BY John MacDuff, 1885
Almighty God, we desire to approach Your sacred presence, thanking You that You have permitted us to see the light of another day. This is the day which You have made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Draw near to us, as we draw near to You. Inspirer of all good thoughts, pre-occupy our hearts with Yourself. May we walk in the light of Your countenance. Your favor is life. Nothing but the possession of Your infinite love can satisfy the longings of our souls. Whom have we in heaven, O God, but You? and there is none upon earth we would desire besides You.
We acknowledge our unworthiness; the depravity and corruption of our nature; the sins and shortcomings of our practice. We have to mourn over unrequited kindness, resisted warnings, unimproved providences, neglected privileges. For the sake of Jesus Christ, the Son of Your love—have mercy upon us miserable offenders! We bring our guilt to the Great Atoning sacrifice. We bring the burden of daily transgression to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. In Him, receive us graciously and love us freely. Hidden in the clefts of the smitten Rock, may it be ours to take up the song of the pardoned, "O Lord, we will praise You; though You were angry with us, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort us! Behold, God is our salvation—we will trust, and not be afraid—for the Lord Jehovah is our strength and our song, He also is become our salvation."
Lord, subdue within us whatever is inconsistent with Your mind and will. Put a sanctified restraint on our thoughts; repress all vain imaginations; crucify every remaining sin. May our hearts become holy temples, and our lives living sacrifices. Let eternity exercise a more commanding influence over us, and true religion become more "the one thing needful." May we grow in meek and childlike submission to our Heavenly Father's will. Breathing a perpetual heavenly-spirit on earth, may we be fitted for that rest which shall never be broken, which awaits Your people in the Kingdom of the Redeemed.
We pray for those who are this day to minister to us in the sanctuary. Give them an unction from the Holy Spirit. May every impression of Your Holy Word be rendered permanent and saving. May we be in the Spirit on Your day, and enabled to pitch our tents near the gate of Heaven. Bless any who may be prevented waiting along with us in the courts of Zion. May those who tarry at home divide the spoil; and know that You are not confined to temples made with hands. Bless us as a family and household. As we are knit together in earthly ties; unite us in the better bonds of the everlasting covenant. Make us partakers of the resurrection-life of Your people; that, though death may sooner or later separate us here, we may meet at last where separation is unknown. We commend all belonging to us to Your sovereign care. May the pillar of Your presence go continually before us.
We pray for the poor, the afflicted, the bereaved, and the dying. O Comforter of all who are cast down—heal their sorrows, bind up their wounds. To the friendless—prove a Friend. In the multitude of their thoughts within them, may Your comforts delight their souls. Hear us, gracious God, for the sake of Him whom You hear always, and in whose most precious name and words we pray.
Heavenly Father, we desire to close Your holy Sabbath, looking up to You for a blessing. You have been as a pillar of cloud before us this day. You have again spread for us a table in the wilderness. We have again seen Your glory, as we have seen You hitherto in Your Temple. As the shadows of night are falling around us, do the "Sun of our Souls," be near us—dispersing the darkness of sin, and giving us the inner sunshine of Your presence and love. We entreat You graciously to forgive the many sins that have mingled in our efforts to serve You. If we were to be judged by our holiest seasons, how would we stand condemned! Look not on us as we are in ourselves; but behold our shield—look on the face of Your Anointed. We would cleave to Him as our only Savior.
Enable us to testify the reality of our faith, by bringing forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. May Your love reign paramount within us—may there be no competing affection. May we seek to show by our pure lives and consistent walk, that we have been imbibing the Savior's spirit. Take these unworthy, erring hearts; sanctify and seal them for Yourself; make them Yours—Yours only, and Yours wholly, and Yours forever. Clothe us with the armor of righteousness; enable us to exercise a holy jealousy over ourselves, lest things temporal should tend to exclude things eternal. May it be our great aim to be progressing in the Divine life. Let us ever hear Your voice saying, "Arise, and depart—for this is not your rest—it is polluted!" May our habitual response be, "We desire a better country—that is a Heavenly one."
We pray for a world lying in wickedness. How long shall the wicked—how long shall the wicked triumph? Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance, feed them also, and lift them up forever. Bless abundantly the preaching of Your holy word. Glorify Yourself in the salvation of sinners. May the hands of Your ministering servants be made strong by the arms of the mighty God of Jacob. May bows, this day, drawn at a venture, have carried the arrow of conviction or of comfort to many hearts.
