Sunday, January 14, 2007

A prayer from an Indian believer

I have been so blessed to read devotional writings from non-western Christians. One that really stuck with me is N.V. Tilak, a high-caste Hindu who became a Christian in India in the late 19th century. Tilak had a grasp of contextualizing the truths of Scripture for an Indian audience and pushed for a truly "Indian" indigenous worship of Christ. This poem is written in a common Indian style but captures a truth we must all learn: we must decrease and let Christ increase. Enjoy!

The Lowest Room
by N.V. Tilak

Grant me to give to men what they desire,
And for my portion take what they do slight.
Grant me, Lord, a mind that doth aspire
To less than it may claim of proper right.
Rather, the lowest place, at all men's feet
That do Thou graciously reserve for me.
This only bounty I would fain entreat,
That Thy will, my God, my will be.
And yet one other boon must Thou bestow;
I name it not ... for Thou dost know.

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