To the Christian Reader, zeale and knowledge in true and harty prayer through Christ Jesus.”
Day signals from the first sentence the context that his work will take: a robust devotional attitude that is committed to the life of prayer and centered on Jesus Christ. He believes that prayer really does draw us close to the heart of God, and he cites the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28—“Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
In answer to that call, Day answers boldly: “I come, Lord Jesu, I come. I come, and will pay my vows, promised to thee in the presence of all thy people, even in the courts of thy house, when I was received into the household of faith.”
He goes on, “I come, and will pray and praise thee for all thy benefits. I come, and will hearken to thy blessed word, and keep the same. I come, and will receive the cup of salvation, at thy holy table, in remembrance of thy death, with thanksgiving. In this sort, and so many ways, by Baptism, by prayer, by hearing his blessed word, by frequenting his table, must we come unto him, and that with a lively faith. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak; come unto him therefore, especially by prayer. Pray that he would strengthen both flesh and spirit.”
Day words “I come” are intended to be all of our words. Prayer is a means of grace that can be used at all times, in every waking minute of the day. By it, we too can come into the presence of our Lord and Christ.
[This post is part of a series on Richard Day’s 1578 publication, A Booke of Christian Prayers. Click here for other posts in the series.]