"Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
We give thanks unto You, O Father, for You are good, for Your mercy endures forever! We give thanks unto You, O God of gods, for Your mercy endures forever! We give thanks unto You, O Lord of lords, for Your mercy endures forever! We give thanks unto You, O God of heaven, for Your mercy endures forever!
Especially on this morning, do we encircle Your throne with praises, for while goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life—on this day we are called to the refreshment of public ordinances, and are admitted to proclaim Your mercy in the midst of Your courts. We beseech You, for all Your tender love's sake, to prepare us with the fullness of Your Holy Spirit. May He come with all His mighty power, and wholly occupy our hearts. May He quicken us with newness of heavenly life. Thus may the pure flame of true devotion be kindled, and our understandings enlightened; and may our faith put forth new shoots in Your earthly sanctuary. May the glories within the veil be realized, so that our peace may flow as a river, and our praises be as sweet as the melody of heaven.
Above all, may Your dear Son, our only Savior, be this day more and more revealed to our adoring hearts. We desire to know the breadth and length, the depth and height of His all-surpassing love! Help us to gaze more and more with the eye of faith, on Him crucified, until we are changed into His image from glory to glory. May we learn at His cross—the exceeding vileness and dreadful deceits of sin. We would be taught to measure the infinitude of His tender pitifulness—by the infinitude of His sufferings in our place. We would bring every sin of every moment of our lives—and cast them into the deep ocean of His all-cleansing blood!
We adore You, O God our God, for this gift of gifts. We ascribe this rich salvation to Your exceeding grace, as its true source. You have found this Ransom. You have thus delivered us from going down into the pit. When we had wandered far like lost sheep, You have laid on Him the iniquity of us all. We see how You have loved us, in that You have sent Your Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. And with Him, You also freely give us all things.
Oh then may floods of light this day stream forth from every pulpit! May ministering hands raise high the cross. May every sermon be the testimony of Jesus, and every precept and every exhortation draw their power from His death. May Satan tremble and flee far away. May it be felt that Your ambassadors receive their message from Your courts, and speak only in Your name. In holy fellowship may they be ever climbing up the mount, and bringing down Your precious truths.
Keep them from all undue mixture with worldly matters. Raise up pious helpers to relieve them from the deadening care of earthly things. Thus may they have holy leisure for undistracted prayer and undivided ministry of Your gospel. Bless them, that they may be blessings. Teach them, that they may teach us. Sanctify them, that they may communicate sanctification.
Enrich all assemblies of Your people with Your abundant grace. Enable us with one mind and one mouth to glorify You. May united cries pervade the courts above, as the sound of many waters. May answers descend as the morn's copious dew. May souls be sweetly refreshed, and put forth abundant fruit of every holy word and work. May heaven come down this day—and tabernacle with man!
We do not forget Your servants laboring far from their homes in the wide missionary fields. We bless You, that in Your distinguishing grace You have been pleased to call them to this glorious work. May the brightness and joy of Your presence and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit so fill their hearts, that no loneliness may oppress them. Help them to tread down all difficulties, to triumph over all discouragements, and in the fruit of their toil—may Jesus see the travail of His soul—and be satisfied.
God and Father of the Lord Jesus, fan our faith this day into brighter blaze. May we expand more intelligently into the communion of saints. Open our eyes to see our oneness with the glorious company of all who are saved by the precious blood. Let our minds swell in blissful hope that we shall soon join the white-robed multitude, who adore You in unsullied worship, and cast their crowns before Your throne, saying, "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created!" Hasten Your kingdom, heavenly Lord, according to Your will. We ask all blessings for time and for eternity, in the great name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessed Jesus, through You we have access by the Spirit unto the Father. Through You we now draw near. Ever adored be Your grace for this ready way, opened through the rent veil of Your crucified body. Great High Priest, ever pleading at God's right hand, receive our sin-soiled prayers, cleanse them in Your precious blood, perfume them by the sweet savor of Your merits, obtain acceptance for them. Extend Your wounded hands in our behalf. Behold us in the depths of our need, and pour down blessings on our waiting souls.
Without You all the public services of this day are but as the sound of the tinkling cymbal. But in Your might, they are mighty to prevail. Grant, we humbly beseech You, that all blessings this day sought, may be abundantly ours. Nay, in the infinitudes of Your sovereign grace, give us much more than lips can ask, or thoughts conceive. Fill us with all the fullness of God. Make our bodies the temples of Your Holy Spirit. Consecrate all our lives as a living sacrifice on You our altar. May Your Spirit now and evermore suggest every thought, move in every movement of our minds, beam in our every look, prompt our every word, guide our every step. To us to live—may it be wholly Christ. Mold us entirely into Your image.
We would be swallowed up in You. Mortify SELF in us. Help us that all our will may be absorbed in Yours. It is our deep desire to be spiritually-minded, which is life and peace, and thus to be ever rejoicing at heaven's gate, and shining as consistent examples of godlike life. Grant this desire of our hearts—for Your great love's sake. How easy for You to replenish us with all goodness! Speak the word—and we are filled.
O God, our Father in Christ Jesus, hear our cry for Your life-giving blessing on all the labors of Your ministers and missionaries throughout the world. They have gone forth to plant and sow; but vain are their efforts—unless You are pleased to give the increase. Grant that their faithful testimony may be mighty to pull down Satan's strongholds. According to the sure word, may Christ uplifted draw multitudes unto Himself. May they spring up as the grass, and as willows by the water-courses. May they fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows. We beg You so effectually to work by the subduing arrows of Your gospel, that Your dear Son may see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. May Your Word go forth, conquering and to conquer. Strengthen it as a hammer—to break rocky hearts to pieces. Nothing exceeds Your power. Nothing is too great for You to accomplish. Nothing is too good for You to give. Infinite is Your might. Boundless is Your love. Limitless is Your grace. Magnify, we beg You, Your saving glorious name.
Manifest unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, by the Church, the manifold wisdom of God. Let the angelic choir more loudly and more sweetly sing because of—sinners repenting, prodigals restored, outcasts brought in, rebels subdued, backsliders reclaimed, Satan's captives released, blind eyes opened, broken hearts bound up, the desponding cheered, the self-righteous stripped of their vain pleas, the formalist driven from a refuge of lies, the ignorant enlightened, brands plucked out of the fire, Your saints built up on their most holy faith, and fitted for their eternal glorious inheritance!
We pray with especial earnestness for the young among us. May Your Word enter into their inmost souls. May our youths be as the polished corners of the temple. May the power of Your Spirit pervade all the teaching of our Sunday schools. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings—may You perfect praise. Cause Your ways to be known upon earth; Your saving health among all nations. Let the wilderness and solitary place be glad, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose. We ask great things—but we ask of You, who is a great and awesome God. We as all in the name of our glorious and almighty Savior, even Your own Son, Jesus Christ, our infallible Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.
Holy Father, Almighty Lord God, listen to the cry of Your humble servants. The return of this morning calls us to return to our week-day work. We see the world before us. We know our weakness, and we are prone to fear; but we look up to You—and we fear no more. If we venture to go forth alone—we stumble and fall; but leaning on our Beloved—we are firm as the everlasting hills. If left to the treachery of our own hearts—we shall bring shame to Your holy name; but enlightened, guided, and upheld by Your Spirit—we shall adorn Your heavenly doctrine.
Hear, then, our prayer, and be our arm to support, our light that we may see, our strength that we may stand, our feet that we may run, our shield that we may receive no wound, our sword that we may repel each foe. Descend on us as refreshing dew. Be our sun to ripen each grace. Thus may this day exceed all past days in fruitfulness, and fit us largely to see Your face in glory. To enrich us unto all fullness—would not diminish Your riches. To supply all our needs—would not detract from Your boundless stores.
We remember the services of yesterday—and are humbled; but still we remember them—and take courage. Our defilements prove that we are miserable sinners. Your forbearance proves that Your mercy reaches above the heavens. We still live to cling to the cross of Your dear Son. We still live to plead Your promises. We know that they are all yes and amen in Him.
Do not allow us to add to all our sins, the sin of being forgetful hearers of Your blessed truth. May it be mingled with faith in our hearts. May it thoroughly leaven the corrupt mass. Give life to the incorruptible seed, that it may take deep root and fructify to Your glory. Help us by Your teaching Spirit, that the Word of Christ may dwell in us richly in all wisdom. May it mold and form and shape our whole inner man. Thus may Your presence always abash vice, check worldly-mindedness—and diffuse through us the fragrance of pure godliness.
Assist us, by the lamp of Your Word and the piercing rays of Your Spirit—to search every corner of our hearts. Let no Achan escape detection! Let every Agag be hewed to pieces! Let every idol be stomped to powder! Let every rebel lust be nailed to the Savior's cross! Let "holiness to the Lord" be the language of our lips, the sandals of our feet, and the clear engraving on our brows.
We would be holy, as You, O our God, are holy; and perfect, as You, O our Father, are perfect. And, having all hope in Jesus, we would purify ourselves even as He is pure. But Your power must accomplish this. You have worked in us to will; we beseech You work in us to do. Do not disappoint our craving expectations. Do not shake off our wrestling grasp of You. Give as a gracious God. You are the deep fountain of all goodness—may Your gifts without measure flow. Thus may our walk shine as a heaven-kindled lamp—and ascend as grateful incense to the courts above. May it be seen in heaven and on earth that we are a people made willing in the day of Your power and consecrated to Your great glory.
While thus holding filial communion with You, we think of multitudes strangers to our joy. They are entering on this week ignorant of themselves—and unacquainted with You. We compassionate their wretchedness. You alone, have made us to differ. Be pitiful to them, as You have been pitiful to us. Then happiness on earth would swell as a river; and glory in the highest would shine more gloriously. Good Lord, hasten the time. Your Word teaches us to make prayers for kings and for all who are in authority. In obedience to Your will, we commend to Your especial favor our sovereign Queen—and all the royal progeny. May righteousness be the stability of the throne. When the earthly crown shall fade—may a heavenly crown be won. May the palace be a school of piety and the gate of heaven. With undoubting faith we place these our poor prayers in the hands of Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Intercessor. Amen.
Lord God Almighty, Father of mercies, screened from all evil by Your gracious providence, we come to encircle You with grateful praise. The past hours have brought fresh tokens of Your goodness on their wings. Some who went forth as strong as ourselves, in accustomed health and strength, have been snatched suddenly from this earthly scene. Others lie languishing, sorely touched by the hand of malady. Others groan in torturing pains, from unforeseen calamity. Others are weeping bitter tears, because of family disaster. The shadows of this evening, drop a curtain on world-wide woe. But in our hands there is a cup of unmingled blessedness. No evil accident has darkened our path. No evil tidings have harassed our breasts. We live to bless You—and blessings we now devoutly offer. Above all, we bless You that at every moment the throne of grace has been open—and that the scepter of Your love has been extended to us. Pardon us that our prayers have been so few, so poor, so feeble. While You are always ready to hear, and inviting us to close communion—our souls abide amid trifles, and dally with vain follies. We grovel on earth, when we might ascend to heaven and You. Pity us, good Lord. You know of what we are made. You remember that we are dust. O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.
