BY John MacDuff, 1885
Most Gracious God, who has in Your good providence again
permitted us to see the light of Your holy day—draw near to us in Your great
mercy. You have dispersed the darkness of another night; may the Sun of
Righteousness arise upon us with healing in His beams. May our fellowship be
with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. We thank You for the stated
return of this season of sacred rest, when, away from the feverish anxieties
of earth, we may give heed to the things which concern our everlasting
peace. We bless You for the great truth which this day more especially
We bless You that Jesus has burst the bands of the grave,
and triumphed over principalities and powers. The Lord is risen! He has
satisfied all the demands of Your holy law; He has finished transgression,
made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in an
everlasting righteousness. The Lord is risen! He has fully vanquished our
foes; Satan's power is overthrown, and the kingdom of heaven is opened to
all believers. We take refuge anew at the foot of Your cross, bringing our
infinite unworthiness to Your infinite merit and all-sufficiency. Wash us,
blessed Savior, in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness. Receive
us graciously. Love us freely. Being made free from sin, and having become
the servants of God, may we have our fruit unto holiness and the end
Lord, give us grace ever to walk as the heirs of
immortality. Let us bear about with us the recollection that time is short.
Let us live as if each Sabbath possibly be our last. May a sacred spirit
pervade this day's services. May we glean from these, for the week on which
we have just entered, what will form a preservative against the world's
snares, and dangers, and temptations.
We pray for those who profane Your holy name; who reject
the offers of Your grace, and continue in alienation and sin. Before the
door of mercy is forever shut—turn them from their wickedness; point them to
Jesus, and show them that "neither is there salvation in any other." Unfold
to them the fearfulness of meeting You as they are, unpardoned and
unreconciled. Let them know the preciousness of that precious assurance, "He
is able to save unto the uttermost."
O Source of all consolation, draw near to the afflicted.
Abundantly sanctify Your dealings. Stay Your rough wind in the day of
Your east wind. May this thought silence every murmur, "He who spared not
His own Son, but freely gave Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him
also freely give us all things." God of Bethel—bless all related to us by
the bonds of earthly affection. May they evermore have affiance in You.
Shepherd of Israel—You who lead Joseph like a flock—may they be safe under
Your gracious guidance, and repose in Your love. Bless our children. Pour
Your rich grace into their hearts. Let them not fall a prey to the
allurements and enticements of a present evil world, but may they walk as
seeing You, who is invisible.
Bless Your holy Church throughout all the world. Clothe
Your priests with salvation: let Your saints shout aloud for joy. Own, this
day, Your own appointed instrumentality in the preaching of the everlasting
Gospel. May Your word prove quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged
sword. It is not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit, O Lord
Almighty. Let Your mercy, O God, be upon us, according as we hope in You.
And when our Sabbaths on earth are ended, may ours, at last, be an unending
Sabbath in Your presence and favor. And all that we ask is in the name and
for the sake of Him whom You hear always, and 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.
Almighty and Everlasting God, we desire to draw near to
the footstool of Your throne of grace, thanking You for all the mercies of
the past day. We will set up our Ebenezer of gratitude, and say, "The Lord
has helped us!" We bless You that You have permitted us once more, on earth,
to enjoy the rest and quiet of Your holy Sabbath; that again we have been
invited to hush worldly disquietudes and cares, and have our minds stayed on
You. Pardon whatever You have seen amiss in our attempts to serve You. May
our persons and our services be accepted in the Beloved. May they be
perfumed with the fragrance of His adorable merits. We desire anew this
night to repair to His cross. We disown all trust in ourselves. Other
refuge, other righteousness, we have none, and we need none. We cleave, in
simple dependence, to the work of Jesus. We are safe only when clinging to
the horns of the blood-besprinkled altar.
Lord, give us to know the happiness of being at peace
with You through Him. Every blessing, temporal and spiritual, we desire to
connect with Your favor. Every rivulet of creative, providential, and
redeeming mercy—we would trace to Yourself, its great fountain-head. Every
cross and loss we would submit to, as the appointment of Your wisdom. The
roughest path we would tread—if You lead us there! May all Your dealings
toward us issue in our sanctification. May our hearts be becoming holier and
purer. Transform us more from day to day, and from week to week, into the
image of Your Son; that we may at last be presented faultless before the
presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
We pray for all who may have worshiped with us this day.
