St Mary's church, Upton on Mersey

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Samuel Johnson's Prayer

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Samuel Johnson's Prayer

 

Almighty God,

by whose mercy my life has been

yet prolonged to another year,

grant that thy mercy may not be in vain.

 

Let not my years be multiplied to increase my guilt,

but as age advances,

let me become more pure in my thoughts,

more regular in my desires,

and more obedient to thy laws.

 

Let not the cares of the world distract me,

nor the evils of age overwhelm me.

But continue and increase thy loving kindness towards me,

and when thou shalt call me hence,

receive me to everlasting happiness,

for the sake of Jesus Christ,

our Lord.

 

Samuel Johnson: 1709?1794

 

Try rewriting this prayer for our own time

in your own words for your own situation.

 

Johnson is one of the most important English writers of the eighteenth century.

He is the most quoted prose writer in the English language

in most dictionaries of quotations

after Shakespeare and the Bible.