We come not in our own name, seeking Your compassionate grace. We bring Your dear Son before You, in the arms of our faith. In whatever we have robbed You of obedience—we offer His blood to pay the debt. Impute to our account:
His worthiness—for our unworthiness;
His sinlessness—for our sinfulness;
His purity—for our impurity;
His sincerity—for our deceit;
His truth—for our deceits;
His meekness—for our pride;
His steadfastness—for our backslidings;
His love—for our enmity;
His fullness—for our emptiness;
His glory—for our shame;
His perfect obedience—for our incessant disobedience;
His beauty—for our deformity;
His devotedness to Your will—for our waywardness;
His holy life—for our unholy ways;
His perfect righteousness—for our manifold unrighteousnesses.
We hide ourselves in Him. We flee unto Him as our sure city of refuge. We know that in Him—we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of all our sins. We rejoice that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Thus we cry, "Abba, Father!" in the name of Jesus, and retire to rest in peace.
While we delight in prayer and praise, we would not forget the multitudes who are now going prayerless to their beds. We would indeed be hard of heart, if we failed to feel for them. You have not been unmindful of them, though they have lived far off from You. They have robbed You of service and of thanks. Let us plead for them, and adore Your patience towards them. Oh! that it might please You to all Your goodness to add converting grace. All instruments obey Your sovereign will. Command means to open their blind eyes, and to bring them as contrite penitents to their Father's house. Show to them Your love in Jesus. Reveal to them the bleeding Lamb. Thus by Your Spirit melt the rock, and snatch the prey from Satan.
We pray for all Your afflicted children. In You there is cordial for every grief, and balm for every wound. Wipe their weeping eyes, and help them from their hearts to say, "It is my Father's hand—may His will be done!"
We remember too those whose lot on earth is hard. Poverty sits grimly at their table, and they lie down on hard pallets of distress. Give them grace to think of Him, who, though He was Lord of all—had not a pillow for His head. Let faith illumine their cheerless path. May it make them, though poor in earth's lucre—yet rich in saving grace, and heirs of the eternal kingdom. Hear our earnest petitions. Claim earth as Your own, and so banish woe. We ask all the blessings which the everlasting covenant contains. Our trust is in Your love in Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, whom the heavens have received until the times of restitution of all things—abased in humility we look up to You as exalted to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance unto Your people, and forgiveness of all their sins. Deepen in us, we beseech You, thorough contrition of heart. Confirm in us the assurance that Your blood washes away all guilt.
We desire to walk lovingly with You as our great Redeemer; and humbly, because of our utter unworthiness. May true repentance pervade, as a flood, our souls, even repentance unto salvation not to be repented of. May our hearts be broken for sin, and broken from sin. May we be as slow to forgive ourselves—as we know that You are ready to forgive us. While we gaze on the glories of Your grace, may the sense of our iniquities cast us into the lowest depths of shame. May we walk softly with downcast heads, now that You are pacified unto us.
We bless You for the glorious Word: "Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity—I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Destroy then, we beseech You, within us every lofty thought. Beat pride to pieces, and scatter it to the winds. Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness. Implant in us true lowliness of spirit. Debase us in self-loathing and self-abhorrence. Open the fount of penitential tears. Thus may our hearts be fitted for the indwelling of our majestic God.
God the Father, take up Your abode within us. Blessed Jesus, come with healing on Your wings. Holy Spirit, descend with all Your sanctifying grace. Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons and one God—inhabit us as temples consecrated to Your glory.
When You are present—evil cannot enter. In Your fellowship, there is fullness of joy. Beneath Your smile, there is peace of conscience. By Your side—no fears disturb, and no apprehensions banish ease. With You our hearts shall be fragrant as the garden of the Lord, in which all graces bloom. With You we shall bear fruit unto holiness, as the trees which the Lord has planted. Again then we pray, fit us through repentance, for Your indwelling.
Blessed Jesus, the Lord has anointed You to bind up the broken-hearted, to comfort all that mourn, to give unto them beauty—for ashes, the oil of joy—for mourning, the garment of praise—for the spirit of heaviness. The entire work must be Yours. Break us—and then bind us up. Fulfill in us Your gracious purpose. Perform in us all portions of Your office. Lead us through the valley of godly sorrow—to the heights of heavenly joy.
Hearken to our cry, O great Intercessor, while for others we now intercede. We look around—and heart-rending is the sight which meets our eyes. This sin-sick world is full of levity and carnal mirth. Men laugh and sport, unmindful of the guilty hearts within them, and of the woeful end ahead of them. They do not think how Your wrath burns against their ungodliness. The day of judgment has no terrors for them. We know that such laughter will soon end in wailing. Gnashing of teeth for ever will be their eternal doom. Oh! that it might please You to convince them by Your Spirit before it be too late; that, feeling their misery, they may flee to their only Help. Today, while it is called today, may they repent and live. May this day witness their awakening, for this day may be their last.
Most gracious Lord, whose name is Love—in love receive our evening prayer. You have called us with a high and heavenly calling. Pardon us that our walk has been so unworthy of all Your tender mercies. Day testifies unto day, and night unto night—how good You are—and how vile we are. Blot out all the transgressions which have soiled our souls since last we humbled ourselves together in Your sight. Our sins are more than the wide sea's sands. But where sin thus frightfully abounds—grace most infinitely exceeds.
Look to the cross of Your beloved Son. Remember the preciousness of His atoning blood. Listen to His never-failing intercession. By Your Spirit whisper to our contrite hearts, "Be of good cheer, lie down in peace, your sins are all forgiven!" We thank You, we bless You, we adore You, we laud and magnify Your boundless grace. It truly reaches unto the heavens! It truly endures forever.
We pray for the world lying in wickedness. Your mercy never wearies in strewing benefits around. How thanklessly are they received! How base is the neglect of senseless ingratitude! The iniquities of earth are loud to awaken Divine vengeance. How justly might the decree go forth, "Cut down the guilty inhabitants; why do they so long cumber the ground!" Hear our cry for the vast multitudes who cry not for themselves. "Spare them, good Lord, spare them. Do not shut up Your loving-kindness in justice. Remember how short their time is, and while space continues, oh! be pleased to give grace!"
They are the creatures of Your hand. You have been pleased to breathe into them the breath of life. Oh! speak but the word, and these dry bones shall live! "Old things shall pass away—all things shall become new. The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will bring great honor to Your name; it will be an everlasting sign of Your power and love!" You have endowed them with wondrous faculties of intellect, of mind, of body. How capable are they to do You service, and to magnify Your name! Let not their powers wither like a blighted tree. Let nothing be misused in the service of the power of the evil one—the wrongful tyrant of this enslaved world.
But especially do we implore especial favors on our own beloved land. You have exalted us in loving-kindnesses above all the nations of the earth. You have placed us on the highest pinnacle of privilege. The sun never sets on the dominion of our influence. We are blessed with the knowledge of Your great and mighty name. We are instructed in the glorious revelations of Your gospel-truth. We possess the inestimable treasure of the open Bible. We read in the sacred pages, how You have loved us, and sent Your Son to bear our sins on the accursed tree, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seek and to save the lost, and to open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. We are therein taught that it is Your will that none should perish—but that all should come to the knowledge of Your truth, and that Your dear Son never casts out sinners who seek Him in faith and love.
Help us as a nation deeply and duly to ponder our solemn responsibilities. Impress on us that we are gifted with our blessings—to trade with them to Your glory. Show us that if we slothfully hide and bury them, the day will come when abused privileges will burst their graves and call for vengeance on us as unprofitable servants.
Deliver us, good Lord, deliver us, we beg You, from the woe of Chorazin, from the woe of Bethsaida, from the woe of Capernaum! Today, while it is called today, let us tremble lest it be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, and for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for us. Let us give diligence to devote ourselves, and all our opportunities, and all our privileges, to the untiring, undivided work of making Christ Jesus known to all the family of man. Hear us, pity us, pardon us, arise to our help, and quicken us to Your work. These prayers are offered in the name of Christ our Lord, Amen.
Merciful Lord God, Your ear is never weary to hear, Your hand is never shortened to bless. Visit us with all Your blessings this day, we meekly beseech You. Needy and helpless—we cast ourselves on Your unfailing grace. From our inmost souls we profess that we count all things but loss—for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is our all-constraining desire to live growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our precious Savior. Give us then the help of Your Holy Spirit. May He fulfill in us His loving office, and take of the things of Christ and show them in all their fullness, power, and beauty unto us.
Especially may the eyes of our understanding be enlightened to adore Him as the anointed High Priest of Your Church forever. We are exhorted to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession Christ Jesus. Enable us to fix our meditations on this glorious object, to ponder the wonder of wonders, the priestly work in our behalf. May we behold Him, bringing Himself the victim—to Himself the Altar. Deeply engrave on our minds the everlasting truth: that He spared not Himself—but willingly laid down His life, and shed His most precious blood—that we may be spared, that we may live, that our souls and bodies should not perish, that all our boundless debt should be completely paid, that our every iniquity should be purged away, that the mountains upon mountains of our grievous sins should disappear, that the crimson dye of evil in us, should be whiter than the whitest snow.
May we now and ever adore our Jesus thus sacrificing Himself. Oh! that our adoration might be warm as His heart towards us! Open our eyes to see our great High Priest passed into the heavens, entering within the veil with His own most precious blood, and sprinkling the true mercy-seat. Open our ears to hear the eloquence of that prevailing plea. It tells that redemption's work is gloriously finished, that every holy attribute is satisfied to the uttermost, and that all Divine wrath is quenched.
"Christ has died" is our answer to every charge. All of His blood-bought people must be saved. Increase in us the faith which is intelligent to hear Christ's never-ceasing intercession. We bewail our cold, our listless and our heartless prayers. Their poverty adds sin to sin. They justly provoke Your anger. If our hope was in them our cry must be, "Woe unto us, for we are undone!" But show us our great High Priest, waving His golden censer, and filling all heaven with its fragrance. Then we shall delight ourselves in prayer, knowing that the worth of Jesus perfumes our feeble breathings, and wins acceptance for them!
We shall require blessings at every moment of this opening day. Great High Priest fulfill Your office, and cease not to pour down streams upon streams of needful grace. Bless us—and we shall be blessed indeed. Bless us in all our employ; when we go out and when we come in; in every thought of our minds, in every word of our lips, in every step, in every deed. Bless us when we ponder Your sacred Word, when we confess our sins, when we seek Your face, when we wrestle with You in prayer, when we uplift the voice of praise.
Blessed by You—may we be blessings to all around. May we be lowly followers of Your bright example. You lived to bless. You died to bless. Blessings fell from Your ascending lips. Blessings ever descend from Your outstretched hands. Imbued with Your mind, may our whole course contribute to earth's welfare.
