BY John MacDuff, 1885
Almighty and Everlasting God, we bless You for the return
of another day. We thank You that we have been spared during another week,
while many of our fellow-men have been called to render in their final
account. Give us filial nearness to You our Father in Heaven. Let us hear
Your gracious benediction, "Peace be unto you." May Your own Day be begun,
carried on, and ended, under a sense of Your presence and favor. May all
worldly thoughts, and cares, and disquietudes, be laid aside, that we may
enjoy a foretaste of the everlasting blessedness which is at Your right
hand. We come, gracious Lord, relying on Your mercy and love in Jesus. We
would direct the undivided eye of faith to His finished salvation; rejoicing
that it is as free as ever, and as efficacious as ever.
Fill us with a deep and humbling sense of our guilt. May
we mourn an erring past, and receive grace for an unknown future. We would
seek this day anew to enkindle our love at Your holy altar. Inspire us with
resolutions of new obedience. May we no longer live unto ourselves—to the
world—to the creature—to sin. May the great Creator and the adorable
Redeemer occupy, without a rival, the throne of our affections. Let us
cultivate a holy fear of offending You. Let us no longer continue in guilty
estrangement, forfeiting Your favor and our own true happiness. May the love
of God be shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit, given unto us.
We desire to remember in Your presence, all in whom we
are interested. Bless Your people, this day, throughout the Christian world;
may multitudes be added to the Church, of such as shall be saved. Strengthen
Your ministering servants; may they have singleness of eye, and singleness
of aim, in the proclamation of Your holy word. May many careless souls be
arrested; may weak ones be strengthened; may sorrowing ones be comforted;
may the weary and heavy-laden obtain rest. May a Sabbath-spirit follow us
all throughout the week; and may this day—the memorial of the Savior's
Resurrection—be to us also a pledge of the everlasting rest which remains
for Your people in glory.
We commend our dear friends especially to Your
protection. May they, too, be in the Spirit on the Lord's day; may they call
and find the Sabbath a delight. Keep them, good Lord, by Your mighty power.
May they live soberly, and righteously, and godly, in this present world;
looking for that blessed hope, even tile glorious appearing of the great God
our Savior. Bless the members of our family circle; keep them ever near to
You. May our children be the peculiar care of the great and good Shepherd.
May they know early the safety and happiness of His fold; make them to lie
down in the green pastures; lead them by the still waters. Sanctify trial to
the sons and daughters of affliction. May they bow in submission to Your
sovereign appointments, saying, "Even so, Father! for so it seems good in
Your sight." Lord, take the charge of us; and when Your will concerning us
on earth is completed, take us to dwell with Yourself in everlasting glory;
and all we ask is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
Praise waits for You, O God, in Zion, and unto You shall
the vow be performed. O You who hears prayer, unto You shall all flesh come.
You never have said unto any of the seed of Jacob, 'Seek my face in vain'.
Your thoughts to us are unchanging thoughts of love. It is of the Lord's
mercies that we are not consumed. We approach You on this the evening of
Your holy Day, acknowledging our great unworthiness. Fill us with a deep
sense of our guilt. We have not the humbling consciousness we ought to have
of our exceeding vileness. We are apt to ourselves, if not to You, to plead
vain excuses for our sins. Forgive us, O Lord—forgive us all, for Your dear
Son's sake. Wash these crimson and scarlet stains away, in the fountain
opened for sin and for uncleanness. Let us know more and more the
preciousness of the faithful saying, that "Jesus Christ came into the world
to save sinners." Enable us to live as Your redeemed children. As He who has
called us is holy, so may we be holy in all our lives. Put Your fear in our
hearts—not the fear of torment, but the child-like fear of offending so kind
a Father—so gracious and forgiving a Savior.
Blessed Lord, make these unworthy hearts of ours Your
temple—holy altars of gratitude and love. May our lives form a continued
thank-offering for Your manifold mercies. May we count it our highest
privilege, as well as our sacred duty, to walk so as to please You; ever
maintaining the attitude of waiting and expectant servants, who are seeking
to "occupy" until their Lord comes. Keep us from inactivity and sloth. Let
our loins be girded and our lamps burning. Let us be growing in faith and
love—in charity and meekness, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.