May grace, mercy, and peace be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. Bless
Your ministering servants, more especially those who have spoken unto us
Your word. Out of the abundance of their hearts, may their lips speak; may
they ever hear the sound of their Master's footsteps behind them. Extend
Your cause and kingdom everywhere. May the glorious Gospel of the grace of
God speedily triumph over all the pride, and reason, and will-worship, and
delusion of man. Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause. May it long be our
privilege to repair without hindrance to the living waters of Salvation.
Continue to us the bliss of unbroken Sabbaths, and quiet sanctuaries, and
Bless our family. O You who have brought again from the
dead the Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep—through the blood of
the Everlasting Covenant, make us all perfect to do Your will, working in us
that which is well pleasing in Your sight. May we be found at last among
Your sealed ones—members of the white-robed multitude who shall dwell with
You forever. May our friends who are at a distance from us, be protected and
guarded by Your gracious providence. The Lord watch between them and us when
we are absent one from another—may their names also be written among the
living in Jerusalem. Teach us all to be walking as pilgrims and strangers on
the earth—sojourners as all our fathers were—looking for that blessed hope,
even the glorious appearing of the great God our Savior. May we pass the
time of our sojourning here in fear—prepared for whatever may be Your will
concerning us—for health or for sickness—for joy or for sorrow—for life or
for death. Have mercy on the afflicted. Let the prayer of faith save the
sick. Spare useful and valued lives. Let not the sun of life go down while
it is yet day; but turn the shadow of death into the morning. Comfort the
bereaved. Sustain the dying. Prepare them for their great change.
Through another night, be pleased to grant us Your
guardian care. Shepherd of Israel, may Your wakeful, sleepless eye be upon
us. May the shadows of this night's darkness be to us only as the shadow of
Your wings. Shield soul and body by Your mighty power. Lying down in Your
fear, may we awake in Your favor, fitted for the duties of a new day. All
this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our only Savior. Amen.
O Lord, You are glorious in holiness, fearful in praises,
continually doing wonders! Blessed be Your name, that though You are the
Greatest of all Beings, You stoop to hear our prayers, and listen to our
needs. It is because You are God and not man, that we are still in the land
of the living, and in the place of hope. Day by day have our sins incurred
Your righteous displeasure. We have left Your bounty unacknowledged, and
Your love unrequited. We have to tell of our unthankful hearts, ungodly
lives, deep corruptions. Lord, impress us with a sense of our guilt. Let us
feel it is no light matter to sin against You, and to be living in unconcern
of Your manifold mercies. Sinners—the chief of sinners, we would look away
from ourselves—to the work and merits of our Great Redeemer. Blessed Savior,
You are waiting to be gracious. All the mighty load of our guilt we would
transfer to You, our adorable Surety and Redeemer. You have already
satisfied the requirements of a righteous law. As our Kinsman and Elder
Brother, You are now within the veil; as willing as You ever were—to save
unto the uttermost.
While we look to You as the Lord our Righteousness,
may we know You also as the Lord our Strength. May we imbibe more of
Your blessed spirit. May we be learners at Your feet—learning to deny
ourselves, and to bear all that You chose to appoint, without a murmur:
knowing that it must be for the best. May we be enabled to follow Your
footsteps and to reflect Your purity. May Your love animate us in the
discharge of every daily duty. May we act under the feeling that "we are not
our own—but are bought with a price." Consecrated soul and body to the Lord
who died for us, may life become a tribute offering to Your praise.
Preserve us from the snares of a wicked world. Strengthen
us in seasons of weakness. Protect us in the hour of temptation. To us
to live may it be Christ; so that when called to leave this scene of
probation, we may die in peace, and have our souls filled with hopes of
Lord, bless our friends—reward our benefactors—forgive
our enemies. May our household ever have Your gracious benediction resting
upon it. May every member of our family, near and at a distance, have the
seal of God on their foreheads, and be numbered with Your saints in glory
everlasting. Pour Your rich grace into the hearts of the young. Let them not
allow golden moments to pass by misimproved. Let them know the happiness of
living under Your continual favor.