Heavenly Father, look down on each thus bowing before Your throne. Give sweet sincerity to our desires, intense earnestness to our supplications, burning fervor to our love. Let no unbelief deaden our approaches. May we feel truly that You do hear. May Your Spirit bear witness with our spirits—that we are Yours. May strong faith persuade us that answers, according to Your will, will surely come. Amen, Amen. Through Jesus Christ.
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, let our evening worship ascend as incense to the heaven of heavens. The name of Jesus is access to Your throne, and in that name we bow the knee. We know that You resist the proud; let, then, no lofty thought find resting-place in our contrite hearts. May there be no hindrance to the uprising of our lowly breathings. May there be no barrier to the outpourings of Your mercy.
Who are we, that pride should swell within us! Our original is the mire beneath our feet. Dust we are—and unto dust we soon return. In material, we do not surpass the most detestable reptile. Whatever difference of form and intellect is ours—is freely granted by Your goodness. Our every faculty of mind and body is Your undeserved gift.
Thus low as creatures—we are far lower as sinners. We have times without number trampled on Your righteous law. Sin's deformity is stamped upon us; its hideousness darkens on our brow; its loathsome touch has fixed corruption on us. Shall we, then, flaunt proudly in Your sight? The lowest depths of self-abasement is our due place. We are far less than nothing in Your all-seeing eye. Help us to see ourselves—as we are seen by You. Then pride must wither, and vanish, and decay, and die.
Your Word assures us that You give grace to the lowly. Humble our hearts before You—and then replenish them with Your choicest gifts. We know that nature's refreshing streams rest not on the barren summits of the high hills—but flow down to fertilize the lowness of the valleys. May our position ever be the lowliest of the lowly; so may our spiritual riches exceedingly abound.
Enable us to walk on earth even as Your beloved Son walked. He is our only Savior and most perfect model. Let His mind be ever our inward guest. He was meek and lowly in heart. Let His meekness be our all-covering garb. Clothe us entirely with humility. In all our fellowship with others, let no strife or vainglory show a hateful head.
Conscious of our sins against much light, and inward strivings of conscience, and teachings from above, may we always esteem others better than ourselves. Help us thus to manifest that we are born again. Thus may we exhibit conformity to the image of the blessed Jesus, the first-born among many brethren.
Grant the grace which we thus earnestly implore to all Your children throughout all the world. "This is what the Lord says—Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight." Jeremiah 9:23-24.
May our happy place be among the poor in spirit, to whom the kingdom of God belongs. Set us in the gentle ranks of the meek, whose is the inheritance of earth. Thus may we taste and find, that true humility is the heirdom of two worlds. And thus may we fit for the day of glory, when we hope to cast our crowns before Your throne, and sing with prostrate spirits: "You alone are holy, You alone are the Lord!"
Confessing our need, supplicating Your grace, we cannot arise without intermingling most fervent thanks. Unless Your merciful protection had kept us this day under the shelter of Your wings, our lips would have been sealed in silence. Many who saw the morning sun—as strong or stronger than we are—have fallen as a withered leaf. We live to praise You, and praise we fervently bring. If we see the morrow's light, may we more worthily renew our song. If we go hence this night, may we through grace commence the endless hymn of the redeemed. Grant this for the merits of our Lord Christ. Amen.
Most gracious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, You who are enthroned high in the glory of God the Father, grant, we beseech, to come in and occupy the throne of our hearts. We offer, we present them to You. Take full possession and reign supreme. Expel every opposing foe. Lay low every rebellious lust. Let no vile passion resist Your holy sway. Manifest Your mighty power. Make us Yours—and keep us Yours forever.
You are worthy that we should praise You with our every breath, and love You with all the energies of our souls, and serve You in every act of our lives. You have loved us with a free, a full, and everlasting love. When we were loathsome in misery and sin—You have espoused us as Your bride forever; and have received us as Your portion, Your jewels, the lambs of Your fold, the members of Your mystic body. When we were worthless as creatures, vile as sinners, soiled and polluted by countless transgressions—You have purchased us by the price of Your own blood. You have made us Your favored inheritance, the garden of Your choice delights. You have washed us from all our filth. You have covered us with the spotless robe of Your righteousness. You have adorned us with the glories of Your pure obedience.
When we were dead in our iniquities, having no eyes to see You, no ears to hear Your voice, no taste to relish Your joys, no mind to know You—You have quickened us by Your Holy Spirit, and brought us as new creatures into a new world of spiritual perception. You have given us Your Word to be our light, our guide, our solace, and our joy. You have enriched us with a treasure of precious and most cheering promises.
What could have been done more for Your vineyard—which You have not done for us! You have loved us more than Your own life. With loving-kindness You have drawn us. You forgive our daily and hourly transgressions. None of our sinful provocations separate us from Your sympathy. You will never leave us nor forsake us. You preserve us until we safely reach the heaven of heavens, and sit beside You on Your glorious Throne!
Help us then, oh help us, we beseech You, to walk this day worthy of You, and of Your love, and of our hopes, and of our high and heavenly calling. Keep us, we beg You; we cannot keep ourselves. Protect us, that no evil may defile us. Strengthen us to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us. Enable us to run with patience the race which is set before us—looking unto You!
While still journeying as pilgrims upon earth, may we set our minds on things above—and not on earthly things. May we in spirit be always waiting for the glorious appearing of You, our great God and Savior, who will change our vile bodies that they shall be like unto Your glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby You are able even to subdue all things unto Yourself.
Now we would go forth to our appointed work, walking by Your side, leaning on Your arm, holding sweet converse with You. May we be as the salt of the earth—a blessing to all around. Look with Your especial favor on our household, our friends, our country. We commend to Your gracious care, our Sovereign the Queen, the royal progeny, and all who exercise authority in this realm. As a nation, great is our outward prosperity. We pray that we may be greater in inward righteousness. As a people may we fear You, reverence Your ordinances, keep Your statutes, advance Your kingdom. Glory be to You, gracious Redeemer, who reigns one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever! Amen.
Holy Lord God, omnipotent in creation, unfailing in preservation, we would not end this day without calling upon You in behalf of all sorts and conditions of men. We desire to be large in sympathy, even as You are boundless in love. First we pray for kings and princes, and all who are called to exercise sovereign sway throughout earth's length and breadth. Especially we name her who holds in widowed hands, the mighty scepter of this world-wide realm. May her gifts be equal to her varied needs; and where gifts abound—may grace immeasurably super-abound. Loved and sustained by You, may her reign be England's most blessed time. May her highest place, be the inheritance where all are kings and priests to God.
Give right wisdom and integrity to all who frame and administer our laws. Grant that they may seek to establish the holy reign of peace; as professing subjection to the Prince of peace. May they study to be just, as those who must stand before Your judgment-seat. May they love mercy, as those whose only hope is in the riches of Your mercy in Christ Jesus. Impress on their minds Whose ordinance they subserve; and may Your glory be their constant aim.
Diffuse throughout our fellow-subjects cheerful obedience to lawful authority. Teach us that the truest liberty is glad submission to righteous rule. Thus may harmony and concord pervade all ranks, and Christian love shed happy fragrance round.
Where wealth is granted, may liberal hearts liberally devise, and bounteous hands bountifully diffuse. May the rich remember Whose is the silver and the gold, and may they gladly distribute as almoners of Your goodness. Let not poverty murmur at its lowly lot, remembering that Jesus chose the humblest place. May the cottage be ennobled by the truth, that God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him.
Look with especial favor on the aged. Smooth their descent into life's valley. Support their feeble strength. Let not the devil get advantage, when powers fail. But lower them to their graves strong in faith, joyful in hope, rooted in love, redolent of every grace.
We commend our young to Your tenderest care. How deep, how abiding are early impressions! While the soil is yet tender, may seeds of godliness be sown. Before Satan with his legion stealthily creeps in, before the world with its bewitching vanities allures, before corrupt examples beckon to destruction's way—do, O blessed Jesus, enter and win their first affections, and mold their pliant wills. Show them in life's dawn, Your beauty and Your glory, the peaceful charms of godly walk, and seal them by Your Spirit as Your own forever.
Solemnize the minds of parents, that they may feel what a treasure is entrusted to their care, even the immortal souls of the offspring granted to them. May children never see in them an unholy look, or hear from them an unholy word. May tender consideration train the tender shoots. May loving prudence educate them, as their strength can bear, for the Christian warfare and the Christian crown.
May Your Holy Spirit be the great teacher in all classes of all schools. May our youth be instructed that Christ is the mine containing all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. May they early learn that the fear of the Lord is true wisdom, that to depart from evil is right understanding, and that to be brave for Christ is the noblest heroism.
May servants serve as unto the Lord. May masters rule as servants of a heavenly Lord. Thus may every stone, from the foundation to the pinnacle in the social fabric, be cemented in Christian harmony and peace and godliness. In every house may there be a church. May every dwelling be a school for heaven. From every heart may prayer and praise in sweetest fragrance be continually ascending. May our country's glory—be its devotedness to the God of our salvation. Thus may our land bring forth her increase, and God, even our own God, bless us forever. Holy Father, turn not away from the desire of our hearts, humbly presented in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Grant, we beseech You, O heavenly King, that our morning worship may be pure in simplicity, and earnest in godly sincerity. Truly to know You—is truly to love You. Truly to love You—is truly to serve You. Therefore shed abroad Your knowledge in our hearts.
Cause all ignorance to vanish before the brightness of Your light. You have given us in Your holy Word, large records of Your grace and love. May we feast on them, until our inner man is steeped in their sweetness. Strengthen us with the abiding thought that You have loved us, and given Yourself for us—and that You will love us unto the end. In the manger of Your birth, in the garden of Your agony, in the cross of Your suffering, and in Your never-failing intercession, may we read the meltings of Your heart towards us. Bold in this thought, may we this day defy our cruel adversary, tread down his vile temptations, resist his cunning arts, renounce the world, despise its vanities, and be valiant for Your truth.
Deepen in our souls a sense of our holy relationship to You. May we know You as the spiritual Bridegroom of Your Church, and may the wondrous truth fill our adoring minds with joy unspeakable and full of glory. We think of You, Jehovah's fellow, one with the Father, in glory equal, in majesty co-eternal, God over all, blessed for evermore. We think of angels veiling their faces before You while they worship. We think of Your glory, and our vileness; Your majesty, and our baseness; Your beauty, and our deformity; Your purity, and our filth; Your riches, and our poverty; Your righteousness, and our unrighteousness. We see the amazing distance, the infinite disproportion. Yet we believe that You have looked on us with unchanging and unchangeable love—and have espoused us unto Yourself forever.
As You have loved us—so may we love You. As You have given Yourself for us—so may we give ourselves to You. As You have died for us—so may we live for You. May we be devoted to You in every moment of our time, and every movement of our minds, and every pulse of our hearts, in faithfulness, purity, and truth.
May we never dally with the world, or any of its defiling allurements. May our walk be closely by Your side. Keep us ever listening for Your voice in the pages of Your Word, ever holding communion with You, ever leaning on Your arm. May we be clothed with every lovely grace, and adorned with the garment of Your righteousness, which is the beauty of Your people.
O You, who have done such wondrous things for us, leave us not, neither forsake us, until we sit beside You on Your throne forever!