Father, glorify Your name. Darkness is still covering the
lands, and gross darkness the people. May the time to favor Zion, yes, the
set time, speedily come. Revive Your work in the midst of the years; in
wrath, remember mercy. We pray for all in affliction. O You who are the
healer of the broken-hearted, the comforter of all who are cast down—impart
to every sorrowing, bereaved spirit, Your own everlasting consolations. You
are seated by every furnace. May all Your suffering people come forth as
gold tried in the fire; and so be found at last unto praise and honor and
glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
We commend our family and household to Your care. God of
Bethel, God of our Fathers, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, be
the covenant God of all near and dear to us. Whether they be now present or
absent, may they all be near and dear to You. Keeper of Israel, be their
Keeper; guide them, guard them, sanctify them; use them for Your service
here, and bring them to the enjoyment of Yourself hereafter. Take us under
Your providential care this night. May no unquiet dreams disturb our repose.
When the gates of the morning are again opened, may it be to hear Your
benediction and blessing, "Fear not, for I am with you." And all that we ask
is for the sake of Him whom You hear always; and to whom, with You, the
Father, and You, O blessed Spirit, one God, be everlasting praise, honor,
and glory, world without end. Amen.
Almighty God, we desire, on this the morning of a new
day, to approach the footstool of Your Throne of grace. You are glorious in
Your holiness, fearful in praises, continually doing wonders. Your eternity
no finite mind can fathom. Your purposes no accident can alter. Your love no
time can impair. We adore You as the God of our life; moment by moment we
are dependent on Your goodness; if You withdraw Your hand, we perish. And
yet, O Lord, we have not been living habitually mindful of You. We have too
often taken our blessings as matters of course. We have had unthankful
spirits in the midst of daily tokens of unmerited mercy. Above all, we have
been living in guilty forgetfulness of Your dear Son. We have not been
remembering as we ought, that but for Him and His wondrous grace, we must
have perished everlastingly. We have not felt, as we ought, the attractive
power of His cross. Other lords have had dominion over us. The love which
ought to have reigned paramount, has been displaced by other affections. We
have been "minding earthly things;" too often careful, and troubled, and
concerned, about what will perish with the very using. Lord, have mercy upon
us. Melt our hard and obdurate hearts; renew them by the indwelling
of Your gracious Spirit.
Give us henceforth a more ardent ambition to serve You.
May we seek to exhibit now the evidences of that spiritual life begun, which
will issue in the joys of eternity. All our hope is in Jesus. Help us,
blessed Savior, else we die! Give us to see the adaptation of Your character
and work to all the wants and weaknesses the trials and difficulties—the
sorrows and sins of our fallen and suffering and tempted natures. There is
infinite merit in You to meet all the magnitude of our infinite guilt. May
we exhibit more willingness to renounce all dependence on ourselves, that
You may be enthroned in our hearts, as Lord of all. Make us more heavenly
minded—more pilgrim-like. Our graces are feeble—-Lord, sustain them. Our
affections are lukewarm—Lord, revive them. Search us—try us—lead us. Use
what discipline You see best: may it all result in our growing
sanctification, in endearing to us Your favor, and bringing us to live under
a more constant and realizing sense of the things which cannot be shaken,
We commend to You all near and dear to us. May they be
shielded by Your providence, and sanctified by Your grace. Let them repose
in the plenitude of Your promises, and feel that to be spiritually minded is
life and peace. Bless our own family—preserve us by Your mighty power. May
we all feel that it is You, Lord, only, who make us to dwell in safety. We
put ourselves, this day, and ever, at Your disposal. May the everlasting
arms be around us for good; guiding through life—through death—until we are
safe in glory; through Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Savior. Amen.
O Lord, our Heavenly Father, by whose good providence we
are spared from day to day—enable us to come this night into Your presence,
with hearts filled with gratitude and thankfulness for all Your mercies. We
would be deeply humbled on account of our unworthiness. What are we—that we
should be permitted to take Your name into our polluted lips? We have
sinned, what shall we say unto You, O preserver and Redeemer of men? We have
erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep; we have followed too much
the devices and the desires of our own hearts unto evil. We have been
rebellious, and wayward, and selfish, and unthankful. We have been living in
the enjoyment of countless blessings without any due acknowledgment of Your
giving hand. Your kindness has too often been abused, Your grace resisted.