Look in kindness on the sick, the sorrowful, the aged,
the bereaved, and the dying. Accommodate Your grace to their varied needs
and trials. Let them take refuge in the mercy of Him who is chastising them;
rejoicing that all which concerns them and theirs, is in Your hands and at
Your disposal. Hear these our humble prayers; when You hear, forgive; and
grant us an answer in peace, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Most gracious God, Father of all mercies, God of our
salvation—we desire, this evening, to approach the footstool of Your Throne
of Grace. We would end another day of mercy with the offering of grateful
hearts. What shall we render unto You, for all Your benefits to us? Never
for a solitary moment have You withdrawn from us Your hand of love. We
rejoice that we have such a God on whom to cast our cares; and who has given
us, in the past, so many wondrous proofs, that You continually care for us.
We desire anew to look to the merits and righteousness of Your dear Son. His
blood has washed guilty thousands; and it is still free to us. We take
refuge in the assurance, that coming unto You through Him, confessing our
sins, You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all iniquity.
Take these hearts of ours and make them Yours. May our
inmost thoughts, and desires, and purposes, be dedicated to Your glory.
May we be living as the expectants of immortality; walking worthy of You
unto all well pleasing, being fruitful in every good word and work. Feeling
our responsibilities as the servants and stewards of Your household, may our
time and talents be more laid out for You, that when Jesus comes, He may
receive His own—with interest.
Bless all the family of the afflicted. God of all
consolation, bind up their wounds. Keep them from a murmuring spirit, under
dark dispensations. Let them know and believe that infinite love is in all
Your arrangements; that finite wisdom has no place in Your chastisements;
that He with whom they have to do, cannot do wrong. Lord, give us all this
lowly spirit of submission to Your will. Whether You chasten us, or gladden
us; whether prosperity or adversity be our portion—oh bring us nearer
Yourself! May Your dealings serve to trim the lamp of faith and keep it
Extend Your covering wings over all whom we love. May
none of our friends be unbefriended by You. Bless our own immediate
household; sprinkle its lintels with the covenant token. Write the names of
our children in the Lamb's book of life. May each of us at last be included
in the invitation, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world!" May our lives now be hid
with Christ in God, that when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we may
also appear with Him in glory!
Regard with favor Your Church everywhere. You have
promised abundantly to bless Your Zion and to satisfy her poor with bread.
We pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Those who love You shall prosper.
Scatter the darkness that is now brooding over the nations. Arise, O God,
and plead Your own cause.
Watch over us during the unconscious hours of sleep. May
we close our eyes at peace with You, and awake refreshed and invigorated for
the duties of a new day. Hear these our unworthy petitions; and when You
hear, forgive, and grant us an answer in peace, for the Redeemer's sake.
O God, You are the KING of Kings, and Lord of Lords. We
draw near unto You, this morning, rejoicing that we have a Throne of Grace,
to which, through the merits of Your dear Son, our only Savior, we can ever
repair. Before we enter on the day's duties, may a shower of heavenly
blessing descend to refresh our souls. If we are blessed by You, we must be
blessed indeed. We confess our great unworthiness; our sins of thought,
word, and action; our sins of omission and commission; our sins against
light and privilege, warning and mercy. We repose every burden upon Him who
has "borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." Blessed Jesus, we would
dismiss all our own misgivings, and cast ourselves on Your promised grace
and strength. We rejoice in You as "God only wise;" mighty to save; to whom
all power has been committed in Heaven and in Earth. You do all things well,
and nothing but what is well. Enable us to rely on Your guiding arm, and to
merge our wills in Yours. Hold us up—and we shall be safe. O God, forbid
that, in the midst of earth's cares and pursuits, we should ever lose sight
of our immortal destinies. Let us imbibe more of the pilgrim spirit; having
our eye upwards, and our footsteps onwards.
Let us not forfeit fleeting opportunities. In every
providence may we hear, as it were, an angel's voice saying, 'Why are you
sleeping? arise! let us be going—the night is far spent, the day is at
hand.' May each of us in our varied spheres be led to ask, 'Lord, what would
You have me to do?' Let us all seek to do something for You. If we are
forbidden to do much in the way of active service, may we endeavor to
manifest the power of a holy life, and to leaven our daily duties with
Bless the members of this household. May they walk before
You with a perfect heart. May the young be enabled to adorn the doctrine of
God their Savior in all things. Bless our native land. Bless all in
authority. May the time soon come, when the crowns and scepters of the earth
shall be cast at the feet of Him who is KING of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Hasten the day, when the wilderness and the solitary place shall be made
glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. We commend
ourselves, O God, to You. Guide us—provide for us—go before us. Let us have
the conscious assurance that You are for us—and then none can be against us.