Happy in our precious privileges—may our hearts be tender to commiserate the unhappiness of those who are dead in trespasses and sins. We know that it is Your gracious will by the foolishness of preaching, to save those who believe. Raise up then, we beseech You, a noble band of faithful men. Replenish them with every grace. Make them wise as serpents, bold as lions, harmless as doves. And put them forth as laborers into Your harvest. Sustain their zeal as a blazing torch—until they return, bringing many sheaves into Your garner!
Especially we beg You to keep our beloved country untainted by heresy and superstition. You have visited us when darkness spread its deadly pall around. When gospel light glimmered as an expiring spark, You lifted on high the banner of the reformation. You endued holy martyrs with heroism, braving all agonies in testimony of Your truth. Enable us to strive, as successors of their zeal—against all deadly error. May we stand as a rock against every approach of idolatry.
Without Your aid, how soon might we relapse! The enemy threatens to come in like a flood. But, may You help us, and we shall be strong. Preserve us, and we shall be safe. Uphold us, and we shall not fall.
Get to Yourself a great name in England as the bright home of truth and righteousness. Unto Your great name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—be eternal praise. Amen.
Heavenly Father, we thank You that in Your tender mercy You have been pleased to plant us together in the Church of God, which He has purchased with His own blood. Add grace more and more, that we may live worthy of this high and heavenly calling. Safe in our heavenly ark—may we pass through the waves of this troublesome world into the harbor of eternal rest! May we fear no wreck, knowing that Christ is seated at the helm, that angels are our convoys, that Your Word is our chart, and that our fellow-voyagers are the purchased possession of Your dear Son.
We have undoubting assurance that great is the Lord Almighty in the midst of His Church. Therefore will not we fear though the earth is removed, and though the mountains are carried into the midst of the sea, and the waters thereof rage and swell. Teach us the inestimable privilege of being portion of the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and for which You have done such wondrous things. Rightly may You require the good fruit of perfect holiness, proportionate to all Your heavenly care. Grant, we beg You, that we may not be barren trees, or laden only with worthless leaves of profession, or vines bearing only wild grapes. Water us with more abundant dews of blessing. Invigorate us with more of Your ripening rays.
As members of Your Church we believe that we are the Lamb's bride. As such help us to be true and faithful, chaste and loving, pure and devoted. Suffer no straying affection wantonly to dally with the pleasures of this world. But may we live raised high above the love of things temporal, and always listening for the cry, Behold, the bridegroom comes.
We believe that our beloved Savior, in tender love, gave Himself for us, that He might sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the Word; and that He might present us unto Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing—but that we should be holy and without blemish. Accomplish this blessed work in us, good Lord. Here we offer and present our hearts unto You. Come in and establish Your undisputed reign. Come and replenish them with hallowing grace. Come and fit them for Your perpetual home. Come and hold sweet converse with us. By Your Spirit—tell us more of Your love. Cause all Your goodness to pass before us. Enable us with open eye—to gaze on Your beauty and Your glory, until we become wholly conformed to Your likeness.
May Your every promise be fulfilled in us. May Your every precept be the pathway of our feet. Thus may we rejoice in the joy of being truly Yours. With such delights before us, do not allow us madly to turn aside to the husks and rubbish of this barren world. We are taught that the temple of God can have no agreement with idols. And are we not the temple of God? And has not God said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people!" Therefore help us to come out from among them, and to be separate, and to touch not the unclean thing.
Blessed Lord, hasten the time when all shall know You, from the least unto the greatest. Speak but the word—and the veil shall no more blind their eyes. Pluck out of them the heart of stone. Expel the evil spirit of unbelief. Give them, according to Your Word, the Spirit of grace and supplication. Turn their eyes to Him whom was pierced for transgressors. Cause them to mourn for Him as one who mourns for his only son, and to be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for the death of his firstborn.
Give us grace never to put a stumbling-block in any returning sinner's way. May we rather entice them, attract them, allure them, win them. Grant that others may see in us, how good it is to sit beneath the cross, and through the reconciling blood to cry, "Abba, Father!" Answer us according to Your rich promises to prayer. Let us not seek Your face in vain. Hear us, for Your great glory in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Preserved by Your tender care, we live to see, most gracious Lord, the opening hours of another day. Increase and multiply upon us, Your mercy. Your goodness to us has never failed. Past provocations have been no barrier to its constant flow. Your nature and Your name is love.
Through the helpless hours of darkness, You have kept us safe. Helpless in ourselves, we meet this dawning light. But we come to You for help in the name of Jesus. We cling to Your protecting arm. We hide ourselves in You—our fortress and our sure refuge. We take You as our shield and buckler. Fight for us—and our foes must flee. Uphold us—and we cannot fall. Strengthen us—and we shall stand unmoved, immovable. Equip us with the whole armor of God—and we shall receive no wound. Stand by us in the conflict—and we shall tread Satan beneath our feet. Save us—and we shall be saved. Put the song of salvation on our lips—and our mouths shall shout aloud Your praise.
Especially we beseech You to deepen in our hearts, the abhorrence of all evil. May we hate sin with perfect hatred. It is the vile monster which defies Your power, casts off Your yoke, treads down Your lovely law, defiles our nature, spreads misery throughout this earth, brought death into the world, and nailed the spotless Lamb of God to the accursed tree. Teach us to look to Jesus on the cross—and so to estimate its loathsome guilt in Your sight.
Could there be no pardon—but through Your dear Son's death! Could no cleansing wash out its filth—but Jesus' precious blood! Could no atonement expiate the evil—but the shame, the agony, the bruises of the incarnate God! We see the boundless price! May we read therein the boundless guilt! In the infinite payment—show us the infinite debt. Thus may we discern the deadly viper in its real malignity, and tear it with holy indignation from our breasts, and resolutely turn from its every snare, and refuse to hold polluting dalliance with it!
Help us, too, to learn in Your all-sufficient sacrifice—Your tender and immeasurable love. May such love kindle mightily the flame of our responding love. May it blaze in our every faculty of heart and soul. May it rule throughout our inner man. May it consecrate our every thought and word and work a whole burnt-offering to Your glory.
Blessed Jesus, at Your cross may we be taught the awful miseries from which You have redeemed us! Without Your rescuing blood we must have been lost forever! Help us to ponder what the word "lost" implies. Your warning Word ofttimes draws back the veil. Send down Your enlightening Spirit to make vivid, the appalling scene. And when we read of fire which never ceases to burn, and indignation and wrath and anguish forever raging, and blackness of darkness forever, and everlasting destruction from Your presence and glory—may we cling more closely to Your cross! May our faith adhere to You with a more resolute and more intense grasp; may our total being be devoted to You; and may our detestation of all sin be as strong as Your love towards us. Work in us, we beg You, this transforming work. Keep us from all iniquity. Purify us unto Yourself, as a holy people. May holiness be the atmosphere in which we live.
Smile too on our beloved country, from the sovereign on the throne to the lowliest cottager, with blessings from on high. Diffuse Your knowledge. Establish the reign of Your faith and fear. Send out Your Spirit to put life into all our means of grace. Let our Bibles be duly studied, and may they vivify our hearts!
Give us intelligent gratitude for the marvelous blessings of our Reformation. Increase our valor for its glorious truths. Arm us with holy resolves never to relinquish our inestimable treasure. Check every backward look to Rome's destructive falsehoods. Hasten the time when the Lord himself shall appear to consume the mystery of iniquity with the breath of His mouth, and to destroy it with the brightness of His coming. We long for the day when truth shall be our unclouded sun, and when the deceits of idolatry shall be as a withered weed. We trust such prayer is Your Spirit's interceding voice within us. Therefore we boldly offer it in the prevailing name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
O God of patience and consolation, grant us as a family, this night, to be like-minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus; that we may with one mind and one mouth glorify You, even the Father of our Lord and only Savior. Glory be to You, for this throne of grace. Make it ever to us—the chosen pleasure-ground of our souls. May it be the fortress to which continually we flee. Here may we obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Here may we see by faith, Your reconciled smile. Here may we rejoice to plead the name of Jesus. Here may we sharpen the sword of the Spirit, anoint the shield of faith, and put on the helmet of salvation.
By prayer too may we gather supplies of heavenly manna—even the precious nourishment of Your Word. Thus may we be strengthened for each conflict, nerved for our upward race, and empowered for more than conquest over every foe. We know that Christ is an open channel for all blessings to descend upon us. Help us to beg, until the sluices of mercy widely open, and our souls are so replenished, that there shall be no room to receive more.
We marvel at our cruel folly, that when such enriching favors are within our reach—that we are so slow to extend the hand to take them. Compassionate our deadness for Your great name's sake. Quicken us, arouse us, stir us up, fill us with holy zeal, put strength into us that we may strive with You, and refuse to let You go. It is Your glory to be vanquished by the power of prayer. May Your Spirit within us wrest all blessings from Your yielding hands.
We bless You for Your holy Scriptures—for all their precepts—all their promises—all their light. Forgive our sad neglect of this most inestimable treasure. May we study the sacred pages with minds intent to learn more of Christ, with memories sanctified to retain, with wills resolved to follow.
We confess with shame, past hours wasted in unprofitable reading and other worldly entertainments. Counteract, we beseech You, the evil of a licentious press. Give grace to all to whom You have given the gift to write. May ready pens be consecrated to Your glory. May Your Spirit direct all talent to the grand work of making this fallen world rich in true knowledge, and wise unto salvation.
If other days are ours—guide us that no more time be squandered in vain pursuits. We desire to grow in Your faith and fear and love. We know that when we do not advance—we must backslide. Deliver us from the misery of feeling that we once ran well—but now our course is hindered.
Build us up in our most holy faith. Let us show out of a holy heart—our godly works with meekness of wisdom. May we display gentleness and humility and love to all men. May we ever esteem others better than ourselves. Help us never to be overcome by evil—but to overcome all evil with good. May we walk humbly, because of much good omitted, and much evil committed. Impress on our minds the shortness of time—the work to be done—the account to be rendered—the nearness of eternity—the misery of lamps expired, when the voice of the Bridegroom is heard.
May we never forget that Your eye always sees us, Your ear always hears us, Your recording hand always commits to a book of remembrance, and that all hidden works must be unveiled when the judgment day arrives. May it be our one effort to approve ourselves as faithful servants of the Lord Christ. Above all things—may we seek Your favor! Above all things—may we dread Your frown!
Strengthen us to give You no rest, until You shall reign supreme in our every thought and word and work. Command what is well-pleasing in Your sight, and give us power faithfully to fulfill the same.
As we shall desire to appear before Your great white throne—so may we now appear in Your sight—and before all men. Increase in us more and more the gift of that precious faith which purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, and makes us one with Christ.
May Christ be the pulse of our hearts. May He speak in every word of our lips. May He shine in every step of our earthly walk. May we be very temples of the Holy Spirit—a habitation of God through the Spirit. Grant our requests for His dear sake. Amen.
