A saint there was in days of old
(Though we but little of him hear)
In honour high, of whom is told
A short, but an effectual prayer.
This prayer, my brethren, let us view,
And try if we can pray so too.

He called on Israel’s God, ’tis said;
Let us take notice first of that;
Had he to any other prayed,
To us it had not mattered what;
For all true Israelites adore
One God, Jehovah, and no more.

“O that thou wouldst me bless indeed,
And that thou wouldst enlarge my bound;
And let thy hand in every need
A guide and help be with me found;
That thou wouldst cause that evil be
No cause of pain and grief to me.”

What is it to be blest indeed,
But to have all our sins forgiven;
To be from guilt and terror freed,
Redeemed from hell, and sealed for heaven;
To worship an incarnate God,
And know he saved us by his blood?

And next, to have our cost enlarged
Is, that our hearts extend their plan;
From bondage and from fear discharged,
And filled with love to God and man;
To cast off every narrow thought,
And use the freedom Christ has bought.

To use this liberty aright,
And not the grace of God abuse,
We always need his hand, his might,
Lest what he gives us we should lose;
Spiritual pride would soon creep in,
And turn his very grace to sin.

This prayer, so long ago preferred,
Is left on sacred record thus;
And this good prayer by God was heard,
And kindly handed down to us.
Thus Jabez prayed, for that’s his name.
May all believers pray the same.

~Joseph Hart

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