We have been worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator, who
is God over all, blessed for evermore. Lord, we flee anew to the clefts of
the Smitten Rock—hide us there, from that wrath and everlasting condemnation
which these our manifold sins have justly merited.
What encouragement we have to trust Your love and mercy!
We can fear no evil when You are with us. We rejoice that we are in Your
hands; that all that concerns us and ours, is at Your disposal. Enable us to
rest, in calm composure, in Your infinite wisdom. Give us lowliness and
gentleness; kindness and unselfishness. May our own wills be merged in the
higher will of our Father in Heaven. Whatever be the discipline You employ,
may we meekly submit to it. May we watch all Your varied teachings, and get
profit and sanctification out of them all. May they bring us nearer Heaven
and nearer You.
Bless our household—unite us, as a family, in the bonds
of peace. May the Blood of the everlasting covenant be sprinkled on the
portals of every heart. We commend our children to Your care; beseeching You
early to instill the dew of Your grace into their souls, and to preserve
them from all danger and sin. We pray for our native land. Bless all rulers,
and judges, and senators; may they be a terror to evildoers, and a praise to
them that do well. Bless the ministers of the everlasting Gospel; may they
be workmen needing not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Whatever, O God, our station in life may be, may we seek to do something for
the glory of Your Holy Name; and may we feel that Your service is
self-rewarding and self-recompensing. Give us grace to work while it is
called today. May our loins be girded and our lights burning; may we be like
those who are waiting for their Lord when He returns from the wedding, that
when He comes and knocks, we may be ready to open to Him immediately. Watch
over us during this night. Grant us refreshing rest; and spare us, if it be
Your will, to see the light of a new day. And all this we ask is for the
sake of Him whom You hear always, and to whom, with You, the Father, and
You, ever blessed Spirit, one God, be ascribed everlasting praise, honor,
and glory, world without end. Amen.
O Lord, we desire to draw near into Your blessed presence
on this the beginning of a new day. Accept of our morning sacrifice.
Enkindle our souls with a live coal from the inner sanctuary. Throughout the
day may our minds be stayed on You. May a sense of Your favor and love be
intermingled with all its duties—hallowing all its pleasures, and softening
all its trials. Lord, we have received our being from Your hands; may the
lives imparted by You, and sustained by You, be consecrated to Your praise.
May we feel the happiness of Your service, and regard nothing that this
world can give, as comparable to the enjoyment of Your friendship and love.
We thank You, above all, for the provisions of the everlasting covenant.
Gracious Savior, Shepherd, Guide, and Portion of Your people—give us the
assured sense of pardon and forgiveness through the blood of the Cross. May
we have no trust in anything but in Your matchless work. May simple faith be
followed by holy obedience. May we know the blessedness of a holy life; of
affections once alienated from God, now alienated from the world. May no
spiritual foe be permitted to obtain the victory over us; no idol to usurp
Your place in our souls. May we have strength given us either to perform or
to endure Your will, and to cleave unto You with full purpose of heart.
We pray for all mankind; visit, in mercy, the dark places
of the earth, which are still the habitations of cruelty. Strengthen Your
missionary servants. Arouse Your churches to greater zeal in the promotion
of Your cause. We ask the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth
laborers to His harvest. God of our Fathers, be our covenant God. Dwell in
this family and household: hallow every heart as an altar to Your praise.
Impress upon us all a family resemblance to the Great Elder Brother, our
living Head in glory. Pour Your grace on the young. Each of us is advancing
nearer eternity; may we seek to be becoming more and more fit for our
everlasting home. Prepare us for the blessedness of uninterrupted fellowship
with Yourself hereafter. Have compassion on all who are afflicted. Pity the
houseless poor, the orphaned children, the widowed heart. O You, who turn
the shadow of death into the morning—console and comfort them. May they
adore You, alike in giving and in taking away; in the dispensing of Your
gifts, and in removing them; saying, in devout submission, "Blessed be the
name of the Lord."
