Clement of Rome is thought to have been a disciple of Paul (Philippians 4:3) who became the leader of the church in Rome after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter. He wrote a very famous letter to Corinth, dated between A.D. 68 to 97, encouraging Christians there to seek unity and love, a letter which contains nearly 150 quotes or allusions to Scripture passages woven seamlessly into his writing, a sure indication that he had learned them all by heart.1
Towards the end of this letter, he writes the following prayer, which we invite you to pray with thanksgiving in your heart:
We ask, with prayer and supplication, that the Creator of the universe may guard intact to the end the number of his elect throughout the whole world, through his beloved Son Jesus Christ, through whom he called us from darkness to light, from ignorance to the full knowledge of the glory of his name.
Grant to us, Lord, that we may set our hope on your name, which is the primal source of all creation. Open the eyes of our hearts, that we may know you, who alone dwells in the highest heavens, holy in the holy, who sets the lowly on high, and brings the lofty low, who makes rich and makes poor, who kills and makes alive, who alone is the Benefactor of spirits and the God of all flesh, who looks into the abyss, who scans the works of man, the provider of those who are in peril, the Savior of those who are in despair, the Creator and Overseer of every spirit, who multiplies the nations on earth, and has chosen out from all men those that love you through Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom you instructed us, sanctified us, and honored us.
We beseech you, Lord and Master, to be our help and provider. Save those among us who are in trouble, have mercy on the lowly, lift up the fallen, show yourself to the needy, heal the ungodly, convert the wanderers of your people, feed the hungry, release our prisoners, raise up the weak, comfort the fainthearted. Let all the Gentiles know that you are God alone, and Jesus Christ is your Son, and we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.
Through your work you show yourself in the fabric of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and excellence, you are wise in creating and prudent in establishing that which you have made, you are good in the things which are seen and faithful with those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate. Forgive us our iniquities and our unrighteousness and our transgressions and shortcomings.
Do not count every sin of your servants and your handmaids, but cleanse us with your truth, and guide our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and singleness of heart and to do such things that are good and well pleasing in your sight and in the sight of our rulers.
Yes, Lord, make your face to shine on us in peace for our good, that we may be sheltered by your mighty hand and delivered from every sin by your uplifted arm. And deliver us from those who hate us wrongfully.
Give concord and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth, as you gave to our fathers when they called on you in faith and truth with holiness, that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and to our rulers and governors on the earth.
You, Lord and Master, have given them the power of sovereignty through your excellent and unspeakable might, that as we know the glory and honor which you have given them we may submit ourselves to them, resisting your will in nothing. Grant to them therefore, O Lord, health peace, concord, stability, that they may administer the government which you have given them without failure.
For you, O heavenly Master, King of the ages, give to the sons of men glory and honor and power over all things that are on the earth. Lord, direct their counsel by what is good and pleasing in your sight, that administering the power which you have given them in peace and gentleness with godliness, they may obtain your favor.
O Lord, you alone are able to do these things and things far better than these for us. We praise you through the High priest and Guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ, through whom be the glory and the majesty to you both now and for all generations and forever and ever. Amen.2
Throughout This Day: Take time to reread this prayer and reflect more on the love for God and the knowledge of God’s Word that it demonstrates.
References: 1. Ted Byfield, editor. A Pinch of Incense, A.D 70—250, The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years, volume 2, © 2002, Christian Millennial History Project, Inc., pages 53—54. 2. A Collection of Prayers, First Century
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