A Confession of Fruitless Contemplations
Matthew Henry gives us the following counsel and then follows it with a way to pray: “Ask God’s forgiveness for your absorption with things that deserve little or no consideration, and your failure to concentrate on subjects that nourish the soul.”
The first impulse of every imagination of our heart has been evil, only evil, all day long. These fruitless contemplations have occupied our thinking from our youth. How long have these vain thoughts taken up lodging within us! Our foolish thoughts are riddled with sin. From the inner self, out of the heart proceed evil thoughts….
O God, you are not the centre of all our thoughts as you should be. We are doing well if you have a place in any of them. You are the Rock that brought us into existence, yet we have forgotten you, the God that formed us. Days without number we have forgotten you. Our hearts have focused on things utterly hollow and useless. Our deepest inward thought has been that our achievements in life—our houses, our families, what we have produced with our lives—would last indefinitely. Like the rich fool, we have forgotten that you could bring death to our door tonight and we would be required to give you a full accounting. How foolish we have been!
[Get Matthew Henry’s A Way to Pray. A pocket sampler is also available.]