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If Ever I Have Longed for My Bed After a Long Journey…


Yesterday I returned from a journey. It was not a particularly long one—just a week at a little vacation home five hours away. But even at the end of a relatively short journey, it was a joy to return to my home, to my place, to my bed. And it got me thinking about this prayer from Philip Doddridge. It’s a powerful prayer of praise and worship that is drawn from that wonderful collection of prayers Piercing Heaven.

My God, what can I say to you—except that I love you more than words can express?

I love you for what you are to all your creatures. In all their forms and every moment, they owe their life and happiness to you. It is far beyond what my narrow imagination can conceive, but everything they know is from you.

But I adore and love you far more for what you are in yourself.

Even after creating so much, your reserves of perfection remain untouched, and can never be used up. Your infinite perfection makes you your own happiness.

You are your own end. You are worthy of a respect that never depends on anything outside yourself.

You are first, most beautiful, and only. Greatest and only great.

Possess all my soul! And surely you do possess it.

While I feel your sacred Spirit breathing on my heart, causing me to love you, I also feel the reality of this human, animal life.

If ever I knew the appetite of my hunger, my soul hungers after righteousness—and longs to be more like you (Matthew 5:6).

If ever I felt thirst, so also my soul thirsts for the living God—and pants for more of your favor (Psalm 42:2).

If ever I have longed for my bed after a long journey, my soul rests on your grace—and returns for rest in your embrace (Psalm 116:7).

And if ever I have enjoyed seeing the face of a friend, I rejoice in seeing your face, O Lord—and in calling you my Father in Christ.

That is who you are, and that is who you will be, for time and for eternity. What more can I do, but commit myself to you for both?

I leave it to you to choose my inheritance and order my affairs (Psalm 47:4). My only business is to serve you, and all my delight is to praise you.

My soul follows hard after you, God, because your right hand upholds me (Psalm 63:8). Let it still bear me up, and I will press on toward you, until all my desires are fulfilled in the eternal enjoyment of you! Amen.

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