We have no care of our own, we cast our cares upon Him who cares for us.
Prepare us for whatever You have in store for us. For joy or for sorrow; for
health or for sickness; for living or for dying. And all we ask is for the
Lord Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
O Lord, we desire to draw near to the footstool of Your
Eternal Throne. We bless You for all the renewed proofs we have had, during
another day, of Your care and kindness. While others have been pining in
sickness, laid on beds of languishing and death—we are still among the
living to praise You. Oh may the lives preserved by Your bounty, and
dedicated to Your praise. Far above all Your other gifts, we bless You for
Your inestimable love in the redemption of Your people by the Lord Jesus,
for the means of grace and for the hopes of glory. We bless You that Your
well-beloved Son has brought in an everlasting righteousness; that He has
magnified Your law and made it honorable; that He has dispelled the darkness
of the Valley of Death; and opened the gate of Heaven to all believers.
We desire to make acknowledgment of our unworthiness and
guilt. We will not cloak nor disguise our manifold and multiplied
transgressions. Discover to us the depths of our depravity; unveil to us the
secret pride and selfishness and worldliness of our hearts. Deliver us from
our besetting sins. Let us see our vileness, in the cross of Your dear
Son. May the power of sin wax weaker and weaker: may the power of Your
grace within us wax stronger and stronger. May our souls become living
altars, and our lives living sacrifices. Yielding our members as instruments
of righteousness unto holiness, may we serve You in newness of spirit.
Lord, we know the proneness of the heart to put off the
solemn consideration of the one thing needful. Many have lived with good
intentions, and yet have perished. Let it not be so with us. Let us not be
slumbering and sleeping. Let us not be among the number of presumptuous
ones, who are saying, "The Lord delays His coming." May we be ever ready,
ever watching; having our loins girded and our lamp burning, so that when
the summons shall be heard, "Behold, the Bridegroom comes," we may be ready
with the response, "Lo! this is our God, we have waited for Him!"
May the seal of Your covenant mercy be on all now before
You—parents and children, young and old. May every night, as it gathers
around us, remind of the approach of the long night of death; and may it
lead us to think of the awaking time in that glorious morning, when, in the
full vision and fruition of You, our God; earth's shadows and darkness shall
forever flee away. Bless the aged; may Your favor and love rest on the hoary
head as a crown of glory. Bless the young; may they early know what are
alone the ways of pleasantness and the paths of peace. Bless the
afflicted—the bereaved—the solitary—the forsaken—the dying. May they know
Him who has said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."
Give us all grace to trust You implicitly, even when Your
dealings cross our own purposes and frustrate our wills. Let us obey no will
but Yours. Following Your guiding footsteps, may we say, "The Lord is our
Shepherd, we shall lack nothing." Watch over us, blessed Lord, this night.
May Your good angels encamp round about us. Give us refreshing sleep, even
the sleep of Your beloved. May we lie down to rest in Your fear, and awake
in Your favor. All that we ask, is in the name of adorable Redeemer.
O God Almighty—KING of Kings and Lord of Lords. You are
the Maker, Proprietor, and Judge of all. We approach You as our Covenant God
and Father; trusting in the name and merits of our adorable Redeemer. What
mercy it is that we have such a refuge to repair to! that amid our own
faithlessness we can ever repose in the faithful saying, "that Jesus Christ
came into the world to save sinners." We renounce all dependence on
ourselves. Wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked—we take
Him as all our salvation and all our desire.
We are no judges of what is good for us; what blessings
are best to receive what mercies are best withheld. We often seek what is
not for our well-being; but we rejoice in the infinite wisdom and tenderness
manifested in Your allotments. Let us ever feel, regarding each and all,
"This also comes from the Lord Almighty." May we seek in every providence
to hear Your voice; and in every event to read Your will. May we live
conscious of the predominating motive of love to You. May we feel Your favor
lightening every cross and lessening every care. Lord, give us more of the
simplicity of children. Keep us watchful, and humble, and thankful. Keep us
from pride and vainglory; from envy and uncharitableness; from evil
surmisings and unkind insinuations; from all that would exalt us—at the
expense of others. May we learn to esteem others better than ourselves.
