The great British statesman, William Wilberforce (1759-1833), worked tirelessly throughout his life to abolish the slave trade in England. It took most of his life, but eventually his perseverance paid off.
He was able to endure much opposition, discouragement and long periods of time without progress, because of his faith in Jesus. It was apparent to all that he loved the Lord and learned to walk by, and depend on the Holy Spirit.
Below is a prayer he wrote down that reveals how well he understood the dynamics of the spiritual life, and what he needed to do to access the Spirit’s help. I have supplied the meaning of a few antiquated words.
O Lord, reassure me with your quickening (life-giving) Spirit; without you I can do nothing. Mortify (put to death) in me all ambition, vanity, vainglory, worldliness, pride, selfishness and resistance to God, and fill me with love, peace and all the fruits of the Spirit. O Lord, I know not what I am, but to you I flee for refuge. I would surrender myself to you, trusting your precious promises and against hope believing in hope. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever; and therefore, waiting on the Lord, I trust I shall renew my strength.