We commit ourselves to Your care. May the Lord God this
day be to us a sun and shield. May the Lord give grace and glory, and
withhold from us nothing that He sees to be truly good. And all that we ask
is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
O Lord our God, we thank You that we are again permitted,
in the multitude of Your mercies, to see the close of another day. We desire
to end it with You. Before we retire to rest, we would supplicate Your
blessing and guardian care. Make not our pillow this night, a pillow of
death. Give Your angels charge over us during the unconscious hours of
sleep; and when we awake, may we be still with You. We adore You, gracious
God, as the source of all our happiness—the Author of all our blessings.
Forbid that we should allow any created good to dispossess Yourself from the
supreme place in our affections. We desire to take You as our chief joy: to
subordinate to You all else besides. Guide us by Your counsel. You have been
gracious to us in the past; we will trust You in the future. Let our one
animating wish and longing be—to live, and walk, and act, so as to please
You. And thus may each returning night, as it finds us nearer eternity,
find us better prepared for the enjoyment of Your presence forever.
Wash out all the defilements of the day; all our sins of
omission and commission. Accept of us in the Beloved. Adored be Your name,
we have in Jesus the Physician who heals all our diseases. We stand now, as
we desire to stand on a Judgment-day, clothed in His spotless righteousness.
We commend, Holy Father, to Your gracious care and
providence, our family and household. May each be a member of the household
of faith. If it is Your will, long continue unbroken our home-circle on
earth; but let our true home be above. Let the watchword of each near and
dear to us be this—"We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord has
said, I will give it to you." Bless the young; train them early for glory.
Preserve them from the countless temptations of a world lying in wickedness.
We pray for the afflicted; we commend them to Him who
knows their frame; who Himself having suffered being tempted, is able to
support those who are tempted.
Let Your kingdom come. Stand by Your missionary servants;
may they have many heathen souls for their hire; many, who shall be to them
as a crown of joy and rejoicing on the Great Day. Known unto You are all our
needs; we leave our petitions at the footstool of Your throne, assured that
in You we have a rich Provider. And when the provisions of the earthly
journey are needed no more, may it be ours to feed on the Bread which
endures to everlasting life. 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.
O Lord, You are great, and greatly to be feared. Your
greatness is unsearchable. Who shall not fear You, and glorify Your name?
for You only are holy. Eternal Father, who has loved us with an everlasting
love; Eternal Son, who did so freely shed Your precious blood for us;
Eternal Spirit, who is waiting and willing to renew and sanctify—yes, to
make these worthless souls of ours Temples to Your praise—come to us in the
plenitude of Your love this morning, that we may feel it to be good for us
to draw near unto God.
What are our lives, but testimonies to Divine
faithfulness? We look back with gratitude and thankfulness on a wondrous
past—the innumerable mercies which have been showered upon us, and that,
too, in the midst of ingratitude and sin. Bless the Lord, O our souls, and
forget not all His benefits! Where would we now have been, but for Your
great love to us in Christ! On Him our every hope of pardon and acceptance
is built. On His work we desire every hour to live. We rejoice that we have
such a Mediator between us, who has laid His hand upon us both; that He is
now pleading for us within the veil; answering for those who cannot answer
for themselves. Lord, enable us to manifest our love to Him, by a holy walk
and life, adorning the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. Give us a
tender conscience, a broken spirit, filial nearness, purity of heart,
consistency of conduct, uprightness of life. Loving You, our God, may we
love also our fellow-men. Bring us under the power of renewed natures and
purified affections. May all that is earthly and carnal, all that is
unamiable and selfish, all that is unkind and unholy, be displaced by what
is pure, elevated, lovely, and of good report. Above all, may we live under
the influence of unseen realities. With our faces Zionwards, may we feel
that our true home is above. Establish our hearts with the blessed truth,
that the coming of the Lord draws near; that so, when the hour of death
shall overtake us, it may be to us an angel whispering, "The Master has
come, and is calling for you!"
Compassionate those who are in affliction. May Your
sorrowing people be enabled to trust You in the dark. May they look forward
to that joyous period when they shall come to stand in Your presence, and
trace for themselves all the wisdom of Your now inscrutable dealings.
Have pity on the careless; reclaim the backslider; arouse
the lukewarm; bring back all wanderers who may have strayed from the fold.