Look in great mercy on the family of sorrow; be
their support and consolation. Teach us all, in the midst of health and
strength, to prepare for the hour of adversity. There is nothing permanent
here on earth. May we know what it is to look to a strong tower which cannot
be shaken. We are in our true rest—if we are in You. You gladden our pathway
through life. May we be lighted through the dark Valley, with the lamp of
Your love; and enjoy through eternity Your beatific presence.
God of Bethel, we commend our family, and all related to
us by whatever tie, to Your care. Seal to them a saving interest in the
everlasting covenant. Bless the young. May they know the happiness of those
who fear You. Great Shepherd of the sheep, preserve them from the snares of
a world lying in wickedness. May they be early taught of God, and so inherit
Your own promise to such— "Great shall be the peace of Your children." Take
us under Your care this day. May all our duties be gladdened with a sense of
Your presence and love. May we have a single eye in all we think, and say,
and do, to the glory of our adorable Redeemer.
O Eternal, Everlasting God, Fountain of all happiness,
God of all grace, we desire this evening to acknowledge anew with grateful
hearts, Your undeserved mercies. You have made our cup to overflow with
blessings. From the very threshold of our being, You have been our Protector
and Guardian. You have shielded us from unknown dangers; You have warded off
unseen calamities. No earthly friend could have loved us and cared for us
like You. We bless You for the liberty of access we enjoy at all times into
Your sacred presence; to make known our varied needs, and to ask for mercy
to pardon and for grace to help in every time of need. We need everything;
but You have promised in Jesus, Your own dear Son, to make us perfect and
entire, lacking nothing. Helpless, hopeless, friendless, portionless by
nature, we cast ourselves on Him who is help and hope and friend and portion
to all who seek Him. We have no trust but in His work. Sprinkle these
polluted hearts with His pardoning, peace-speaking blood. Hide us in the
clefts of the smitten Rock. Safely sheltered there, we can make the
triumphant challenge, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
We mourn our distance and estrangement from You; our
guilty departures; our coldness and insensibility. Let Your wondrous
patience and kindness lead us to repentance. Turn us, Lord, and we shall be
turned; draw us and we shall run after You. May every thought, and
affection, and feeling, and temper, be brought into captivity to the
obedience of Jesus. May we love what He loves, and hate what He hates. May
we know the happiness of true holiness; and experience somewhat of the joy
of angels—in doing Your holy will on earth as they do it in Heaven. Fill us
with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope through the
power of the Holy Spirit.
Bless our family and friends; may our household be one of
the dwellings of the righteous. May every member of it be zealous in the
promotion of Your glory, remembering that the day is coming when we shall be
called to give an account of our stewardship. Our moments are gliding
swiftly by. Forbid that any among us should be found seeking oil when the
lamp of life is going out. Do, even now, Lord, from Your own mercy-seat,
replenish our empty vessels. Let us be living with a dying hour in view. Let
us die daily to sin, and live daily to You; that when the hour of our
earthly departure arrives, it may be to us the birthday of a new life, in
everlasting glory. We ask all these manifold blessings, for ourselves and
for others, in the name and for the sake of our adorable Lord and Savior,
who is now within the veil; and where, with You, O Eternal Father, and You,
O ever-blessed Comforter, Three in One in covenant for our redemption, He
ever lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.
O God, You are great, and greatly to be feared. Your
greatness is unsearchable! Another day has in mercy dawned upon us. We
desire to enter on its every duty with our minds stayed on You. May all our
doings be ordered by Your governance; that we may be enabled to perform
those things that are pleasing in Your sight, and to promote the glory of
Your holy name. We bless You for all the loving-kindness You have hitherto
made to pass before us. From our earliest infancy Your protecting hand has
been around us—shielding us from unseen dangers, and showering us with the
blessings of Your goodness. And we are, this morning, once more gathered
around the footstool of Your throne, the monuments of Your patience, and
forbearance, and mercy. We bless You especially for Jesus, and His great
salvation. We rejoice that He is both willing and able—and as willing as He
is able—to save unto the uttermost: that all are alike warranted and welcome
to repair to the fountain He has opened for sin and for uncleanness.
Lord, give us grace to improve our manifold privileges
while we have them. Let us not remain asleep in sin—enjoying the means of
grace, yet trifling with convictions. May we "occupy" until Jesus comes,
seeking to witness for Him by the testimony of a consistent life. May this
be our habitual feeling—"what kind of people ought we to be, in all holy
conduct and godliness?"
