vain had waved his rod,
Without Thy wonder-working hand.
As when the walls of Jericho,
Down to the earth at once were cast,
It was Thy power that brought them low,
And not the trumpet’s feeble blast.
Thus we would in the means be found,
And thus on Thee alone depend,
To make the gospel’s joyful sound
Effectual to the promised end.
Now, while we hear Thy Word of grace,
Let self and pride before it fall;
And rocky hearts dissolve apace,
In streams of sorrow at Thy call.
On all our youth assembled here,
The unction of Thy Spirit pour;
Nor let them lose another year,
Lest Thou shouldst strive and call no more.
Newton, John. The Works of the Rev. John Newton. Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 1841, p. 577.
Quoted in Worthy is the Lamb: Puritan Poetry in Honor of the Savior; Edited by Don Kistler and Joel Rishel (page 220)