O You who hears prayer—unto You we now come. Grant that by the eye of faith we may behold You bending down Your ear of love to receive our feeble breathings. May our cries ascend perfumed with the incense of Jesus' atoning blood, and so be welcomed with acceptance.
We shall prevail, for You have promised. Smiles await us, for Your Spirit intercedes within us. We shall be heard, for Your dear Son pleads for us.
May we now be filled to the full with the Spirit of grace and supplication. In public and in private, in the sanctuary and in the closet, may our life be steeped in prayer. We thank You that through Your distinguishing favor our birth has placed us in a land in which Your worship has external reverence, and congregations throng Your courts. We thank You that in the village and the town church-bell sounds proclaim the return of this holy day, and invite to glad solemnities.
Rejoicing in our precious privileges, we think of the multitudes to whom this day brings neither repose nor peace. From the eminence of our hallowed position, we cast our eyes over the wide expanse of heathendom, and we mourn. We feel our duty towards them, and we bring their desolation before Your pitying-eye. Fervent thanks we render—that we have not been left in their cold darkness. We forget not, that the mercy which befriended us—can befriend them. We know that the power which rescued us—can rescue them. There is nothing too hard for You to do! We beseech You, then, to bless them—as You have blessed us. Send out Your light and Your truth to the regions which enjoy not the calm delight and sanctifying mercies of the Lord's day. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.
We pray with more earnest wrestling for those around us, who, in the midst of all Christian privileges, willfully choose darkness rather than light. Gracious Lord, forget them not, while they thus slight You. Manifest the freeness of Your grace by subduing their obdurate rebellion. Reign in the midst of these enemies. Compel them to come in. We tremble, lest the heathen should rise up in the judgment and condemn them for so despising Your proffered mercies.
Grant that the mind of Christ may pervade us. He never wearied in pouring out His heart to You. In the days of His flesh, He offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears. May we thus take heaven by storm.
Open Your hands wide to pour down streams of blessing on all who shall publicly teach in Your name. May they stand between the living and the dead, and may the destroying plague be checked. Give them to feel deeply—that eternal interests hang on their lips. May their every word be everlasting truth. May they so labor, that at last they may be welcomed as good and faithful servants.
May we not be forgetful that this day may close our Sundays upon earth. The next return, may see our places vacant. May it then be our best. May it find us ready, in Your dear Son, to join the ever-hymning choir.
May our devotions in Your house stimulate many. May the thoughtless see in us how good it is to draw near to You, our God. May the formalist be taught by our sincerity, that You are a Spirit, and those who worship You, must worship You in spirit and in truth.
Remember, O Lord, with tender love—the sufferers on whom You have been pleased to lay the hand of detaining sickness. Their feet may not tread Your courts—may You come down and visit them. Let the light of Your countenance shine sweetly in their chambers of languishing. Let Your voice whisper through their souls, "Peace be unto you! It is I, do no be afraid!" May their joyful experience testify that Your presence is not confined to any place.
But while our hearts drink deeply of the streams which make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High, multitudes will make this a day of especial sin. Your eye will behold trespasses crying up unto the heavens. Merciful Lord, do not let Your righteous wrath to go forth. Spare these captives of Satan. Extend to them longer space for repentance. Above all, touch them with Your converting grace. Magnify the riches of Your loving-kindness. Receive glory—by giving life to the dead, and light to the blind. Thus we present our earnest cries in the all-prevailing name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Lord of all power and might, You that are the author and giver of all good things—help us by Your grace to close this day in close fellowship with You. It was the early desire of our hearts to be wholly in the Spirit throughout this day. The review of its hallowed hours causes us to hide our faces in the dust of shame. Our best work is vile and hateful in our own sight! What, then, must it be in Yours! If our purest service is unclean—how must our open transgressions rise in condemnation! Have mercy, have mercy upon us, for Your dear Son's sake. Have mercy, have mercy upon us, according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. Have mercy, have mercy upon us, for the great glory of Your great name.
We are heartily sorry for the misdoings of this day. Forgive us all that is past. O Lord, the only begotten Son Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takes away the sin of the world—take away all our guilt. You who sit at the right hand of God the Father, receive our prayer. Great Intercessor, plead in our behalf.
May we retire to our rest this night, O blessed Savior, in the happy assurance that Your blood cleanses from all sin. We know that You will never cast out the people or the prayers of those who flee to You. To You—we now come. We clasp by faith Your precious promises. We cling to Your saving cross. We desire to wrestle with You in the might of faith, not letting You go, until You bless us.
Bless us by revealing to us more and more of the saving merits of Your passion. Bless us by causing all Your goodness to pass before us. Bless us by lifting up the light of Your countenance upon us. Bless us by speaking peace to our contrite hearts. Help us to bless and praise You now, even as we hope to bless and praise throughout the endless age.
Give us more of the joy of Your salvation. We would be fruitful, as trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Enable us to keep ourselves pure from all the corrupting stains of this world. May we appear among men as the Lamb's bride, clothed with the garments of salvation, covered with the robe of righteousness.
This day, the silver trumpet of Your truth has sweetly sounded in countless assemblies. Oh! that Your Spirit may have worked triumphantly. May no word have been unprofitable, because of lack of faith in the hearer's heart. May no grain of precious seed have failed to take deep root. Speak but the word, "Let there be light!" and there shall be light. Say, "Let there be sight!" and opening eyes shall see, and awakened souls shall live.
If in any pulpits this day, darkness has been put for light, and noxious poison for the bread of life, we beg You, of Your sovereign grace, to counteract the evil. "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; let those who hate Him flee before Him."
Dissipate all the dark clouds of prejudice and pride and self-conceit. Cast to the winds, the empty husks of formality. Expose to shame, all the flimsy refuges of self-righteousness. Humble the conceit of every proud heart. Let the desperate wickedness of the natural heart be seen, and felt, and hated, and renounced. Let Jesus Christ alone be exalted in the majesty of His person, the perfection of His work, the beauties of His grace, the triumphs of His power, the unchangeableness of His will, the infinitude of His love, the boundlessness of His salvation.
Thus may Your glorious kingdom come. Thus may all Your enemies be crushed. We mourn that Your dear Son should still be the despised and rejected by men, and that His truth should be slighted and trampled under foot. We mourn that many who profess to value Him as the pearl of great price—should so often be ashamed of His saving name. Deliver us from such awful guilt. As with our hearts we believe unto righteousness, so with our mouths may we openly confess unto salvation.
Gracious Father, now go with us to our bedside worship. Draw nearer to us. May we not leave You, until slumber seals our eyes, and forgetfulness lulls our senses. If we should have sleepless hours, give us tranquillizing thoughts of You. May we feel that You are very near, and may Your faithful love be the pillow of our weary minds. If dreams are ours—may they be hallowed and serene. Thus may we arise refreshed to run our upward race. Let our prayers prevail for Your love's sake in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Gracious Lord God, at the opening of the first working day of another week, we come to shelter ourselves beneath the covert of Your protecting wings. It is of Your tender mercy—that we now live. It is of Your boundless grace—that we draw near to meet You at Your mercy-seat.
Our little barks are now entering on the troublous waves of the restless world. Grant that Your Holy Spirit may sit at the helm and steer us safely. Allow no adverse current—to divert our heavenward course. Amid storms and shoals, if such imperil us, let not our faith be wrecked, or our souls' concerns receive any damage. Bring us to its close with garments unspotted, consciences unwounded, and no grace bedimmed.
Strengthen us to take a decided stride towards heaven. And may we allure many into the narrow way of life; and lay up rich stores of experience of Your faithfulness and truth.
Write deeply by Your Spirit's pen—the lessons of yesterday upon the tablets of our mind. Soften us as yielding wax. Impress on us Your heavenly image. You are the Potter—we are the clay. By Your preached word, mold us and form us into thorough conformity to the likeness of Your dear Son. May our whole aspect show His lovely lineaments. May all who see us take knowledge of us—that we belong to the household of faith, that we are children of God, heirs of God, joint-heirs of Christ. May our citizenship be above. May we breathe the atmosphere of purity and godly love.
Give especial efficacy to all means of grace. Through them keep us Yours forever. We ask great things. We expect great things. We doubt not, that we shall receive great things. We boldly come to You in Christ Jesus. In Him we trust You, without one misgiving doubt. For we hear the proclamation of Your name, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin!" We hear, we believe, we adore!
We venture on You, we venture wholly, we venture fully. We come to our Father's arms. It is our privilege and our joy to recount all that You are to us—and all that You have done for us. While we strive to conceive Your greatness and Your goodness, we find that Your love excels all knowledge. But we delight to sing, "Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens, and Your faithfulness reaches unto the clouds! Your righteousness is like the great mountains! Your judgments are like the great deep. Who is a God like unto You—who pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage! You do not retain Your anger forever, because You delight in mercy. You will turn again—You will have compassion upon us—You will subdue our iniquities; and will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea!"
Tightly clasping these heaven-sent assurances, taking them as our staff and our shield, the light of our countenance, and the very joy of our hearts—we now go forth to our daily duties.
We humbly desire that our contracted hearts may be expanded by Your Spirit—to look beyond our own need, and to embrace in our sympathies, the whole family of mankind. Multitudes throng this earth into whom You have breathed the breath of life. But their souls are dead towards You. They bring no glory to Your great name. The song of heaven swells with no praises from their lips. They wrong You. They defraud You of the service and worship which are so justly due to You.
We are bold and earnest to bring their misery to You, the God of all tender compassion. We name them meekly, knowing that You, the God of the whole earth—are doing right. We know that You are all wisdom—while we by nature grope in blindness. But we trust it is of Your Spirit, that we feel pity for their forlorn and perishing state. Thus we beg You to snatch them as brands from the burning. Raise them to shine above the brightness of the stars, as gems in the mediatorial crown of Jesus!
Bless, O God of love, O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, all Your missionaries who leave our shores. Give life to all our efforts in behalf of heathendom. Prosper all our desires to advance the gospel-truth. Hear all our prayers for those who know You not. Accept these humble supplications and these poor praises. We present them in the all-prevailing name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Gracious Lord God, Your protecting wings have sheltered us during all the perils of this day. For such boundless mercy—we render our united praise. But while we praise, we chide our dull hearts—that they are not one flame of adoring love. We loathe ourselves for all our shortcomings. But no deficiency is more hateful to us than the poverty of our thanksgivings. If angels veil their faces when they stand before You—into what dust of shame should we sink low! But in faith of Your dear Son's most glorious work for us—we look forward to the days of heaven, when no languor shall oppress, no iniquities shall chill, no thoughts shall stray, no mists of unbelief shall dim our gaze. Our hearts throb for the time when zeal shall never tire. Oh! when shall we see You as You are—and offer the pure hallelujahs of perfect love.
How marvelous is Your loving-kindness, that Your faithful promises should spread such prospects before our longing eyes. We are called to regard heaven as our home forever. We feast on the grand words: "Father, I will that those whom You have given Me be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me. The glory which You gave Me, I have given them. So shall we ever be with the Lord."