Bless us as a family—give us the heritage of those who fear Your name; may
the absent know You as ever present—and when earth's separations are at an
end, may there be a common meeting-place for us all at last, before Your
Throne. Be our God and guide this day; protect our bodies from danger,
preserve our souls from sin; never leave and never forsake us. And all that
we ask is in the name, and for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord
and Savior. Amen.
Most Blessed God, we desire to approach Your sacred
presence on this the close of another day. Let our prayer come before You as
incense, and the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice. Enable us
to have a realizing view of Your Divine Majesty. Glory be to Your Holy Name,
that though Heaven is Your dwelling-place, You condescend also to make every
lowly heart Your habitation. Though You are the greatest of all
Beings, You are the kindest of all, and the best of all. We
come, weak and helpless and burdened, to that cross where alone there is
shelter and peace for the guilty. We will not cloak nor mask our manifold
sins and wickedness before the face of You, Almighty God, our Heavenly
Father. We would confess them with a humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient
Blessed Jesus, it is our comfort to know that there is in
You, all that is required to meet our needs. We rejoice to think of You as
You now are—the unchanging Intercessor within the Veil, with all the might
of infinite Godhead, and all the tenderness and pity of compassionate man.
May it be ours to cleave to You now, and to serve You now, that we may not
be ashamed before You at Your coming. May Your love exercise a paramount
influence over us. Let it be our endeavor to show that we are Christians
indeed—living Epistles, known and read by all men. Let us be gentle, and
kind, and forgiving. Let us not be betrayed into anger or uncharitableness.
Let there be no hard construction of the Divine dealings. Let patience have
its perfect work. May we be willing to do all, and to bear all—for the sake
of Him who has done so much and borne so much for us.
Give us a solemn sense of responsibility for every talent
committed to our keeping. Let us feel that they are not given merely to be
enjoyed by us, but to be employed for You. Alive to our stewardship, may we
lay them out for Your glory and for our own and our neighbors' good. Bless
all our beloved friends; remember them with Your special favor: wherever
they are, may they know the true blessedness of life, when spent in Your
service. We pray for all poor afflicted ones. Ease their burdens; soothe
their sorrows; dry their tears; enable them meekly to repose in Your
covenant faithfulness and love.
And now, Lord, what wait we for? our hope is in You. Most
graciously answer us, not according to our own wishes, (which are often
erring, and often sinful,) but according to what You know would be best. We
are poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks upon us. Make no tarrying, O our
God. Guard us through the night. Give Your Angels charge concerning us, that
they may encamp round about us. Whether we wake or sleep, may we live
together with You. And all that we ask is for the sake of Him whom You hear
always, and in whose most precious name and words we would sum up our
petitions at the Throne of the Heavenly grace.
Almighty Father, You are from everlasting to everlasting,
God. We adore You as the Author of our existence, and the source of all our
happiness. We desire to connect every blessing we possess with You; to trace
every stream of providential bounty up to Yourself—the great Fountain-head.
You alone, amid all changes, are the unchanging One. Heaven and earth shall
pass away, but You are the same, and Your years shall not fail. We come,
poor and needy, pleading Your own gracious promise, to give "all sufficiency
in all things" to those who seek You. We have no offering of our own to
present at Your footstool—we have everything to receive. There is nothing
between us and everlasting destruction, but Your mercy in Jesus. Wandering
in the wilderness, in a solitary way, hungry and thirsty, our souls fainting
within us—we would drink of the streams of abundant grace which flow from
the Smitten Rock. These have been flowing for ages past, and yet still the
warrant and welcome are free as ever. "Ho! everyone who thirsts, come to the
Blessed Savior, say unto each of us, "Your sins are
forgiven." Bring us to live, more and more every day, under the
constraining influence of Your love. Being made free from sin, and
having become Your covenant servants, may we have our fruit unto holiness.
May we be gaining fresh victories over our secret corruptions. May the power
of evil wax weaker and weaker; and the power of Your grace wax stronger and
stronger. May we know, by joyful experience, the happiness of true holiness.
Give us reverential and child-like submission to Your
will. The lot may be cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is
of the Lord. Finite wisdom has no place in Your dealings; not only are all
things ordained by You, but ordained in ineffable wisdom and love. May the
end of Your dispensations be our growing sanctification. Mercifully
accommodate the supplies of Your grace to the sons and daughters of sorrow.
