"Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
"This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Matthew 6:9-13
May God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep us. May the Lord look upon us mercifully with His favor; and so fill us with all spiritual blessings and grace, that we may so live in this life, that, in the world to come, we may have life everlasting. Amen.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, heaven and earth are full of Your glory! Glory be to You, O Lord most high. At the commencement of this blessed day, we desire to unite with all the company of heaven and all the saints on earth in uplifting the voice of adoration and praise. Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto You, O Father of mercies, God of all grace and love.
We thank You that, in the multitude of Your tender mercies, in the riches of Your pitiful compassion, You have been pleased to erect this throne of grace, before which we now most humbly bow. We bless You that here free grace reigns. We bless You that at all times and in all places, we have open access to it through the blood of Your dear Son. We bless You that the veil is open, and that in His great name we may ever approach, and find You ready to hear, waiting to be gracious, arrayed in smiles of love, bidding us touch the scepter of Your sovereign mercy, inviting us to pour out every need and desire of our hearts, and promising to give more than we can ask or think. "Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time." Hebrews 4:16
But while we thus look up and praise You, shame and confusion overwhelm our hearts. You are worthy of all praise. We are unworthy to bring any. Your throne is holiness. Our lips are all impure. While we adore You for Your saving grace, we remember the past iniquity of our holiest things. What irreverence in Your worship, what cold formality in prayer and praise, what utterance of lip, with absence of heart—convict us as most miserable sinners! We confess that with seeming reverence we have added provocation to impiety. We bewail the aggravations of our guilt. We acknowledge that unless Your compassions failed not, we would have been cast away from Your presence, and left abandoned by Your Holy Spirit. But for Your dear Son's sake, hearken to our petition, and sprinkle all the hours of all our past worship with the atoning merits of His all-precious blood. May the pleadings of the cross, outcry the accusations of misused service.
Grant, oh grant, we earnestly implore You, that this day may witness deep improvement in us. Grant to us the wondrous blessings in rich abundance which this day was designed to impart. May it be wholly consecrated to You. May we, in spirit, soar far from earth. May our hearts be fast barred against admission of worldly thoughts or cares. May our souls be hid in Christ with You. Send Your peace, passing all understanding, as a flood into our tranquil minds. In public and in private draw us nearer unto You. May our meditations of You be sweet. May our outward exercises be life and liberty and joy. May we drink deeply of the refreshing streams proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. May we feast on the heaven-sent manna of Your precious Word, and thus gather strength for the upward race. Anoint afresh the shield of faith, that we may be able to quench all Satan's fiery darts.
Hear our cry for all the ministers of Your everlasting gospel. May Christ so richly fill their hearts, that all their ministrations may be a sweet savor of His grace. May He be uplifted in all pulpits as the only hope and strength and wisdom and redemption of His people. May we learn in the sanctuary new lessons of His perfect salvation. May our hearts be more and more knit to Him. May this be the Spirit's wonder-working day to us and all the congregations of the living God. Hear us, answer us, bless us. All we ask is in Jesus' name, and for Jesus' sake. Amen.
O God the Father, our great Creator, our gracious preserver, who is ever loading us with loving-kindness and tender mercies—we bless You, we praise You. O God the Son, who by the shedding of Your most precious blood, has made us Your purchased possession, and has redeemed us from all iniquity—we bless You, we praise You. O God the Holy Spirit, who has taught us our need as sinners, and has revealed the finished salvation to us, and has enriched us with spiritual consolations in heavenly places—we bless You, we praise You. O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons, one God, what more could have been done for our souls and for our salvation, which You have not freely and mightily accomplished!
The heavens are high above the earth—but greater far are Your mercies to us! We cannot count the stars which bespangle the canopy of the skies, or the sands which begird the seas, or the drops which compose the ocean's boundlessness—but all these are finite, while infinity is the only measure of Your grace.
Fresh proof has encircled us this day. We have been called to sacred rest. Earthly work has ceased, respite has been ours from worldly care and toil. Your courts have opened their doors, admitting us to the holy fellowship of united worship. Your ministers have come forth to teach and to admonish, to warn us of the perils of our pilgrimage, to proclaim Jesus in the glories of His work, and to assure us of completeness in Him.
