Give us Hope of Recovery

Most merciful Father, though our sin finds us out, and we are justly afflicted for our transgressions, yet we are not consumed in your wrath; but you punish us less than our iniquities deserve. Though you cause grief, yet you will have compassion according to the multitude of your mercies, for you do not willingly afflict and grieve the children of men. Look down in tender mercy on the affliction of this your servant; O Lord, do not rebuke him in your wrath; neither chasten him in your hot displeasure. All his desire is before you, and his groaning is not hid from you; have mercy upon him, O Lord, for he is weak.

O Lord heal him, whose bones and soul are vexed. Do not remember the iniquities of his youth, or his transgressions: look upon his affliction, and his pain, and forgive all his sins. Though the sorrows of death do surround him, yet if it be for your glory and his good, recover him, and let him live and praise your name. In the time of his trouble we call upon you; deliver him, and let him glorify you; however show him the sin that offends you, let him search and try his ways, and confess and turn from his iniquity, and let it be good for him that he was afflicted. Let this be the fruit of it, to purge and take away his sin, that being chastened of the Lord, he may not be condemned with the world.

In the meantime, O Lord, be his portion, who are good to the soul that seeks you, and waits for you. Let him patiently and silently bear your yoke, let him hope and quietly wait for your salvation: considering that you will not cast off forever: that your anger is but for a moment, but in your favour is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning: and that whom you love, you chasten, and scourge every son whom you receive; and that if he endure chastening, you deal with him as a son.

If he recovers, let him devote himself entirely to your glory: that when you have put off his sackcloth and mourning, and girded him with gladness, he may speak your praise, and give you thanks. If he receives the sentence of death in himself, let it cause him to trust in you who raises the dead, knowing that as you raised up the Lord Jesus, you will raise him up also by Jesus. Let him be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, but that which is of God by faith. Restrain the tempter, and deliver your servant from the sinful fears of death, by Christ, who, through death, destroyed the devil that had the power of death; that he may find that death has lost his sting, and triumph over it by faith in him, through whom we are made more than conquerors. That, by faith and love, his soul may now ascend with Christ, that ascended unto his Father and our Father, and to his God and our God, and is gone to prepare a place for us, and has promised, that where he is, there his servants shall be also: that they may behold the glory which you have given him. Magnify yourself in his body, whether by life or death, and safely bring him into your glorious presence, where is fullness of joy, and everlasting pleasures, through Jesus Christ our Life and Righteousness.


Richard Baxter