We commend to You all the family of affliction.
Take them under Your special protection. It is behind the cloud You often
speak most tenderly, teaching precious lessons, which in no way else could
be learned. Let Your suffering people wait until they hear the "still small
voice." Calling upon You in the day of trouble, and experiencing Your
delivering hand, may they be led to "glorify You." Teach us all, in the
season of health and strength, so to live, that when the night comes,
we may be enabled to resign the trust of existence to its great
Proprietor—and to say, "Now, Lord, let You Your servant depart in peace."
Bless our beloved friends; forbid that any one of them
should be found missing on the day when You make up Your jewels. May they
all be set as gems in Immanuel's crown, and be found unto praise, and honor,
and glory, at His second appearing. Bless Your Church. Imbue her ministers
and people with the healthful spirit of Your grace. Extend everywhere the
boundaries of the Redeemer's kingdom. The harvest truly is plenteous, and
the laborers are few. We ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers
to His harvest. Be with us, O God, this day; may the everlasting arms be
underneath and round about us; may we be diligent in business, fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord. We look forward with joyful hearts to that better
world, where we shall have no contrariety of mind to You, when we shall be
with You, and like You; serving You without distraction; and where sin and
sorrow will be no more felt or dreaded. And all that we ask is for Jesus'
O God, we bless You for Your great mercy; that we are
again permitted to approach the throne of Heavenly grace. Many have been
summoned this day into eternity. We have been spared. The shadows of night
have again fallen around us in peace. We thank You for the continuance of
health and strength, and many outward blessings. We thank You for the
crowning mercy of all—Jesus, Your unspeakable gift. We rejoice that You
are in Him reconciling the world unto Yourself. Thousands of needy, outcast
sinners have repaired to Him, yet still the Fountain of His grace is free as
ever. This is still His name and memorial "Mighty to save." Lord, we come
to You, with all our demerits, casting ourselves on His infinite and
all-sufficient righteousness. Wash every guilty stain away. Forgive our
sins of omission, and our sins of commission. May the Angel be caused to fly
swiftly and touch us in this the time of our evening oblation. One day's
transgressions are enough to condemn us. There is nothing but Your sacrifice
and continual intercession, O Great High Priest, between us and everlasting
destruction. It is Your all-powerful grace alone which, from hour to
hour, averts from us temptations we could have no strength in ourselves to
resist. Hold us up—and then alone we shall be safe.
In all time of our tribulation—in all time of our
wealth—in the hour of death—and at the day of Judgment, good Lord, deliver
us. Come forth out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Instruct
the ignorant—reclaim the wanderer—save the obdurate and impenitent. Convince
them, before it be too late, that there is no loss comparable to the loss of
the soul—to be left hopeless and portionless forever. I Point them to the
Lamb of God—cleanse them in His atoning blood—and make them the monuments of
Look down in kindness on all who are in affliction. Draw
near to those who may be bereaved of near and dear friends; be to them
better than a son or daughter, or any earthly relative. May they know that
He is faithful who promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Bless
all our beloved friends; write their names in the Lamb's Book of life; may
the pillar of Your presence go before them night and day continually. Bless
our own family; may every name be set in the breast-plate of the Great High
Priest. Bless our children; may they all be taught of the Lord, and great
shall be their peace. May we walk before You with a perfect heart, and as
seeing Him who is invisible. Take the charge of us during the silent watches
of the night; when we awake, may we awake to praise You, and to use the
powers and the talents committed to us, to Your glory. And all that we ask
is for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Savior, Amen.
Our Father in Heaven, what are we, sinful dust and ashes,
that we should be permitted, morning after morning, to take Your name into
our lips? We bless You for all the unmerited proofs of Your kindness. From
our earliest years we have been the recipients of Your bounty. With all a
Father's tenderness You have watched over us. We have received, and we are
still receiving, of the Lord's hand "double for all our sins." We draw near
in the name of Him whom You hear always. "Nothing in our hands we bring"—we
would cling simply to His cross. Empty us of all self-righteousness; let us
feel our deep creature-destitution; let us stand alone in the finished
righteousness of the All righteous One. We have forfeited all claim to Your
favor. We have turned aside like a deceitful bow; and if we had been left to
our own treacherous hearts and wayward wills, we must long ago have
We desire to look to Your grace in the future. There
is not a corruption we have within us, which Your grace is unable to subdue;
there is not a cross or trial, or care, but Your grace will enable us to
endure. Whatever Your leadings may be, let us cheerfully confide in
their wisdom and faithfulness. We are poor judges of what is good for us,
but we can trust You in all things—in what is great and what is small, what
is dark and what is bright, what is joyous and what is grievous. We rejoice
that all is in Your hands, and all is for the best.
