We are exceedingly frail, and indisposed to every virtuous and gallant undertaking.
One of the things I really like about the early Christian prayers, is how brutally honest they are. It is somehow deeply satisfying to read prayers from people who are really letting all their faults hang out. I find myself tiptoeing around this kind of thing – but the early Christians simply let rip.
The odd thing is that being honest about the things that are wrong about us isn’t depressing if it is accompanied by a knowledge of God’s grace. We take the darkness to God because we know he will never reject us. Jesus seemed to rather like obvious sinners – he hung out with them and this scandalised the great and the good. This prayer is from St Augustine who could sometimes be more than harsh on himself.
Strengthen our weakness, that we may do valiantly in this spiritual war; help us against our own negligence and cowardice, and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts.