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Prayer for strength under bodily affliction.
O Lord my God,
if Thou hast ordained
that weakness and disease
should deprive me of the health
which Thou hast mercifully permitted
should continue for so long a time;
O grant that my spirit may not fail,
whatever Thou mayest think fit in Thy wisdom
to cause my body to suffer.
I do not murmur, O Lord my God,
for I know all that Thou ordainest
is sent in mercy,
to make us more fitted
for another and more glorious sphere,
to purify and cleanse us for Thyself.
I do not repine, O Lord,
yet, at the time of bodily suffering,
when pain deprives us of our natural rest,
when weakness imprisons our energies,
when we turn restless and uneasy on our couch,
and our irritated blood causes us
to behold everything through a wrong medium,
and we are ready to repine at every annoyance,
and become impatient with those around us;
then, O Lord, bestow on me strength of mind,
a calm contented spirit
to enable me to acknowledge Thy hand,
and feel that all is sent in mercy,
even though it appear as chastisement.
Let not temper fail,
but permit gratitude alone to fill my heart
towards those whom Thou hast ordained should tend me
in those moments of weakness and disease;
strengthen my spirit,
though my bodily strength should fail;
and turn my thoughts to thyself, O God,
in those moments when every amusement may be denied me,
when sickness may deprive me of those pleasures and pursuits
natural to health and life;
O let me not repine for them,
but bestow on me that calm and grateful spirit,
those holy and blessed thoughts,
which will enable me to bear all bodily affliction
with a resigned and even a rejoicing spirit.
O most merciful Father, hear my prayer,
and do not Thou forsake me
in those moments when Thou mayest ordain
bodily health should forsake me.
Be Thou with me,
support me then, O Lord;
let me lie under the shadow of Thy wings;
let me feel Thou wilt make my bed in my sickness,
and strengthen my soul while my body faileth.
Then, though pain encircle me,
my thoughts shall be my comfort;
though sleep forsake me
through the weary hours of night,
I will not fear,
for Thou wilt be with me,
and draw my thoughts to Thyself.
O hear me, my God,
and in Thine infinite mercy
bestow on me that blessed strength,
those holy and consoling thoughts,
which will enable me
to bear all bodily afflictions
with that spirit most acceptable to Thee.
Blessed art Thou
who answerest all
who call upon Thee.
“Prayer for strength under bodily affliction” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Sabbath Thoughts and Sacred Communings (1853), and included in the section “Prayers in Illness,” pp. 121-123. The prayer appears between one dated 31 December 1836 and another dated 14 January 1837, along with several other undated prayers. In Essays and Miscellanies (1853) the prayer appears on pages 189-190.
“Prayer for Strength Under Bodily Affliction, by Grace Aguilar (1837)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.