We entreat You to take under Your protection all our beloved friends. It is our privilege to bring them in prayer to the mercy-seat. Though unable to meet within the same sanctuary, it is our comfort to know that no distance can estrange from You—that You can, at one and the same moment, be present within every gate of Zion and every dwelling of Jacob. We commend both present and absent ones to the gracious Shepherd of Israel. Be to them as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Draw near to the sons and daughters of sorrow. Give them everlasting consolation and good hope, through grace. Let them bow to Your will. Let them see no hand in their trials but Yours; saying, in lowly submissiveness—The Lord gave, and the Lord has a sovereign right to take away.
We thank You for Your many mercies still vouchsafed to us. Watch over us during this night. Grant us the sleep of Your beloved; and when we awake, may we still be with You. And all that we ask is in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Savior; to whom, with You, the Father, and You, O Eternal Spirit, one God, be ascribed all blessing, and honor, and glory, and praise, world without end. Amen.
O Lord, we desire to draw near into Your gracious presence, in the name of Him whom You hear always, and in whom You are ever well pleased. Give us grace to approach You, under a deep sense of our unworthiness. We have nothing to plead in extenuation of our guilt. We have sinned against light and privilege, warning and mercy. We mourn our deep-rooted depravity, our constant proneness to depart from You, the feebleness of our faith, the coldness of our love, the imperfection of our best services, the mingled motives in our holiest duties. We come anew, casting ourselves on the infinite fullness of our adorable Redeemer. In Him is all our hope. Give us, out of His inexhaustible treasury, grace upon grace. Transform us into His image. May we seek to walk in His footsteps, and to copy His example; bearing continually about with us the dying of the Lord Jesus, may the life also of Jesus be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
O God, let it be our constant aim and endeavor to know what Your will is; and may we have strength given us to obey it. May we cheerfully submit to whatever You see fit to appoint. May we murmur at nothing that brings us nearer You. Conscious of the supreme enthronement of Your love in our hearts, may we be enabled to avow, "Lord, You know all things, You know that we love You." Loving You supremely, take what You will away—we must be happy.
God of Bethel, dwell in this household; make every member of it a member of the household of faith. Bless all our friends. Those who are absent—Lord be near them. Those that are in distress—Lord comfort them. Those that know You not—Lord reveal Yourself unto them. Those that are Your children—increase their devotedness.
Prosper Your cause and kingdom everywhere. Let Satan's kingdom be destroyed, and the kingdom of grace advanced—the kingdom of glory hastened. Give to each of us this day Your gracious benediction; and when our days on earth are finished, may it be ours to spend the years of Eternity in the full vision and fruition of You, our God, through Jesus Christ our only Lord and Savior. Amen.
O God Almighty, who has mercifully shielded us during another day, we desire, before we retire to rest, to commit ourselves, soul and body—to You in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. Glory be to our God for all the blessings of the light; and now that the curtain of evening is again drawn around us—keep us beneath the shadow of Your wings. It is You, Lord, alone—who makes us to dwell in safety. We acknowledge You as our daily Benefactor and Guardian. Yours is the air we breathe, the food we eat, the raiment with which we are clothed. But far above all Your other gifts, we bless You for Jesus, the Son of Your love. He is our only Savior. We would exult anew, in the assurance, that His blood cleanses from all sin; and that He is able to save to the uttermost. We rejoice to think that He is at this moment pleading in behalf of His people—the wonderful Counselor, the Prince who has power with God, and must at all times prevail.
