I came across this old hymn several months ago, and was really struck by its message. This is my prayer.
Purer Yet and Purer
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Anne R. Bennett; music by Silas Vail Midi Tune Score (PDF)
Purer yet and purer, I would be in mind,
Dearer yet and dearer, every duty find;
Hoping still, and trusting God without a fear,
Patiently believing He will make all clear.
Calmer yet and calmer, in the hour of pain,
Surer yet and surer, peace at last to gain;
Suffering still and doing, to His will resigned,
And to joy subduing heart and will and mind.
Higher yet and higher, out of clouds and sight,
Nearer yet and nearer, rising to the Light;
Light serene and holy, where my soul may rest,
Purified and holy, sanctified and blessed.
Swifter yet and swifter, ever onward run,
Firmer yet and firmer, step as I go on;
Oft these earnest longings swell within my breast,
Yet their inner meaning ne'er can be expressed.
Job 15:14-16 "What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous? If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is abominable and filthy, Who drinks iniquity like water!"
Ps 24:3-5 "Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation."
Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God."
1John 3:3 "And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."