May they call upon You in the day of trouble—deliver them. And though it may
not be the deliverance they would have desired, may it lead them to "glorify
Look in kindness on our family circle; may Your name be
ever hallowed here; may we know the happiness of that household whose God is
the Lord. Bless our beloved friends who may be absent from us. If separated
from one another now, may we meet at last in the better country, and
together enter into the joy of our Lord. Be with us throughout this day. May
Your peace be upon us and upon all the Israel of God. Guide us by Your
counsel; strengthen us for duty; and prepare us for trial. In all our ways
we would acknowledge You, and You will direct our paths. And all we ask is
for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
O God, You are great—and greatly to be feared. Your
greatness is unsearchable. Heaven is Your throne—the earth is Your
footstool. Before You, cherubim and seraphim continually do cry—'Holy, holy,
holy, is the Lord God Almighty!' Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of
Your glory. You are the sovereign controller of all events. You do according
to Your will in the armies of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.
The Lord reigns. Man proposes, but You dispose! And You dispose wisely and
We bless You, that as sinners we are permitted to come,
with all the load of our guilt, to a great Savior. We will arise and go to
our Father; we will say, Father, we have sinned against Heaven and in Your
sight—we are no more worthy to be called Your children! For Jesus' sake,
Your own dear Son—have mercy upon us miserable offenders. Behold, O God—our
shield! Look upon us in the face of Your Anointed. Wash us in His blood;
clothe us with His righteousness; sanctify us by the indwelling of Your Holy
Spirit; and present us at last, faultless before the presence of Your glory
with exceeding joy.
May the life of Jesus be made manifest in our mortal
flesh. May our hearts be more in Heaven; may we bear upon us the lofty
impress of those who are born from above, and for above—and who declare
plainly that they seek a better country. Whatever be the sphere in which
Your good providence has placed us, may it be our earnest endeavor to use
our time, and talents, and opportunities for You. Our season of
probation must soon be finished: may we work while it is called today,
remembering that the night comes.
Look in kindness on Your Church universal. Revive Your
work in the midst of the years. Return, O Lord, and visit this vineyard
which Your own right hand has planted. May every branch be laden with fruit;
found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Pity the afflicted: comfort all who are cast down. Be the
helper of the helpless; the refuge of the distressed; the Father of the
Fatherless. May all mourning the loss of beloved friends be led to bow
submissively to Your sovereign will, and look forward with joyful hearts to
that better time and that better world, where the fountain of these tears
shall be forever dried. Bless each one of us now bending at Your footstool.
May our children have Your grace poured into their hearts. May they be
defended from the snares of a world lying in wickedness. Give them to know
that, if they seek You early, You will be found of them, but if they forsake
You, You will cast them off forever. Give us all the heritage of Your grace
and love, and then we shall be rich indeed.
Many are saying, "Who will show us any good?" May we have
but one wish, "Lift upon us and ours, the light of Your countenance." Be
with us this night. It is You, Lord, who alone makes us to dwell in safety.
When we lie down to rest, let the curtain of Your protecting providence be
drawn around us, and when we awake may we still be with You. And all that we
ask is in the name and for the sake of the Lord Jesus.
O God, our Heavenly Father, we desire, on this the
morning of a new day, to encompass the footstool of Your Throne of Grace. We
thank You for the guardianship and care vouchsafed during the unconscious
hours of sleep. You have dispersed the darkness of another night, and
permitted the sun once more to arise upon us. O You better Sun of
Righteousness, do disperse the deeper darkness of sin; shine on us with the
brightness of Your rising; let us enjoy this day the blessedness of peace
with God. Lord Jesus, we commit our temporal and eternal interests anew to
Your keeping. Soul and body are Yours by Your redemption-purchase. May they
become Temples of the Holy Spirit, with this as their superscription,
"Holiness to the Lord." May nothing that is unclean or that defiles enter
May it be our highest desire—to walk so as to please You.