May we be clothed with His spirit, as well as with His righteousness. Make us like Him, patient and meek, thankful and forgiving. Take away all pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy—all absorbing love of the world. Set our affections on things above; and enable us to pass through temporal things, so that finally we lose not the things that are eternal. May we seek to be zealous in the performance of our relative duties. Let us feel that whatever talents You have given us, are trusts to be laid out for Your glory, and to promote the well-being of those around us. Whatever our hand finds to do, may we do it with our might. Visit Your church—the vineyard which Your own right hand has planted. May grace, and mercy, and peace be upon the Israel of God. Bless our own household; may every heart within it be given unto You. Let none of us leave for a dying hour, what may be best done, and it may be, only done—now. May all our friends at a distance enjoy the friendship of an ever-present God. Guard them, guide them, provide for them. May we walk together the same Zionward path; and at last have an abundant entrance ministered into that better land, where You shall rest in Your love, and rejoice over Your people with singing. Hear us, for the sake of Your dear Son, our only Lord and Savior
O Lord, You are from everlasting to everlasting, God. You inhabit the praises of eternity. Your glories no time can impair. Your mercy endures forever. Who shall not fear You and glorify Your name—for You only are holy! We bless You for the Son of Your love. We rejoice that for every sinner casting himself on His fullness and sufficiency there is a gracious welcome. Reposing on His completed work, we can triumphantly say, 'Return unto Your rest, O our souls, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with us.' O God, enable us to enter into this rest. Forbid that we should delay availing ourselves of Your offered mercy. May every other question be subordinated to this, "What must we do to be saved?" May we know that Jesus is in every respect, the Savior we need. Let us experience the blessedness of living with Him in holy fellowship, upon Him with unfaltering dependence, and to Him in undivided consecration of soul and body. Enable us to search out the plague of our own hearts. Laying aside every weight, and the sin which most easily besets us, may we run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus. May whatever pleases Him please us. May we find all our happiness in inquiring what the will of the Lord is. And knowing it, let us joyfully pursue our heavenward way.
While thankfully employing the manifold gifts of Your bounty, O God, keep us from the abuse of any, by allowing them to supplant the Giver. May they be hallowed and sanctified to us by connecting them with Yourself—the Source and Bestower of all!
Bless all in sorrow. Descend, Lord, to heal their wounds. May they bow with unrepining submission to Your will, and say, 'It is good for us that we have been so afflicted!' May those laid on beds of languishing, manifest patience under bodily pain and infirmity, glorifying You in the furnace-fires. May useful lives be spared, and the dying be prepared for death. Hasten the promised times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. May Jesus take to Himself His great power and reign. Let the day soon come, when He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth, when all kings shall fall down before Him, and all nations shall serve Him. Restrain human passion. Scatter the people who delight in war. Give peace in our time, O God, for there is none other that fights for us, but You alone, O God.
Bless this family and household: may we all know the happiness of the Shepherd's fold. May the lambs of the flock be gathered in His arms and carried in His bosom. Take us this day under your peculiar care. May the Lord bless us and keep us. May the Lord cause His face to shine on us. May the Lord be gracious unto us and give us peace, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
O God, we come into Your blessed presence this evening, anew to thank You for the unmerited tokens of Your love and mercy. On You we are dependent for all the temporal bounties of our lot, and for all our higher and more enduring spiritual privileges. If we have been enabled this day to resist temptation, and to fight against sin, it is Your grace which has enabled us to do so. We are weak and helpless. Our hearts are ever dealing treacherously both with ourselves and You. The good that we would do—that we don't do. And the evil that we would not do—that we do. Nothing else but the merits of our blessed Redeemer can save us. We take refuge in the fullness of His grace—in the completeness of His finished work. Our souls would magnify the Lord, our spirits would rejoice in God our Savior; for He who is mighty has done great things for us—holy is His name.
And while we look by simple faith to His atonement, as the alone ground of our justification, we would look to The Holy Spirit to work in us all the good pleasure of His goodness. May He mold us after the Savior's image, and conform us to His will—enabling us to live under the sovereignty of that lofty motive, to walk and act so as to please Jesus. Lord, give us supreme love to You; fervent charity to all men; faithfulness to whatever trust Your Providence has confided to us. May we seek to live, as we would wish we had been living, when we come to a dying hour.
Have mercy on the sons and daughters of sorrow. Let them own Your hand in all their troubles; let them rest in Your love. Let them rejoice in Him who is the Brother born for adversity; and if they see not the bright light in the cloud, may they trust Your own promise, "At evening time, it shall be light."
Promote Your cause and kingdom in the world. Pour out upon Your ministers, and missionaries, and churches, Your health-giving grace. May the time soon come when all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God. Bless our own immediate dwelling, and the circle who are nearest and dearest to us. May the peace of God, which passes understanding, keep their hearts. Number them with Your saints in everlasting glory. Be with us throughout this night. May our bodies be refreshed with sleep; and may we awake to the duties of a new day with our minds stayed on You. And unto Your great name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we ascribe blessing, and honor, and glory, and praise, now and forever. Amen.
