"O Lord, in the morning I will direct my prayer to You."
"Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you disturbed
within me? Hope in God."—Psalm 43:5
O God, in Your infinite mercy You have again spared me to
approach Your blessed presence. May each morning find me better prepared for
the glorious waking-time of immortality, when "the day shall break," and
earth's shadows shall forever "flee away." May I seek to rise this day in
newness of life, breathing more of the atmosphere of holiness, and partaking
more of the character of heaven.
You are always, by the salutary dispensations of Your
providence, reminding me that "earth is not my rest." It is well, Lord, that
it should be so; that, by Your own gracious and needed discipline, the world
be disarmed of its insinuating power, and I be weaned from what is precarious
at the best, and which ultimately must perish.
O my God, I feel heavily burdened by reason of sin. I mourn
my guilty proneness to temptation. How anything and everything seems often
enough to drive me from you, and to lead me to seek my happiness in created
good, rather than in Yourself, the infinite fountain of all excellence! How
sad have been my backslidings!—how have solemn vows been broken!—how have
abandoned and forsworn sins threatened again to have dominion over me! How
little tenderness of conscience has there been!—how little dread of an uneven
walk! How often, on the heart which I have consecrated to You as an altar for
the perpetual sacrifice of praise, and gratitude, and love, has there been
burning incense to strange gods!
Lord, when I look to my inner self I have good cause indeed
for misgivings and despondency. Conscience repeats, over and over again, a
sentence of condemnation, and I have nothing to extenuate my guilt or excuse
my sin. Where can I flee? Where can I look but to You, O Lamb of God,
sin-bearing and sin-forgiving Savior!
Enable me to be living more from moment to moment on Your
grace—to rely on Your guiding arm with more childlike confidence—to look with
a more simple faith to Your finished work, disowning all trust in my own
doings, and casting myself, as a poor needy pensioner, on the bounty of Him
who has done all, and suffered all, and endured all, for me. Thus relying on
the unseen arm of a covenant-God, when the hour of darkness and discouragement
overtakes me—when trials multiply, and comforts fail, and streams of earthly
blessings are dried up—may I have what compensates for the loss of all, "Your
favor, which is life, and Your loving-kindness, which is better than life." "I
will go in the strength of the Lord God." "Though He slays me, yet will I
trust in Him."
Be the God of all near and dear to me. May all my relatives
be able to claim a spiritual relationship with You, that so those earthly
bonds of attachment, which sooner or later must snap asunder here, may be
renewed and perpetuated before the throne.
Pity all who are in sorrow. Comfort the feeble-minded. May
"the joy of the Lord be their strength." May valuable lives be prolonged. May
those appointed unto death be prepared for their great change. And all I ask
is for Jesus' sake. Amen.