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Prayer before reading the Bible.
Thou from whom all knowledge and wisdom come,
without whose blessing and assistance
our efforts after understanding and righteousness
are of no avail,
we humbly and earnestly beseech Thee
to open our eyes and hearts;
that Thy precious word may not be to us
as a sealed book,
but that we may mark,
and inwardly digest
all that Thou in love didst inspire
good and faithful men to write,
for our benefit and instruction while in this world,
for happiness and salvation hereafter.
Give us childlike hearts and simple faith
to read and love, Lord.
Guard us from the vain sophistry of man,
and permit us all to read
with sincere humility, Thy words,
leaving that which, in this present imperfect state,
we may not understand,
to Thy love and wisdom to explain hereafter,
“for with Thee is the fountain of life,
and in Thy light we shall see light.” (Psalms 36:10)
O, let Thy blessing be amongst us, our Father,
and guide us unto Thee. —
“Prayer before reading the Bible” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 155-156. In the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853) the prayer appears with small variations of spelling and punctuation on page 166.
“Prayer before reading the Bible, by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.