O God, You are great, and greatly to be praised. Your greatness is unsearchable. You are the God of our life, and the length of of our days. You appoint all our lot—and settle the bounds of our habitation. The Lord reigns! Nothing befalls us but what is the dictate of infinite wisdom and everlasting love! How unvarying has been Your kindness. We have to tell of mercy upon mercy; and there are no small mercies with You. All Your mercies are great, for the least of them are undeserved.
We thank You especially for that mercy which transcends all others in magnitude—we bless You for a full and everlasting salvation in Jesus. May we be justified freely by His grace. May He be formed within each of us, as the hope of glory. May we be enabled, with some good measure of triumphant confidence, to say—We know whom we have trusted, and we are persuaded that He is able to keep that which we have committed to Him against the Great Day.
Anew this morning, as your Redeemed children, we would present our souls and bodies as living sacrifices to You. May we feel this to be a reasonable service. May all that is displeasing to You be disowned. May new-born spiritual principles ripen into holy tastes and permanent habits. May we add to our faith, virtue, and knowledge, and temperance, and patience, and godliness, and brotherly kindness, and charity. May all anger, and wrath, and malice, and evil speaking be put away from us—as we remember Him who was meek and lowly in heart—who when He suffered He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.
Lord, be our covenant God. Your presence hallows all joy, sweetens all sorrow, and takes the sting from every thorn and every cross. If we have Your favor and blessing, we are independent of every other. Our heart and flesh may fail, but You are the strength of our heart and our portion forever. We pray for the afflicted. Be a father to the fatherless—a husband to the widow—the stranger's shield—and the orphan's stay. Let every heavy-laden one know that it is Your gracious hand that appoints every burden. Give us all grace to be resigned to Your will. May this be the only breathing of our hearts, "Father, glorify Your name!"
Sanctify our home. May our children rise up and call You blessed! Pour Your rich grace early into their hearts; may they be led to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. May this be esteemed their highest privilege—that they are the children of their Father in Heaven. Hasten, Lord, Your kingdom. Bring in Your ancient people with the fullness of the Gentile nations. Prosper the labors of Your missionary servants; may the Lord stand by them and strengthen them. May they not be afraid of evil tidings; may their hearts be fixed, trusting in You. May each of us feel that in our several spheres, we have some work to perform for You. Let the solemn word of warning be ever sounding in our ears, "The night comes when none of us can work." Oh, may we be diligent, that we may at last be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and all that we ask is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
O God, we desire to come into Your presence on this the close of another day. We beseech You to fill our souls with some befitting conceptions of Your greatness—Your divine majesty and glory. What mercy it is in You to bend Your ear to our feeble lispings of praise, and to listen to the pleadings of such unthankful and unholy hearts. We could not have ventured to approach Your footstool, but for Your great love to us in Christ Jesus. Through Him alone it is, that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts are rendered acceptable in Your sight! In Him we are pardoned, justified, adopted, saved! In Him we are kept, sanctified, sealed. In Him we shall at last be presented without fault before Your throne. Blessed Savior, we may well entrust our eternal all to Your keeping. Our needs are numberless, but Your help is infinite! You are waiting to dispense needed grace, and for every time of need. Lord, we feel that we require grace for everything; there is not the hour or moment we can live independent of You. Carry on Your own work within us. Hold us up—and then alone we shall be safe.
May the fruits of righteousness abound in us. Purge us, that we may bring forth more fruit. Forbid that we should be content to remain sapless, unproductive cumberers, occupying ground in Your vineyard, but yielding no revenue of glory to You. This is Your will concerning each of us—even our sanctification. Oh! You who search Jerusalem with candles—search our hearts; see if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in the everlasting way. Lead us not in our own way. Often would we choose what would be detrimental to our best interests. You choose for us. Let us rejoice in You as a rich Provider, and an all-wise Provider; who will give us nothing, and deny us nothing, but what is for our good.
We commend to Your protection all near and dear to us this night. Keep them, gracious Father, under the shadow of Your wings; bless them and make them blessings. May they never lose sight of the chief end of their being—to glorify You on earth, and to enjoy You forever in Heaven. Bless our own family. We thank You for all Your great goodness in the past. The Lord has been mindful of us, and He will bless us. Do good in Your good pleasure unto Zion. Build up the walls of Jerusalem. May every branch of Your Church be blessed with tokens of Your favor. Revive Your work, O God, in the midst of the years.
Take the charge of all of us this night. It is You who
give Your beloved sleep. It is You, Lord, who alone makes us to dwell in
safety. Spare us, if it be Your will, to see the light, and to enjoy the
comforts of another day. And all this, we ask is for the Redeemer's sake.