The sacred hours now reach their close. Grant that we may be thus reminded that earthly Sabbaths will soon all cease. O quicken our spirits that we may use each as if the last. Enable us to regard Your courts, as the gate of heaven, and the threshold of the eternal world. May we use our privileges with solemn thought, that the Judge stands at the door. Animate us with the precious joy, that within the veil congregations never disperse, and adorations never cease, and no flesh grows weary, and no affections flag, and no thoughts wander, and praise never droops—but the whole atmosphere is adoring love. Blessed Jesus, hasten the time! When, when will this once be?
While we thus magnify You, O God, our God, for all the precious opportunities of our Sabbath days, we beseech You to guard our minds from making any ordinances our stay or our trust. We confess the treacherous proneness of our hearts to hew out broken cisterns, and to rest on outward helps. Give wings to our faith, that we may rise through earthly forms and services—to Your immediate presence. May our poor enfeebled prayers show us more and more of our emptiness and vanity and sin. Deepen in us the conviction that our most fervent praises, and most lowly confessions, need to be repented of, and our bitterest tears of penitence need the washing of the only cleansing blood. Thus may our best services bring us nearer to the cross, and prompt the hearty cry, "None but Jesus, none but Jesus!"
Pour down Your Holy Spirit largely into our hearts, to give abiding life to the lessons of this day. May the seed take deep root, and yield abundant fruits of heavenly-mindedness to the praise of the glory of Your grace. May all who see us take knowledge of us that we have been with our God this day. May we reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, and by holy example, dispel the mists of surrounding ignorance and unbelief.
We cannot leave Your glorious throne without humbly presenting the whole family of man in the arms of our faith. What need, what wretchedness, what misery, what darkness, what iniquity! Who are we that we should be made to differ? We would manifest our grace—by making supplication for the graceless! How easy for You to speak the word, and darkness shall flee, and the lifeless shall live.
Blessed Jesus, You came to seek and to save the lost; bring, we beseech You, many stray sheep into Your gospel-fold.
We commend to Your special care this night the sons and daughters of sickness and affliction. Be near to dying beds. Soothe the pillows of the suffering. Speak peace to the contrite and the brokenhearted. Sprinkle accusing consciences with the blood of Your cross.
Be with us, when we retire from family worship, to the stillness of our own chambers. Give us boldness of access to You, and may we breathe out the inmost secrets of our souls. You know all before we speak—but help us freely to speak, that we may find relief and pardon and comfort. May we lie down at peace with You, our consciences, and all mankind. Give us faith to expect full reply. We ask all, trusting in Your grace and love. Amen.
Blessed Jesus, we draw near as a family with this morning's light—to laud and magnify You, our God and Savior. Help us from on high with Your Holy Spirit—for in Your light alone, can we behold the light of Your countenance; by Your teaching alone, can we know Your precious worth. You must open our eyes to see, our hearts to feel, our lips to praise.
We bless You that You have revealed Jesus unto our hearts. Be it unto us according to all the breadth and length and depth and height of this Your glorious name. We are real and great sinners—may You be a real and great Jesus unto us. Be Jesus unto us—in every moment of the day on which we now are entering, in every circumstance, in our going out and coming in, in our down sitting and uprising, in our study of Your holy Word, in our converse with others, in our closet meditations. Be ever very near. We are blind as to what Your providence may ordain—but we fear no evil if You are our sun, our shield, our stay, our refuge, and our present friend. Be our Jesus in every time of need; when things are adverse, when things are prosperous, when heart and flesh fail, in the hour of closing life, when we stand before the great white throne, and throughout the ages of eternity!
We know that in us, that is, in our flesh—there dwells no good thing. We bewail our many and our mighty sins. We loathe ourselves because of our vileness, our deep and innate corruptions, and the iniquities of our every hour—from the cradle to this time. We lie in dust and ashes before Your awesome majesty! But in all our misery as sinners—we look to You and our hearts fear not. We triumph, and we glory in Your saving name. It is a treasure-house of all riches for us. Out of its fullness may we this day receive. Thus may we advance to the duties which call us, happy and strong in You, and in Your great and wondrous salvation.