May it be our heaviest cross and trial, to incur Your displeasure. Let
us not be content with a name to live. Give us grace, that we may be enabled
to do Your will and promote Your glory; diffusing around us, as far as we
can, the influence of a holy, consistent life. In the performance of
every-day duties, let us seek to make this, the directory of our conduct,
"How would Jesus have acted here?" May we deal tenderly with others,
remembering the tenderness of Him who would not break the bruised reed, nor
quench the smoking flax. May we put on, as the elect of God, holy and
beloved, affections of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,
long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another. If any
has a quarrel against any—even as Christ has forgiven us, so may we do also.
We pray for all in sorrow. O God of all consolation, be a
Father to the Fatherless, a Husband to the widow, the stranger's shield, and
the orphan's stay. Enable Your suffering people to rest in Your love-saying,
'The Lord's will be done.' Bless our beloved friends; if there be any among
them who are still strangers to You, Lord, reveal to them Your dear Son in
all His ability to save. Preserve us as a household from danger and sin;
keep us in the hollow of Your hand; and may death, when it comes, be to all
of us the entrance to glory.
May Your Church universal live in the unity of the
Spirit, and in the bond of peace. Revive Your work in the midst of the
years; may the day soon arrive, when all ends of the earth shall see the
salvation of God. We again supplicate Your presence and blessing throughout
the day. May we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, but
may all our doings be ordered by Your governance, to do that which is well
pleasing in Your sight. Listen, gracious Father, to these our supplications;
when You hear, forgive; and grant us an answer in peace, for the Redeemer's
Gracious Father, we approach the footstool of Your throne
this evening, adoring You as the God of our life, and the length of our
days. We bless You for the many tokens of Your love daily bestowed upon us:
for food and clothing—for health and strength—for friends and home—for all
that brightens our pathway in life—for all that cheers and irradiates our
prospects beyond the grave. Lord, how often have You disappointed our fears,
answered our prayers, and fulfilled our hopes; how often has Your grace made
arduous duties easy, and leveled mountains of difficulty! How often, when
our hearts were overwhelmed, have you led us to the Rock that is higher than
us; and given us help from trouble, when vain was the help of man!
We come anew to You this night, weary and heavy-laden,
beseeching You to grant us the blessed sense of Your forgiving mercy. We
lament that we do not feel, as we ought to do—the burden of sin. Bring us in
poverty of soul—in self-denying, self-renouncing lowliness, to cry out, "God
be merciful to us, sinners." Show us the infinite adaptation of the
Redeemer, in His Person and work, to meet all the necessities of our tried
and tempted natures. May His name be as ointment poured forth; may His blood
be our only plea—His love our animating principle—His glory our chief end.
May our souls become holy altars, from which the incense
of obedience ascends continually. May we be enabled to do Your will and to
love Your will, because it is Yours. May our eye be single that our whole
body may be full of light. Oh keep us from temptation; support and deliver
us when we are tempted. May we be able to say, in reply to all the seductive
allurements of the Evil One, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin
Accomplish the number of Your elect, and hasten the
coming of Your Son's kingdom. Keep Your churches faithful; may they
earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints—holding fast
that which they have, that no man take their crown.
Sanctify affliction to all Your afflicted people. Let
them know that Your chastisements are mercies in disguise; that You watch
every sheep in the fold; and when led out to the rougher parts of the
wilderness, You "go before them."
We pray for those who are living without God, and
therefore without hope. Let them not put off until it be too late; until
they are forced, with unavailing tears, to mourn wasted hours and forfeited
opportunities. Convince every procrastinator, that now is the accepted
time—that now is the day of salvation. Bless us, even us, O God, who are now
bending at Your mercy-seat; rebuke our faithlessness; warm our love; quicken
our graces; let us live more constantly under the powers of the world to
Before we lie down on our nightly pillows, we would lay
our sins afresh on the head of the Great Surety, that so we may retire to
rest at peace with You; and if You see fit to spare us until tomorrow, may
we rise fitted for all its duties. Hear these our humble supplications; when
You hear, forgive; and all that we ask is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
Most Blessed God—we desire to begin this new day with
You. We bless You for Your sparing mercy; in having permitted us once more
to lie down to sleep, and to awake in safety and comfort; may we be enabled,
as dependents on Your bounty, to receive every returning morning as a
fresh pledge of Your love. We confess, O God, our unworthiness; the utter
alienation of our hearts from Yourself—the source of all life and joy and
blessedness. To original sin, we have added manifold transgressions. Our
iniquities testify against us. But we bless You, that where sin abounded,
grace has much more abounded. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift;
for all that Jesus died to purchase, and which He is now exalted to bestow.