We receive these bright assurances as the stay, the prop, the cheering comfort of our souls. The voyage seems sometimes long. The waves lift up overwhelming heads. The storms are fierce and pitiless. But Christ holds the helm. Your Word secures safe passage. The haven will be surely gained. Free grace bestows on us the mighty pledge. Therefore our vile unworthiness can never hinder. The worthy price of Your dear Son's blood—has bought these heavenly homes. No worth of ours is needed to fill the scales which hold His merits. We rejoice in the seal of Your Holy Spirit, the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession.
You have been with us this day. We know that when You begin a good work—You will perform it. None can stay Your hand, or pluck Your people from You. Repentance is hid from Your eyes. You hate 'divorce'. Therefore, without one fear, we trust You, that we shall be with You forever.
Grace prevents, and grace will follow. Not one link of the glorious chain of saving grace can ever fail. It is written, "Whom He did predestinate, them He also called, and whom He called, them He also justified, and whom He justified, them He also glorified." We read, we believe, we adore!
We cling to these promises—as the anchor of our sin-tossed souls. We rejoice, amid all our unworthiness, in hope of the glory of God. In humble confidence we now commend to You ourselves, and all belonging to us for the hours of approaching darkness. If it be Your blessed will to raise us again from our beds of slumber, may we diligently use the prolonged space to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Eschewing all earthly vanities, may we trim our lamps, and shine as lights in the world. May we live as kings and priests unto You, and to Your glory.
If we see future days, may every step cement us more closely to our beloved Lord Jesus, and render us more conformed to His image. Help us in all things to have a conscience void of offence towards You, and towards all men. May we ever grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We beseech You also to stand by the beds of those on whom death is now placing its icy hand. Oh! that they might be enabled each one to say: "Lord, now let You Your servant depart in peace—for my eyes have seen Your salvation!" May each dying whisper be: "Into Your hands I commend my spirit, for You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth!" May they die, as we hope to die, when our last hour shall come. Thus may the realms of light be peopled, and others in their place spring up to fight the good fight of faith, and to testify for You on earth. Pour down on us and all Your flock, all the blessings sealed to Your people in the everlasting covenant of grace. Hear us, bless us, for Christ's sake. Amen.
Almighty and eternal God, maker of all things, judge of all—Your covenant, that day and night shall not fail, abides unbroken. May we be thus reminded that Your better covenant of eternal love in Jesus Christ is unchangeableness and truth. In this glad confidence we come as a family this morning to commit ourselves to Your faithful care. We have no power of ourselves to help ourselves. There is no safety for us—but under the shelter of Your protecting wings. Spread their covert around us—so no evil can approach to hurt.
We shall be exposed this day to Satan's malice and attacks—may You by Your outstretched arm repel him. He will desire to have us, that he may sift us as wheat. Hear the prayer of Jesus in our behalf—that our faith fail not. Upheld by You—may we strengthen others.
We confess the treachery of our sin-sick hearts. They are ready to dally with our many foes—and are quick to give admittance. May You be pleased to bar fast the portals, and may Your blessed Spirit fortify their every inlet.
Our feet are set in slippery places. Hold up our goings in the everlasting way. May no fall, soil the white robes of our purity. May no backslidings cause dishonor to Your name. This day will bring us nearer to our heavenly home. May each moment witness our ripening for it.
We now go forth, ignorant of the circumstances which may demand attention. Grant that in every transaction our holy consistency may shine before men, and lead them to glorify our Father who is in heaven. May we be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves. May our peace flow as a river, and our righteousness as the waves of the sea. Let that mind be in us—which was in Christ Jesus. Preserve us holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. Especially solemnize our hearts. May we live circumspectly, abounding in holy meditation. Give us the skill to convert each circumstance into prayer. Thus may we be shielded against the surprise of unexpected evil.
We know not who may have interchange of thought with us. Grant that those who address us, may be channels of good. May we too minister good to them. Set a guard upon our mouths. Keep the door of our lips. May we bear in mind that eternal interests hang on life's little moments. Let our speech be always with grace. May others have cause to rejoice that they have been brought into contact with us. If we should have interaction with any who are thoughtless and ungodly, so bless our converse that it may win them to the paths of peace. Grant that they may see in us—that religion is a real treasure, enriching with most sacred joy, and ennobling with true nobility.
Especially make us kind and tenderhearted one towards another, bearing one another's burdens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ. Let gentleness and love be the halo round our path. Smooth every asperity of temper. May we never forget how easy it is to occasion grief, and to inflict rankling vexation. May we rather strive to bind up every wound, to pour oil into every bleeding heart, and to cause the sons of sorrow to change their mourning into gladness.
Thus may the world be the happier and the better, because we live. May our communications sow the good seed of grace all around. Send down the dew of Your blessing and the rays of Your Spirit, that every seed may yield fruit to Your glory. May our tents be always pitched beside the Redeemer's cross. Fix our loving gaze intently on His death and passion. Knowing the iniquity which cleaves to our best efforts and our holiest walk—may we be ever plunging into the fountain which is opened in His side. There may we wash and be clean. May our constant prayer be, "Purge us with hyssop—and we shall be clean! Wash us—and we shall be whiter than snow!" Help and defend us, until from praying ground—we pass to the realms of unceasing praise. We thus beseech You for Christ's sake. Amen.
Blessed Lord God, urged by our need, invited by Your promises, called by Your grace—as a family we enter in spirit into Your immediate presence. We worship You in humble reverence and godly fear. We are filled with awe when we contemplate Your majesty, Your greatness, Your holiness, Your glory. But we take courage, when we remember Your boundless love, Your immeasurable goodness. Each hour of the day now fled, brought tender mercies to our hearts and home. For known deliverances—we bless Your holy name. For unnumbered and unknown benefits—we bring the tribute of our fervent praise.
We feel that every moment records our deep debt in Your book of reckoning. We are all poverty—as well as guilt. We have nothing of our own with which to pay. But we are rich—for Jesus is ours, and we are His. We bring Him in the arms of our faith. We present Him as more than counterpoising all our iniquities. We rejoice in believing that the scales in our behalf weigh down, and that Your justice is more than satisfied.
May we this night and evermore be found in Him, not having our own righteousness, which we utterly abhor—but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of You, O God, by faith.
We humble ourselves for faculties misused, and many opportunities neglected. Grant, we beg You, that no harm may spring up from our unadvised words. Wherever our example has been amiss, may Your grace erase all mischievous impression. Let not any worthless seed, sowed inadvertently by our careless hands—take root, and bring forth bitter fruit. Pardon our vanity, our levity, our lack of watchfulness, our foolish walking, our inconsiderate ways.
May no evil result from fretful temper, unloving walk, or provoking pettishness in us. If by unkindness we have wounded any heart—may You pour in the balm of heavenly consolation. If we have turned coldly from need, and misery, and grief—do not in righteous anger turn from us. If we have withheld relief from poverty and pain, do not withhold Your gracious bounty from us. But by Your Spirit cause our hearts to be an overflowing ocean of tender love and godly compassion.
Give us without measure—that most excellent gift of love which suffers long and is kind, which envies not, which does not boast, which is not puffed up, which does not behave itself rudely, which seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity—but rejoices in the truth; which bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails.
Thus may we be imitators of You, our ever-loving God, whose name is Love. Thus may we shine as disciples of our adored Lord, who has left us His especial commandment, that we love one another. May the robe of love be our clothing, the reign of love be established in our hearts, and the law of love constrain our words and works.
Good Lord, many of Your servants are laboring to promote Your glory. Bless every word which has fallen from godly lips. Sanctify every visit to the cells of misery, and huts of poverty, and chambers of sickness, and abodes of suffering. Give power to those who are taking counsel to devise more extended schemes of benevolence. Fructify all efforts to send Your glorious gospel to the dark, the ignorant, the perishing, at home and abroad. Visit with mercy the heathen, the Jew, the infidel, the heretic, the formalist, and the idolater. If You but speak the word—what wondrous conversions will ensue! Earth waits for Your blessing. Bless it, O heavenly Father. Bless it, O gracious Jesus. Bless it, O Holy Spirit. Amen.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come—to You all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein. By Your Spirit, tune our hearts and souls to swell the hymn of adoration. Cherubin and Seraphin veil their faces while they worship You. Into what lowliness of shame should we poor sinners sink! We humble ourselves. But still in the name of Jesus—we venture to lift up our eyes. Hear us and bless us for His sake, with all enriching blessings. Sanctify the day, the threshold of which we are now permitted to cross.
We earnestly desire throughout its hours to manifest Your love. Give us power to show to all around, that we are not our own—but Your purchased heritage. May we never forget—that we are bought by the precious blood of the redeeming Lamb. Enable us to live unreservedly unto You. May we magnify Your name, sound aloud Your praise, and advance the kingdom of righteousness and true holiness. Invigorate us to bring forth abundant fruit worthy of our high calling—and Your marvelous goodness towards us.
Apart from Your dear Son, we are nothing, and can do nothing. Left to ourselves, our desires languish, our hearts relapse to deadness, our hands hang down, our efforts wither as a blighted blossom. But leave us not—we meekly pray.
Send to us unfailing support from Your holy place. Cement and intensify our oneness with our beloved Lord. The branch cannot bear fruit, except it abide in the vine. Neither can we, except we are engrafted in Him. May we more closely abide in Him. May our faith adhere to Him more immovably. May our love entwine itself around Him more tightly. May we be wholly one with Him. May He be wholly one with us. May His Spirit perfectly pervade us, and be intermixed with every fiber of our inner man. May every pulse of our hearts be Christ!
Interwoven with Christ, the true foundation, may we be built up as living stones, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable unto You by Him. Empower us thus to advance in all true godliness, until the top-stone of our salvation be brought forth with shouts of, "Grace to it, grace to it!"
We rejoice that we are very members of His mystical body. We adore Him as our glorious Head. Help us to grow up into Him in all things; from whom the whole body, fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Thus may we promote Your kingdom upon earth, and hasten the time when Your will shall reign unrivaled and supreme. We desire always to be occupied in some distinct object of spiritual concern. Make our feet joyful to seek the abodes of ignorance and vice, that we may be ministers of good. Pour upon our lips the fitting words of counsel and entreaty. May we be studious at every turn to sow the good seed of gospel-truth. Teach us—that we may teach others.
Give us patience, remembering Your marvelous forbearance. Your love to us has never wearied. Strengthen us that we may never weary in well-doing, knowing that in due season we shall reap—if we faint not.
Thus may we be followers of You, our most merciful Father, and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice unto You for a sweet-smelling savor. Grant us grace to draw water with joy, out of the wells of salvation. Established and refreshed, may we run with patience the race which is set before us, and abound in all those good works in which You have before ordained that we should walk. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit—hear us and bless us now and evermore. Amen.
O Lord God, O life of our lives, O Spirit of our spirits, O strength of our strength—You who have spread Your shield around our path this day, help us now, when night's shadows fall, to ascend to You on the wings of faith and prayer. We cannot thank You as we would. But for Jesus' sake, accept the praises which our poor lips bring.