May we ever regard sin as our greatest trial. When
temptation assails us, grant us power to resist it. May our lives, our
tempers, our affections, our desires—be regulated by the example of our
divine Lord and Master. Give us His meekness of spirit—which no provocation
could ruffle; His forgiveness of injuries—amid ingratitude and scorn; His
calm, unmurmuring submission to your holy will.
Bless all the sons and daughters of affliction. Let them
view every dark providence as an errand of love in disguise—a messenger sent
from the Eternal Throne, to minister to them who are heirs of salvation. May
we all live as pilgrims on the earth. Make us fit for the time when our
earthly work and warfare shall cease, and when, in unspotted sanctity, we
shall stand without fault before the Throne. Lord, take the charge of each
and all of us. Vouchsafe to keep us this day without sin. May all our doings
be ordered by Your governance, to do that which is well-pleasing in Your
sight, through Jesus Christ our only Lord and Savior. Amen.
O God, we desire to draw near into Your sacred presence,
thanking You for the mercies vouchsafed to us during another day. Many of
our fellow-men have, since its commencement, passed into eternity, their
season of grace fled forever. We are still spared. The living—the living—we
shall praise You, as we do together this night. We bless You especially for
the tokens of Your mercy in Jesus. We bless You for His full, free,
everlasting Redemption. Oh set us in the Clefts of the Rock, and hide us
there. Let us feel the all-sufficiency and security of His covenant love.
For our infinite need—there is Your infinite fullness! For our infinite
danger—there is Your infinite salvation! Lord, give us grace to live
worthy of our high calling. Enable us to adorn the doctrine of our God and
Savior. Let His love be the animating principle in our actions. Let our
chief delight be to serve Him. May our greatest pain be to vex and grieve
Him. May our affections be more elevated—our eye more single—our lives more
consistent—true religion more the one thing needful.
May we rest in the confident persuasion that You do all
things well—and nothing but what is well. Enable us to exercise a child-like
acquiescence in Your dealings. These may at times be mysterious; but when
Your purposes of love are at last unfolded, we shall dwell with adoring
gratitude on all the way by which You have led us. Give us grace, meanwhile,
to be living as dying creatures. Let us never forget our pilgrim character,
nor dream away, in guilty unconcern, our fleeting moments.
Look in kindness on this household; may they all have the
rich and enduring heritage of those who fear Your name. Bless the children;
may they be taught of God. May we all serve the Lord Christ, doing justly,
loving mercy, and walking humbly with You their God. Bless all our absent
friends. Be ever present with them. If there be any still at a distance from
You, Lord, bring them near, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
Let not one be found missing at the Great Day.
We pray for the Church universal. O Great High Priest, do
feed every golden candlestick with the oil of Your grace. Be the "all in
all" of every church, as of every believer. Promote union among Your true
people. Let them not live apart, looking coldly and distantly on one
another. Feeling that they are all one in Christ Jesus, may they love one
another with a pure heart fervently; and thus the Church on earth may be a
dim reflection of the glorious Church of Your redeemed in Heaven. Watch over
us during the silence and darkness of another night; and spare us, if it be
Your will, to see Your light, and to enjoy the comforts of another day.
Hear these our humble supplications. And all that we ask
is for Jesus' sake Amen.
Almighty God, we desire to come anew this morning into
Your sacred presence. Glory be to Your holy name, that we are again
permitted to draw near to the footstool of Your Throne, and to call You "Our
Father." Our pillow last night might have been a pillow of death. We might
have found ourselves this morning righteously exiled from Your
presence—knowing You only as "the consuming fire." But You have lengthened
out our day of grace. We are still among the living to praise You. It is of
the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. Anew we draw near to the opened
fountain—anew, gracious Savior, we plead Your spotless merits. It was Your
own errand of wondrous love—that which brought You from Your Throne in
Heaven—to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to
those who are bound. Do usher us into the glorious liberty of Your people.