Most Blessed God, You have again permitted us to see the beginning of another day. We desire to accept every new morning as a fresh gift of Your love. We are the constant beggars on Your bounty. If Your sustaining arm be withdrawn—we instantly perish.
We are unworthy to come into Your presence. There is nothing so amazing as Your condescension towards us. You might righteously leave us to perish in our sins, and make us the monuments of Your wrath. But in the midst of 'deserved wrath' we have received Your 'unmerited mercy'. We come to You through the new and living way of access. We cast ourselves on the full, free, and everlasting salvation of our adorable Redeemer. Our souls would magnify the Lord. Our spirits would rejoice in God our Savior, for He who is mighty has done great things for us. Holy is His name. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up for us an horn of salvation in the house of His servant David.
May each of us have a personal and a saving interest in all those covenant blessings which He died to purchase, and which He lives to bestow. May we take Jesus as ours alone—ours wholly—ours for every step Zionwards—ours until we reach the gates of glory—yes, ours forever and ever!
We are grateful to You, O God, for all Your goodness to us in the past, we desire to commit ourselves to Your guidance for the future. It is our blessed consolation that no good thing will You withhold from those who walk uprightly. We will hear Your voice behind us saying, "Fear not, for I am with you! Be still; and know that I am God."
Lord, impress us with a sense of the value of time. May we seek to make the most of the present fleeting hours. Let us live under the power of holy principles; that so, when called to give an account of our stewardship, we may do so with joy and not with grief.
Bless all near and dear to us. Our friends we commend to Your friendship. Let not one of them be found lacking on the Great Day. May the Eternal God be their refuge, and underneath them the Everlasting Arms. Sympathize with those in sorrow. May all Your poor afflicted ones take refuge in the assurance that You are the God of Providence; that whatever befalls them is Your doing; and that the sunshine of Your countenance can make up for every loss.
Spare useful and valued lives. Unto the Lord our God belong the life and death. Sanctify us now before You, in body, soul, and spirit: seal us unto the day of eternal redemption. We ask these, and all other blessings, for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your only Son, our Savior, to whom, with You the Father, and You, ever blessed Spirit—be ascribed all praise and honor and glory, now and ever. Amen.
O God, we desire to come into Your blessed presence, thanking and praising You for the renewed experiences we have enjoyed of Your faithfulness and love. Another day of mercy and grace has been added to those which have preceded it. We rejoice to look back on the way by which You have hitherto led us; protecting us from danger, supporting us in trouble, disappointing our fears, and realizing our hopes. We bless You for our place in life, for our preservation, for all the blessings of this life. But above all, for Your inestimable gift—Jesus, the Son of Your love. Enable us this evening, like the believing suppliant of old, to touch by faith the hem of His garment, and to receive the benediction, "Your sins are forgiven—go in peace."
We would seek to draw fresh supplies from the fountain of His grace; knowing that He is equal for all exigencies; and that there is a fullness in Him to meet all our needs, and minister to all necessities. It is our desire, blessed God, to lie passive in Your hands. Whether prosperity or adversity be ours, whether You chasten us or gladden us—oh bring us nearer Yourself.
Save us from the bitterest of all trials—the removal of Your love—the loss of Your favor. Strengthen us for duty; guard us from temptation; and enable us so to pass through things temporal—that finally we lose not the things that are eternal. When we cannot understand Your dealings, may faith repose in Your unchanging faithfulness. May we feel assured that all things are working together for our good; and that what is mystery here—will be unfolded and unraveled hereafter. Now, we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Meanwhile, may we walk less by sight and more by faith. May we live under the powers of a world to come—and be looking for that blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of the Great God our Savior.
Take each and all of our family under Your special guardianship. You are better than the best of earthly parents—be the guide and protector of our children. May they be the children of the living God. May their hearts be early given to You; and by holy and obedient lives, may they glorify their Father in Heaven. We pray for Your cause and kingdom everywhere. Give Your Son the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. May He take to Himself His great power, and reign. May there soon be voices heard saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the one Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
Lord, all our desires are before You; all our hope is in
Your mercy; all our happiness is in Your favor. Abide with us, for it is
toward evening, and the day is far spent; and when our evenings and mornings
shall merge into everlasting day—be still our All in all; for the sake of
Jesus Christ, Your only Son, our Savior. Amen.