We are indeed ashamed of all our doings and misdoings. With morning's light we offered ourselves to You. Good resolves were warm within us. We look back on the past hours, and we are conscious of broken vows, lack of true service, backsliding steps, and unfaithful words. Crowds of vain thoughts and worthless works accuse us. Enter not into judgment with Your faithless servants.
We confess our manifold shortcomings. For the sole merits of Your beloved Son, cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Cast our sins and our iniquities behind Your back. Bury them in the ocean of Jesus' blood.
O God of hope, all our hope is in You. Enliven our drooping souls with an increase of the most precious gift of hope. Let not our unsteady hearts be tossed about amid storms and billows of doubt and fear. Give us to grasp tightly the sure and steadfast anchor of unfailing hope.
We rest on Your exceeding great and precious promises. Teach us that though heaven and earth shall pass away, not one word of Your lips can ever fail.
We trust in Your boundless love. Reveal to us the unfathomable source from which it springs, and persuade us that it must flow unchanged, unchangeable forever, and forever. We know whom we have believed. Give us umvavering assurance that You will surely keep that which we have committed unto You, against the day of Christ.
When we loved You not—You began a good work in us. We do love You now—but, alas! too faintly. We have confidence that now You will carry on Your work with power. You are for us—who, then, can be against us? Our life is hid with Christ in You. You, who have given us unto Christ, are greater than all the powers and principalities of darkness. None can pluck us out of Your almighty hands!
Thus may we stand firm in the fight of faith. May we boldly lift up our heads, invulnerable in the helmet of the hope of salvation. In every conflict may we be more than conquerors, through the sure and certain hope of eternal life, which You the God of truth promised before the world began.
Teach us that You have not appointed us to wrath; but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Against all hope in ourselves, we glory in hope that the rock of our salvation is high as the heaven of heavens. We know that tribulations are ordained for our good. When they gather round us, grant that they may work patience, and patience experience.
By experience may that hope be strengthened which makes not ashamed. Thus may we live in hope, and work in hope, and sow in hope, and pray in hope, and die in hope, and be saved by hope.
Many are the relatives and friends for whom we earnestly implore all Your blessings. Impart to them everlasting consolation and good hope through grace. We pray for them. And, may You kindle in their hearts the fervent flame of prayer for us. Together may we wrestle for each other's good.
We commit ourselves—we commit them—we commit all the household of faith—we commit all the family of man to Your gracious care for this night. May we lie down without one unforgiving or evil passion rankling in our breasts. May we close our eyes in sleep, as if this earth should meet our eyes no more. But if we wake again as pilgrims here, may it be to walk before You as Your redeemed children. Give this—give more—for Jesus' sake. Amen.
O God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us miserable sinners. When the earth was without form and void, You moved upon the face of the waters. Then lovely order smiled, and beauty robed the world. Move, we beseech You, in our disordered hearts. Remove the deformities of unruly desire and hateful lusts. Chase away the mists and darkness of unbelief. Brighten our inner man with the pure light of truth. Sow abundantly the seeds of righteousness. Make our souls fragrant as the garden of the Lord. Enrich them with every godly fruit. Beautify them with heavenly grace. Cause them to reflect the rays of the Sun of righteousness.
We humbly put You in remembrance of Your gracious offices. Fulfill them all in us to Your great glory and our great joy. Be our comforter, our guide, our light, our sanctification. May we come behind in no grace, being filled with Your presence.
Especially take of the things of Christ, and show them with enlarged power to our longing souls. May we daily learn more of His love, His grace, His tender compassion, His faithfulness, His beauty. May we delight ourselves in Him with increased delight. Lead us to the cross, and show us in His wounds—the hateful character of sin. May we see our sins—as the nails which transfixed Him, the cords which bound Him, the sword which pierced Him, the thorns which tore Him, the taunts which stung Him. Help us to read in His cruel death—the reality and immensity of His love. Open to us the wondrous volumes of glorious truth in the cry, "It is finished!"
Increase our faith in the clear knowledge that atonement is forever achieved, and expiation completed, and our debt fully paid, and satisfaction infinitely made, and all our guilt washed away, and all our sins most righteously forgiven. Show us that our persons are redeemed, our souls saved, hell vanquished, the devil crushed, heaven won, and eternity of glory our rightful home.
Holy Spirit, deepen in us these saving lessons. Write them with Your finger on the tablets of our hearts. Thus may our profiting advance. May our walk be sin-loathing, sin-fleeing, Christ-loving, God-fearing. Enlighten our consciences to discern all latent evil. Allow no devices of the devil to beguile or to deceive.
Implant the most tender sensitiveness of conscience. May we shrink from all approach and contact of ungodliness. Store our minds with the texts and doctrines of our blessed Bibles. May we ably wield Your all-conquering sword. Then temptations shall assault in vain.
Especially we beg You to look upon a world lying in the wicked one. He is mighty—but You are almighty. Shatter his scepter. Scatter to the winds his usurped dominion. Speak Your resistless word—and he is cast into outer darkness forever!
It is Your will, by the foolishness of preaching, to save those who believe. Raise up then a noble army of devoted preachers. Let their hearts be all zeal, and their words all fire. Arm them with the panoply of truth.
Arise, and let God's enemies be scattered. Let those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away. As wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
Shine forth, good Lord, in every dark place of this groaning world. Let Your light shine, and darkness shall no more be dark. Let the prayers of Your faithful people give You no rest, until You arise to turn away ungodliness, and to establish the sweet reign of purity and peace. Hasten the time. Do it for Your tender mercy's sake. And to Your name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be honor and dominion, praise and power, now, henceforth, and forever. Amen.
Holy Lord God, give us grace to draw near to You acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. Grant that our frequent approach and constant welcome may not induce forgetfulness of Your infinite majesty. Deepen in our hearts—due awe of Your unsearchable greatness. By Your word all things were made. By Your power they are sustained. By Your providence they are ordered.
In Your sight, we are less than nothing. Before You, we lie low in dust and ashes as rebellious sinners. Give us, then, the meekest spirit of self-abasement. But raise our devotions from the deadening level of formality. May our prayers be ever the warm outpouring of our hearts. Appear before us as a Spirit, requiring those who worship You—to worship You in spirit and in truth. Fill us, too, with filial confidence. May we fear with love. May we love with fear.
May the Spirit of grace and supplication ever breathe in our earnest breathings. Strengthen us with lively assurance, that faithful prayer in Jesus' name grasps the arm of Your omnipotence, achieves wonders, obtains blessings, and never fails. Thus we believe that this our evening importunity will draw down streams of the most tender mercy. In this full hope, we beseech You to forgive us all the trespasses of the past day. We ask Your pardon; for without it we perish. We ask it with shame; for we are truly without excuse. We fail to watch. We restrain prayer. So iniquities, like the wind, carry us away.
Do not allow Your just displeasure to arise. Dash us not to pieces like a potter's vessel. Spare us, good Lord, for Your mercy is great. Spare us, for we are Your own children by the faith of Jesus. Spare us, for the atoning blood sprinkles us. Spare us, for Jesus' cross is our shelter, our refuge, and our plea! Spare us, for we close this day clinging to the horns of our sheltering altar.
Accept our adoring praises for Your precious mercies throughout the past hours. Unworthy as we are, we find that goodness and mercy always precede and follow us. In these gracious dealings we find a pledge that we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Strong in that blessed hope we now lie down to sleep. In night's dark hours—may You abide with us. We fear no perils if You are near.
We ask such renovating rest as You shall think most fitting for us. Above all, we earnestly implore that every power of mind and body, which You are pleased to give, may be a thank-offering to Your praise. We know it to be the misery of miseries, when faculties are misused as the instruments of sin. Save us by Your indwelling Spirit from such degrading sin.
May our beds ever remind us of our graves. May our uprising foreshadow the joys of resurrection. We glory in the truth, that Jesus died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we shall live together with Him.
Hear us for ourselves. Hear us for others also. It is our privilege that we may spread all need before Your throne. How multiform is the need of earth this night! We have knowledge of some suffering. We commend it to Your alleviating love. There is much unknown to us. But Your eye sees. Oh! may Your pity yearn pitifully over all distress!
We feel for those who are now retiring without prayer and praise. They are not pricked to the heart by sense of sin. They dread not the coming wrath. They are unmoved by the marvels of Your forbearance. May Your goodness lead them to repentance. May Your long-suffering be their salvation.
Some perhaps are this night meditating evil things. Hedge up their devious ways with thorns. Defeat their plots. Cause the tears of penitence to flow.
The devil is busy scattering temptations. Turn his foul weapons against himself. May the tempted escape as birds from the fowler's snare. Soothe the sufferings of the sick. Assuage their pains. Give them the comfort of Your presence—then all sorrow will be joy. Surround Your dying servants with the glories of heavenly light. May they depart in peace, rejoicing in Your salvation. Hear us for His sake who died and rose again for us, and ever lives at Your right hand—Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty Father, help us duly to prize, and devoutly to use, our privilege of access to You. Aid us not only in our united worship—but also in our closet duties. Here we confess common sins, and implore family blessings. There may we diligently try our spirits, and minutely examine our thoughts and lives. Give us faithful boldness carefully to sift our motives, and accurately to ascertain our progress in the life of godliness.
The knowledge of ourselves sinks us in the deepest abasement. How far are we from what we should be! How distant are we from the state of holiness, to which Your Spirit unresisted, would have raised us! But by Your grace—we are what we are. By Your long-suffering mercy—we are here this morning bewailing our miserable shortcomings, and washing in the blood which cleanses from all sin.
We confess, with contrite shame, that our thoughts are quick to wander from You, and to intermingle with the polluting pleasures of the world. Times without number we desert our first love. We forsake You to whom our hearts are pledged. We drink the poison of the sorcerer's cup.
We have not kept jealous watch over traitorous senses. We have left them unguarded, and almost inviting the admission of trains of unholy lusts. The door of our lips has opened readily to send forth words unfaithful to You our God, injurious to our fellow-men, empty of grace, full of folly, dishonoring to our heavenly calling. We turn with downcast eyes, from the contemplation of our walk before men. It has not been high, and holy, and harmless, and without rebuke. It has not been in accordance with the gospel principles of uprightness, justice, purity, and truth. Our light, instead of shining, has been dim. Our salt, instead of being purifying, has been unsavory. Our examples have not allured to Christian sanctity. Our progress has not always been onward, upward, heavenward, straightforward.
Sometimes we have been backsliders. Sometimes we have turned aside into bypaths. Instead of running with patience our appointed race—we have been loiterers, lingerers, taking ease on forbidden ground, looking back to once-loved scenes.
We mourn, too, that Your blessed Book, which You have given as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path—has been neglected and postponed for the frothy childishness of man's conceits. Too often it has been read with lack of reverence. We have not duly heeded Your own voice speaking from Your holy place. The treasure of treasures has been undervalued. We have trodden holy ground with careless feet.
Pity us, good Lord. Pardon us, O our God. We flee unto You, the Lord merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. You will not always chide, neither will You keep Your anger forever. We have full faith that through the precious and all atoning blood of Jesus, You will turn again and have compassion upon us, that You will subdue our iniquities, and cast all our sins into the depths of everlasting forgetfulness!
