A Bible Reading Prayer

A prayer written by Søren Kierkegaard in 1851 (or so) as he reflected on James 1:22-27:

Father in heaven! What is a person that you are mindful of him, a child of man that you are concerned for him–and in every way, in every respect! Truly, in nothing to you leave yourself without witness; and finally you gave him your Word. More you could not do. To force him to use it, to read it, or to listen to it, to force him to act according to it–that you could not wish. Ah, and yet you do more. You are not like a human being. He rarely does anything for nothing, but if he does, he at least does not wish to be put to inconvenience by it. You, however, O God, you give your Word as a gift–that you do, Infinitely Sublime One and we humans have nothing to give in return. And if you find only some willingness in the single individual, you are promptly at hand and are, first of all, the one who with more than human–indeed, with divine–patience sits and spells out the Word with the single individual so that he may understanding it aright; and then you are the one who, again with more than human–indeed, with divine–patience takes him by the hand, as it were, and helps him when he strives to act according to it–you, our Father in heaven!

-From “For Self-Examination,” p, 14.