O Lord, we adore You as God over all, blessed for evermore. You are the former of our bodies and the Father of our spirits—the God in whom we live, and move, and have our being. All that we are, and all that we have, is derived from You. There is nothing we possess that we have not received from You. Oh give us grateful hearts; feeling that the least blessing we enjoy, is unmerited on our part, and a gift of free grace on Yours.
We come anew, glorying in the work and merits of our adorable Surety. In Him, You are waiting to be gracious, not willing that any should perish. May the unwavering eye of faith be kept, Blessed Savior, on You, and on Your completed salvation. We have nothing to pay, You have paid all. We have nothing to procure, You have procured all; everlasting forgiveness, everlasting righteousness, union and communion with You now and evermore. To You we look for everything. Save us from every false confidence. Elevate our affections: purify our desires: make us more heavenly minded. Let us, while living in the world, live above it. Let Your Spirit be our teacher; let Your Word be our guide; let Your Will be our sovereign motive; let Your glory be our ultimate end. May we make true religion more the one thing needful. Let us not remain content with an indefinite hope of final safety.
As pilgrims and strangers on the earth, may we declare plainly that we seek a better country. Give us a beneficial sense of the uncertainty of life. May we feel that the great secret of existence is to be in habitual preparedness for a dying hour. We know not what may be before us. Oh to be living so, that the step between us and death—may be a step between us and glory. Bless all connected with us by whatever tie. May we be able to love all our friends in You. May there be bonds uniting us together which will survive the uncertain ones of earth. We commend to Your special care those who are absent. May an ever-present God be with them. Guide them by Your grace; defend them from temptation; fit them, by the beneficial dealings of Your providence, for the varied duties of the present life, and for the joys of Your Heavenly Kingdom.
Bless the lambs of Your flock. We commend them to the Great Shepherd of the sheep, beseeching Him to bring them early to His fold, and to make them perfect to do His will. We put ourselves, blessed God, into Your hands. May all our doings this day, begun, carried on, and ended in You, redound, through Jesus, to Your praise and glory. And all we ask is for His sake. Amen.
O Lord our God, we desire to bow this night at the footstool of Your Throne, adoring You for all Your great goodness. What are we—that we should be permitted to come into Your presence, or take Your thrice blessed name into our sinful and polluted lips? You have not dealt with us after our sins, but according to Your rich and undeserved mercy. You are the Author of our being, and the source of all that makes existence joyous and happy; Your favor alone is life. Bereft of You, we are bereft indeed.
Enable us to feel our sins—to have a deep and heartfelt consciousness of their heinousness in Your sight. We are apt to cloak and mask them; we are reluctant to make a frank and unreserved confession of them all. Lord, give us grace, in true penitence and contrition of heart, to cast ourselves, unworthy, on the infinite worthiness of Him who is all-worthy. For His sake, receive us graciously—love us freely. We rejoice to meditate on the love which He had for us from all eternity. We rejoice to think that it is the same at this hour that it was then—unchanging, everlasting.
O great Angel of the covenant, accept of these our unworthy petitions: perfume them with the incense cloud which ascends continually from Your hand. Sanctify us, body, soul, and spirit. Make us altogether what You would have us to be. Let us be willing, if need be, to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow You. May we be among the number of those who follow the Great Captain of their Salvation wherever He sees fit to guide them. Strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, may we go on our way rejoicing. Bless Your own cause and kingdom everywhere. Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; feed them also, and lift them up forever.
We would look forward to that time when earth shall become one consecrated temple—when every day shall be a Sabbath—every heart an altar—every tongue praise—and Jesus Christ owned as Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. God of Bethel, God of all the families of the earth, who has promised to show mercy to thousands of those who love You—do bless our household, and give to us the heritage of those that fear Your name. Bless our children; may they early know those ways which are pleasantness, and those paths which are peace. May they be enabled, by Your grace, to resist temptation, and to beat down Satan under their feet. Bless young and old, master and servants. Let none of us be left to seek for the first time a living Savior at a dying hour. But laying hold of Him now, may we be found at last unto praise and honor and glory at His appearing and Kingdom.
We would retire to rest this night, reposing in Your gracious providence; beseeching You, if it be Your will, to spare us to see the light and to enjoy the comforts of a new day; and all we ask is in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ our only Savior. Amen.