We now go forth to the duties of our vocation, zealous to amend our lives according to Your holy Word. Animate us to quicken our pilgrim-steps, to fight more manfully the fight of faith, and to adorn more faithfully Your heavenly doctrine.
Replenish with Your richest blessings all Your faithful servants. Strengthen them with might by Your Spirit in the inner man. May their godly walk bring glory to Your name. May this day witness mighty triumphs to the cross of Jesus. May Satan be compelled to release many captives. May many liberated feet tread down his deadly yoke.
Bless our beloved country. We commend to Your especial favor our Queen and all her house. May they be as high in heavenly pre-eminence as they are in earthly rank. May Christian virtue be the luster of the crown. Bless all who exercise authority. May they rule in You and for You. Bless our schools. May Your Spirit ever be the teacher in them. When we lie down in the grave, may our children arise to outshine us in far better service. May they make this land a name and a praise unto You throughout the world. We pray, we praise, pleading the love of Jesus, our Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
Heavenly Lord God, encouraged by the multitude of Your tender mercies, emboldened by experience of Your unfailing goodness, we hasten to Your throne of grace. When we look back, we see streams upon streams of Your love overflowing our past path. Out of nothing You have made us living souls. We adore You as the God of our creation. When, through our first parents' fall, we were afar from You—You sent Your only begotten Son to bring us back. We thank You for redeeming blood. When we were content to live and perish in the wilderness of the world—You by Your Spirit translated us from ignorance—to knowledge, from darkness—to marvelous light, from the abyss of misery—to the kingdom of righteousness and peace. Thanks be unto You, for our high and holy calling!
When we lacked wisdom—You have supplied it from the fountain of light. When we have erred and gone astray like lost sheep—You have recalled our wandering feet. If we have stood firm in the hour of temptation, it was Your arm which sustained us. If after grievous falls, we have arisen again in penitence and prayer—we owe it to Your restoring grace.
We thank You for the ministry of angels, not less real because unseen. We thank You for the precious comfort of Your holy Word. We thank You for the bright cluster of Your cheering promises. We thank You for the ordinances of Your service. We thank You for the teaching of Your Spirit. We thank You for the dear fellowship of Christian friends. We thank You for the recorded annals of holy lives. We thank You for examples sweet to allure—and for beacons sad to deter.
In all these provisions, we see Your gracious will that we should grow in grace, and fit for Your eternal presence. Your preserving mercy gives assurance that it will follow us to the end. The gracious beginning is a pledge of glorious conclusion. Our heaven-born faith—gives promise that it will lead to heavenly sight. Our new birth of incorruptible seed—is pledge of never-ending life.
We thus draw near unto You—believing that You will draw near to us. When we asked not, You have given heaven's best gift, even Your only begotten Son. We doubt not that with Him, in answer to our cries, You will also freely give us all things.
In the comfort of these thoughts, in the joy of these hopes, in the strength of this gladness, we bless and adore You, O eternal God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Now we entrust ourselves to You for the hours of this night. May we prolong our days, if it be Your gracious will. But if our earthly service is now ended, receive us to a heavenly home. We know that Your wise orderings are our best welfare. We would have nothing but in accordance with the counsels of Your grace. May our being now and ever be in You, and for You, and with You.
Blessed Jesus, You who have loved us, and given Yourself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor; perfume our humble breathings. Present them worthy in Your prevailing worthiness.
Heavenly Father, Your tender mercies are over all Your works. Is it not well-pleasing to You, that we should name others at Your throne? Hear us then in behalf of all who are now draining the cup of sorrow. Many widows now feel their loneliness. So fill their hearts that no aching void may crave. May they feel that, with You for their God, they have more than all. Orphan children are without the parental shield. Under the shadow of Your wings may they find safety. Be their portion for time and for eternity.
Visit this night the many hospitals in which pain and disease keep watch. Wipe weeping eyes. Assuage the sufferings of afflicted bodies. Reveal to the anguish-stricken, the blessed Jesus, who has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Give them, without one repining thought, to leave themselves in Your blessed and blessing hands.
Be with those who are traveling by land and by water. Teach them that there is no peril when You are near, and that there is no place which Your presence fills not.
Especially be gracious to the beloved friends who are one with us in kindred and affection. May grace cement all our hearts to You, and in You to each other. May we be one now and one forever. Make us fellow-helpers to each other's faith, and partners of each other's holy joys. Pardon all our sins. And save us with Your everlasting salvation, according to Your covenant of grace in Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Holy Father, merciful and gracious, give us Your holy Spirit to help our infirmities in prayer. The worthiness of Your Son is our only plea. But that plea is instant access to Your heart.
Jesus, be the fragrance of our morning sacrifice. Manifest Yourself unto us in this service. Bring us into the sanctuary of Your immediate presence. May Your banner over us be love. Mightily enlarge our faith, that we may fully know the glories of Your grace, and all the wonders of Your redeeming work.
We know that, while we run the way of Your commandments, Your doctrines will become more clear. Strengthen us, then, to obey that we may know, and to know that we may obey. May light prevent, attend, and follow us. May every ray which shines upon us be reflected by us.
We thank You for all the ordinances by which You instruct and feed Your people. Make them spirit and life unto our souls. We have lost much by sad neglect. Let no provocations induce You to shut up Your loving-kindness in displeasure. If You are angry, the fruitful pastures of Your ordained means will become a wilderness and desert to us. If You cease to smile, the heavens will withhold their fructifying dew, and no more drop down their fatness.
Help us to give due heed to Your preached Word, lest faithful pastors be removed, and Your Spirit refuse to teach us.
Excite us to use duly Your throne of grace both publicly and in private. May prayer never become in us formality. May not the door remain closed because we feebly knock. Especially replenish us with overflowing grace when we receive the memorials of Your broken body and Your outpoured blood. Solemnize and gladden us. Humble us in reverential awe. Exalt us in adoring faith. Reveal Yourself to us—as tasting the accursed death in our stead. Open our eyes to behold You hanging for us on the accursed tree. May we see our death in Your death, and our reconciliation through Your blood. Invigorate and comfort our souls by the spiritual meal. May they be strengthened even as our bodies receive strength from bread and wine. Increase our holy trust, that those who thus communicate in remembrance of Your dying love, shall never be the prey of Satan, the devouring lion.
Keep us from all superstition in the use of sacred rites. May outward means of grace, ever unveil You. May they never obscure You. May we worship and adore You in the simplicity of truth, and sincerity of faith. Clothe us with the garments of purity and true holiness. So may we be fit guests at the heavenly table. Let love be our robe, and deep humility our befitting clothing. Thus nourish us to life eternal.
Pity those who have no part or lot in our chief joys. Yet there is room. May Your Spirit call. And may he never cease to work, until penitence and faith subdue the hearts now closed to You.
Go with us, holy Father, to the duties of this day. Whatever is our station or our work, may we rejoice to be where You have placed us, and to do what You are pleased to command. We know that the period of our being, our assigned employment, the companions who are by our side, the people with whom we have converse, are all pre-arranged in accordance with Your counsels. We believe that You order all our matters so as to enable us most to advance the interests of Your kingdom and our souls. Enable us humbly to walk in Your paths, and never to seek our own honor—but Yours alone.
We bewail that we have been such unfaithful and unprofitable servants. We plead the precious blood for pardon of all that is past. We trust in Christ's glorious righteousness as the covering of all our shortcomings. We pray for the perpetual aid of Your Spirit, that no future moment may be misspent.
For Your tender love's sake grant that at last we may each receive the welcome, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!" We bless You that we may thus boldly supplicate. We bless You for Your promises to answer. We bless You that You are far more willing to hear—than we to pray. Be it unto us according to Your might to save. And to You be all the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit—have mercy upon us miserable sinners. O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, O Lord God, Son of the Father, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. You who take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. You who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. You who sit at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. By Your agony and bloody sweat, by Your cross and passion, by Your precious death and burial, by Your glorious resurrection and ascension, and by the coming of the Holy Spirit—have mercy upon us!
Pardon all the sins of this day and of this week, all the sins of all the hours of our lives; our sins of early, mature, and advanced years; our sins of omission and commission; our sins against light and knowledge, and the whispers of conscience and restraints of Your Holy Spirit. Good Lord—hear and save us!
Pardon our sins in private and in the family, and in the busy haunts of men; our sins of lip and life and walk; our sins in the study of Your blessed Word and in the neglect of it; our sins in prayer irreverently offered and coldly withheld. Good Lord hear and save us!
Pardon our sins against our God, our neighbor, and ourselves; our sins in time misspent; our sins in yielding to the tempter's wiles, in opening our hearts to his admission, in being unwatchful when we knew him to be near. Good Lord, hear and save us!
Pardon our sins in vexing Your Holy Spirit, in quenching the heavenly sparks of His grace, in resisting His loving motions; our sins of hardness of heart, of unbelief, of presumption, and of pride; our sins of unfaithfulness to the souls of men, of lack of bold decision in the cause of Christ, and deficiency of outspoken zeal for His glory. Good Lord deliver, hear, and save us!
Pardon our sins of deception, injustice, untruthfulness in our dealings with others; our sins of bringing dishonor on the great name by which we are called; our sins of substance unduly hoarded, improvidently squandered, and not consecrated to the glory of the great Giver; our sins of covetousness, which is idolatry in Your sight; our sins of impurity in thought and word; our sins of light and trifling reading; our sins in study and in recreation; our sins of morose and peevish and angry tempers; our sins against the pure law of universal love. Pardon all our sins, known and unknown, felt and unfelt, confessed or not confessed, remembered or forgotten. Good Lord hear and save us!
As a family on bended knees, with earnest cry, in full faith in Your atoning blood, we implore these mercies. We call upon You by Your name Jesus, which tells us that Your property is to save; by Your love without beginning and without end; by Your assurance that salvation's work is finished; by Your gracious call to the weary and heavy-laden; by Your blessed promise that You will never cast out; by all You are, by all that You have done for us, by all that You are doing, by all the glory yet to be revealed—we beseech You to pardon, bless, and save us!
But limit not Your mercy unto us. In gracious condescension to our united supplication, may blessings without measure flow down upon earth's sons. Hear us for our Queen, and for all who sit on thrones, for all their families, for all their subjects. Give needful grace, that they who rule may rule for You, and they who obey may obey in You.
Hear us for all pastors of Your Church. Work in them, work by them, that Your gospel may be known, Your name glorified, Your people gathered in, and edified and saved.
Especially go forth with the missionaries who seek Your redeemed people scattered throughout the world. Pity the outcasts of heathen lands. Dispel all darkness by the bright rising of Your gospel light.
Be with all who are any ways afflicted in mind, body, or estate. May the dying depart in peace, in full comfort of Your full salvation. May the living live unto You, always ready to depart. Retire with us now to our private devotions. May we lie down in perfect peace—clasping the redeeming cross, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. And all glory be to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the God of our salvation, now and ever. Amen.