The Prayer of a Seventeen Year Old Quaker Girl

Oh my Father! stretch out your all powerful arm in mercy and free me from the bonds of sin and death which hold me fast! You see that I am tired of trying to be good, that I don’t really try to resist the temptations of the evil one with all my might. And you know that my whole nature rebels against following you and serving you. But, oh Father! strengthen my feeble knees, put a new and holy faith in my heart and bring down my haughty nature to the very dust. You are my only refuge; therefore, listen, I pray you, to my prayer.
I am haughty and full of pride. I shrink from the suffering which I know is waiting for me. I look almost with disgust on the narrow, narrow path which I see lying out before me. I feel that I can never consent to become nothing for your name’s sake. But you, Oh Lord! are able to drive away all pride from every heart. Oh won’t you purify and wholly sanctify my heart and make me willing to become the very least of your servants that you may have all the glory and honor and praise for ever and ever world without end!
—Journal, 1849
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

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