O Lamb of God—O spotless, sinless Victim—we rely on Your
most precious Sacrifice. Bear away these life-long sins of ours, into a land
of oblivion, that they may no more rise up in judgment against us. Lord, may
our daily walk be more circumspect and holy. Let us follow Your will
whatever it may be—though, at times, it may be at variance with our
own—feeling that the Judge of all the earth must do right, and cannot do
wrong. In the spirit of Him who was "silent before His shearers," may we
have grace to say, "Even so, Father, for so it seems good in Your sight."
Above all, preserve us from the temptations of a world
lying in wickedness. May we seek to walk circumspectly: remembering that our
time is short; that we have much to do—and a brief time for doing it. May we
have our loins girded, and our lamps burning; and be like those who are
waiting for their Lord's coming. We entreat You to look down in special
mercy on our household. Visit us all with the love which You bear to Your
own. May the young be guided through the slippery paths of youth; may they
be enabled early to enlist on the Lord's side—early to seek You, that they
may early find You. May all be actuated by Christian motives; performing the
duties of their calling, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but as doing
the will of God from the heart. May we know that in keeping Your
commandments there is a great reward. Bless those that are absent from us;
may they be shielded by Your good providence; make them all the children of
God, by faith in Christ Jesus.
Good Lord, be with us during this day; vouchsafe us that
blessing which makes rich and adds no sorrow with it; and when all our days
are finished, receive us into everlasting habitations, for the sake of Jesus
Christ, our only Lord and Savior; to whom with You the Father, and You Ever
Blessed Spirit—be ascribed all blessing and honor and glory and praise,
world without end. Amen.
O Lord, we approach Your sacred presence, on this the
close of another day, and the termination of another week, adoring You for
Your great goodness. We desire, with united hearts, to set up our Ebenezer
of thankfulness, and to say, "Hitherto has the Lord helped us!" We are
utterly unworthy of the least of all Your mercies. If You had dealt with us
as we deserved, or rewarded us according to our iniquities—we could not
answer for one of a thousand. Blessed be Your name, You have devised means
by which Your banished ones may not be expelled from You. Through the doing
and dying of Jesus, the law has been disarmed of its condemning power; all
its penalties have been borne; death itself has been stripped of its
terrors, and the Kingdom of Heaven opened to all believers!
Lord, after such a pledge of Your love, in not sparing
Your own Son, we believe You will with Him also freely give us all things.
If You send us prosperity—may we be enabled to give You the return of
grateful hearts, and obedient, submissive lives. If You deny us earthly
bliss and earthly happiness—let us accept the denial as the will of Infinite
Goodness. We will trust You implicitly. In You we are as secure as
everlasting power and wisdom and love can make us! If there be times when we
are led to exclaim, "Verily You are a God who hides Yourself," we will look
forward with joy to that better world, where mystery shall give way to
Lord, make us more holy; sanctify us through Your truth;
keep us watchful; keep us humble; keep us from unchristian tempers; keep us
from all pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy. Let us cultivate a habitual,
realizing sense of Your Divine Presence. In our worldly work and avocations,
whatever we do—may we do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men.
We pray for others as well as for ourselves. Draw near in
mercy this night to any who may be in sorrow and distress, or who may be
mourning the loss of beloved relatives. Sanctify their trials; may these
yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Bless our beloved friends;
write their names in the Lamb's book of life. Bless us who are now
surrounding Your footstool; spare us long together as an unbroken circle on
earth; and when we shall be called to leave behind us this lower valley, may
we be conducted into those blessed regions, which eye has not seen, nor ear
heard; where there shall be no more parting; and where we shall stand
without fault before Your Throne!
We commend ourselves to Your Fatherly protection during
the silent watches of the night. Do You give us tranquil repose; may we be
permitted to lie down in Your fear, and to awake in Your favor—fitted and
prepared for the duties and services of Your holy day. And all that we ask
is for Jesus' sake. Amen.