Most blessed God, whose nature and whose name is Love; we, Your dependent creatures, desire to draw near this morning to the footstool of Your throne. Vouchsafe us, we beg, Your presence and blessing. We would begin the day with You. We would enter on all its duties supplicating Your favor; feeling that Your favor is life, and that all the happiness the world can give, cannot compensate for its loss. We approach with deep humility. Lord, we are vile, what shall we answer You? Ours is not only the 'guilt of rebels', but the 'ingratitude of children'. We have abused the care and the kindness of the best and most beneficent of Parents. We have too often known our doings to be sinful, and yet we have persevered in them. We have too often known what was in accordance with Your will, and yet we have not followed it. We have reason to marvel that You have borne with us; that You have not, long before now, consigned us to the doom of the cumberer. We would look away from ourselves, to Your dear Son, our Redeemer; feeling that if we are saved it must be by Him alone. May He be formed within us the Hope of Glory. By His grace and Spirit, may we be brought under the power and influence of renewed affections.
Let us seek to manifest the reality of our union with Him, by bringing forth all the peaceable fruits of righteousness—adorning the doctrine of God our Savior. May ours be an active and devoted obedience. Expel from us whatever is unholy. Let us live as the expectants of a glorious immortality. Lord, may we habitually remember, that here we are pilgrims and strangers. Oh be our constant Guide in all our journeyings. Let us never go but where You direct: let us never hesitate when and where You call us. Let us not arraign the allotments of Your infinite love. May we feel that all the circumstances of life—-its joys and its sorrows—its comforts and crosses—are ordained by You in adorable wisdom. Our way might have been hedged up with thorns, but it has been full of mercy.
You have been our help, leave us not, neither forsake us, O God of our salvation. Give us to see written over every hour of the future, "So shall your strength be." Bless all near and dear to us. Defend our friends by Your mighty power. Surround them with Your favor as with a shield, and bring them at last to the enjoyment of Your immediate presence. Bless especially those now before You. May our children be the objects of Your love, and the subjects of Your grace; may they be enabled to say, 'Our Father, You shall be the guide of our youth.' We commend each and all of us this day, to Your keeping. Let us enter upon its duties with our souls stayed on You. And all that we ask is in the name and for the sake of the Lord Jesus, in whose name and words we would further call You Our Father.
O God almighty, Sovereign Proprietor of the Universe, bow Your ear to the voice of our supplications, as on this the close of another day—when another week of mercy is receding—we venture to approach the Throne of the heavenly grace. Father, we have sinned against Heaven and in Your sight, we are no more worthy to be called Your children. Long before now might You have turned away Your face from us, and our prayer from You. We are wonders to ourselves, that we are still spared. What guilt on our part—yet what forbearance on Yours! What aggravated ingratitude on our part—yet You are waiting to be gracious and willing to pardon! What sins against privilege, slighting Your warnings, grieving Your Spirit; and yet for all this, Your hand of mercy is stretched out still. We desire to remember how it is we are still permitted to approach Your footstool. It is through the Son of Your love; for His work's sake—for His obedience and righteousness' sake. But for Him, we must have been forever without God and without hope.
We plead anew His finished atonement. We would glory in nothing but His cross. Give each of us to enjoy the blessedness of the assurance that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Let us not rest, until, with personal, appropriating faith, we can say, "We know whom we have believed, and we are persuaded He is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him." May Your Holy Spirit take of the things that are Christ's, and show them unto our souls. May He touch us as with a live coal from off the altar: purifying our affections, elevating our desires; making our hearts living temples, with this as their superscription, "Holiness unto the Lord."
If led often to mourn over our dullness, and coldness, and lukewarmness here, may it be ours, O God, to look forward to that day, when there shall be nothing to mar the joy of entire and undivided consecration to Your service.
Bless our beloved friends both near and at a distance; may they all be near to You. May there be no separation between them and Your favor. Any who are in sickness, Lord, support them. Any who are in bereavement, Lord, comfort them. Pity a careless, ungodly world—arrest the spread of impiety—establish the reign of purity and righteousness. Give us grace to be faithful among the faithless; resolving that, whatever others do, as for us, we will serve the Lord.
Be with us this night. Watch over us as we sleep. May night after night of refreshing slumber, be to us the emblem of that better rest above, when, in perfect security, we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Prepare us for the services of Your day. Attune our minds for its sacred duties. May each recurring Sabbath, as it brings us nearer Eternity, find us better prepared for it; and all that we ask is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.