May we feel that there is no real happiness independent of You—that all else
are walking in a vain show—seeking rest but finding none. But if You make us
free, we shall be free indeed.
Enable us to take You as the strength of our hearts and
our portion forever. Keep us from the absorbing power of earthly things.
Let us not be dead to You, and alive only to a dead and dying world. Let
not the seen and the temporal, eclipse the higher and nobler objects of
faith. May we live under the powers of a world to come—loving You now with
some feeble and imperfect foretaste of that love with which we trust we
shall love You forever. We rejoice to believe that we are entirely in Your
keeping. If You send us prosperity, Lord, hallow it. If You send us
adversity, Lord, sanctify it. May all things work together for our good.
We commend to Your gracious providence those in whom we
are more specially interested. Take our friends under Your special care.
Sanctify them by the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit; prosper them outwardly
and inwardly; may all their duties and occupations be leavened with
godliness. Bless our own immediate circle—may God be our Father, and Jesus
our elder Brother, and Heaven our everlasting home. Bless our
children—defend them from a present evil world. Let them early know the
happiness of seeking and finding the one thing needful. May we all fulfill
the duties of our calling, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but doing
the will of God from the heart.
May Your kingdom come. Support and strengthen all devoted
laborers in heathen lands. May Your Spirit come down as rain upon the mown
grass—as showers that water the earth. Sanctify affliction to all in sorrow.
Let Your suffering people rejoice in the assurance that Your chastisements
are the dealings of a Father; that the furnace is lighted to purge away the
dross, and refine and purify for glory. Direct, control, suggest, this day,
all our thoughts, purposes, designs, and actions, that we may consecrate
soul and body, with all their powers, to the glory of Your holy name. And
all that we ask or hope for, is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
O Lord, we desire to approach Your Throne of Grace this
evening, adoring You as God over all, blessed for evermore. Draw near to us
as we draw near to You. We bless You that You have spared us during another
day, and another week. Let us end every day and every week as if these might
possibly be our last; as if the midnight cry might break upon our ears,
before we see another rising sun, or a returning Sabbath.
We come, acknowledging, that it is of the Lord's mercies
we are not consumed. We are nothing and we have nothing. By nature and by
wicked works, we could expect nothing but indignation and wrath, tribulation
and anguish. Each day is a witness against us. We confess our proneness to
depart from You the living God—our reluctance to render to You the tribute
of our undivided homage and love. Lord, we bring our sins and lay them on
Him, who, as our Surety-Substitute, was wounded for our transgressions, and
bruised for our iniquities. We bring our weakness to His Almighty strength;
we bring our insufficiency, that we may receive from Him, the promised "all
sufficiency in all things." We rejoice, blessed Savior, to think of You, as
sympathizing with us in all our trials and perplexities and temptations;
keeping us as the apple of Your eye, and feeling what is done to Your people
as if it were done to Yourself. Enable us to repose in the infinite fullness
of Your grace and mercy; to experience the blessedness of an unreserved,
unwavering trust and confidence in Your dealings. Let us confide to You the
allotment of all that befalls us. Let us harbor no suspicions of Your
faithfulness or love. Let us commit the unknown future to Your better
wisdom, saying, "Teach us the way wherein we shall walk, for we lift our
souls unto You."
O God, while we pray for ourselves, we would remember
before You, all whom we ought to bear on our hearts, to the Throne of Grace.
Prosper Your cause and kingdom in the world. Bring the wickedness of the
wicked to an end: may the Prince of Peace take to Himself His great power
and reign. Bless the young; may they spring up as willows by by flowing
streams. May they be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. Bless
the aged; may they be gathered into the garner of the Great Farmer, as the
shock of corn in its season—full of years and ripe for glory. Bless all Your
faithful ministers—especially those who, tomorrow, are to proclaim Your holy
word. Strengthen them outwardly and inwardly, as they go forth, bearing the
precious seed; and on the great reaping-day of judgment, may they come again
with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them. Bless us as a family;
parents and children. Let us all own one common Master—one Father in Heaven.
Be with us throughout the silent watches of the night. Whether we wake or
sleep, may we live together with You. There is no darkness to us if You are
with us. Defend us during the unconscious hours of slumber—that we may rise
on Your Holy Sabbath fitted for duty, happy in the assured continuance of
Your favor and love. And all we ask is for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.