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A Prayer

From The Tacoma Times, January 30, 1914. By Berton Braley.

Oh, Master of the World of men
    And Ruler of Eternity,
Neither with voice nor flowing pen
    Have I asked many things from Thee;
I have not begged for wealth or fame
    With selfish prayers of little worth,
Nor have I called upon Thy name
    To smite my enemies to earth.

Yet now to Thee I raise my eyes
    And lift my voice for Thee to hear;
No rich and sordid gift I prize,
    No plethora of gold and gear;
Only this single boon I pray,
    That in a busy world and wide,
Whether my life be grave or gay,
    I may not grow self-satisfied.

So, till my final hour is spent,
    Until my work and play are through,
Lord, let me never be content
    With what I am or what I do;
Deliver me from smug conceit
    Which clogs the heart and mind in action—
This is the prayer which I repeat,
    “Lord, guard me from self-satisfaction!”

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