The pattern which we daily strive to copy!

(George Everard, "Before His Footstool" 1874)

O merciful God, our Creator and our Benefactor, our Father in Christ Jesus — we come to You today to thank and praise You for all Your manifold mercies. We thank You for the proofs of Your goodness which day by day we receive at Your kind hands. You have given us all things richly to enjoy. You have given to us home and friends, food and clothing — and You have preserved us in life and health. For all this bounty we adore and praise Your holy name.

But we would bless You most of all, for Your inestimable love in our redemption. You have given Your Son Jesus Christ to be a sacrifice for our sins. Fill us with sincere gratitude, and teach us to praise You both with our lips and in our lives.

O God of love, purify our hearts that we may love You as we ought. You are worthy that we should love You far above all else. But we are carnal, and our affections cling too much to the things of the world. May Your Holy Spirit break the chains which bind us so closely to earth, and draw us nearer to Yourself. Shed abroad Your love in our hearts, that we may desire Your presence above all things. Kindle within each of us the heavenly flame, and may it burn ever more and more brightly.

O blessed Savior, the Good Shepherd of Your flock — may Your holy life be the pattern which we daily strive to copy. Teach us so to walk as You walked when sojourning here below. May our constant aim be to do the will of our Father in Heaven. May we be gentle and meek and forbearing towards all men. May we never willfully yield to the very least sin. May we give ourselves unto prayer, and make Your Word the rule of our life. May we go about doing good, and watch for occasions of comforting those in distress. Fill our hearts with zeal and love, with patience and kindness, with humility, and hatred of all evil. May we daily fix our eye on You as revealed in Your Word, and may we be changed into Your holy image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of our God.

May Your Word ever be the light to guide and direct us, and may Christ alone be the resting-place of our heart.

Hear us, O God, and preserve us evermore by Your help and goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.