Heavenly Father, grant that the sweet savor of our Sabbath privileges may continue with us throughout this day. May our profiting from holy teaching be deep and abiding. May it be seen of all men that we are making sure progress in the narrow way of life.
We are entering anew on our allotted course, grant that we may take each new step in newness of spirit, with hearts entirely weaned from the world, dead to outward enticements, wholly consecrated unto You. We shall have to wrestle not with flesh and blood only—but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Fortify us with the whole armor prepared by Your grace. Garrison our hearts with heavenly aid. Let every inlet of sense be occupied by spiritual guards. Bar the gates of our fortress, that no evil may gain admittance. Keep us as the very apple of Your eye. Keep us as the vine which Your right hand has planted. Keep us by Your mighty power through faith unto eternal life. Lead us as the sheep of Your fold—in paths of righteousness for Your name's sake, making us to feed in green pastures, and to lie down beside still waters. Let Your glory brightly shine before our eyes. May Your glory be the one aim of all our words and works.
Hear us in behalf of all who ministered to Your congregations yesterday. May their own souls be abundantly nourished by the truths which their lips proclaimed. May they precede Your servants as standard-bearers of the Lord. Bless, too, all who publicly worshiped with us in the sanctuary. May we blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which we shine like stars in the universe, as we hold out the word of life.
We mutually as a family implore Your most especial blessings on each other. We are brought into this close union by Your good providence; grant that we may be fellow-helpers to each other's faith, and spur each other to good works, and encourage each other to run with alacrity the heavenward race. May nearness to each other on earth lead to nearness in the eternal home. Smile on the hearty desires of this domestic circle; and bless us now and evermore for Your mercy's sake in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gracious Lord Jesus, we adore You as truly God—all power is given unto You in heaven and in earth. Almighty Savior, accept the evening sacrifice of Your humble and most unworthy servants. From the throne of Your glory look in tender compassion on Your poor suppliants. You have died—that we may live with You forever. Help us by Your grace—that we may live with You, and to You, during the little speck of our earthly sojourn.
The close of this day reminds us that the time is short, and that the end comes on apace. Grant that we may ever stand with our lamps burning, and our loins girt. When You knock—may we open unto You immediately, and spring forward rejoicingly to welcome Your return. Pour Your Spirit so richly into our hearts, that every day may be as heaven begun—and our last day may, indeed, be heaven attained. We think of death—and we remember judgment. O You who have tasted death—in the hour of our death be with us. Let Your rod and Your staff comfort us. Let the brightness of Your presence dispel all gloom. Extend Your right hand to lead us through the shadowy valley. When heart and flesh fail, be the strength of our heart, and our portion forever. Let Your sweet voice sound sweetly in the ears of faith: "It is I, be not afraid! Fear you not, for I am with you! Be not dismayed for I am your God!"
When our ears close to earthly sounds—may heavenly melody delight us. When eyes grow dim to earth—may they open in perfect clearness on You, the altogether lovely One. Drive Satan far away. Do not allow him to harass or molest us. We are not ignorant of his malice and devices. Great will be his wrath when he sees that his time is short. His last opportunity will be his fiercest. His last darts will be most sharply barbed. We beseech You, by all Your sufferings for us on the accursed tree—spread Your shield around us. We beseech You, by Your agony and bloody sweat—defeat his last efforts, and give us a joyful and abundant entrance into Your heavenly kingdom. If it is Your blessed will, that pains should test these dissolving frames, may lamb-like patience calm our hearts; and may Your supporting arm make us more than conquerors over nature's last throes.
While the close of this week's first working day prompts these large desires, the review of it casts us into the lowest depths of shame. While we ask the greatest merecies—we feel that we are not worthy of the least of all Your mercies. Our merited portion is confusion of face. What duties have we left undone! Into what evil have we sadly run! Neglect of due service condemns us. Shortcomings and insufficiencies bear witness to our unprofitableness. Manifold transgressions cry, "Unclean, unclean!" We have had opportunities this day of speaking for You; they were poorly used, or wholly abused, and now they are forever fled. May Your pierced hand take of Your own blood and obliterate the record of this day's sins. Blot out as a thick cloud our transgressions, and as a cloud our sins. We plead the heaven-sent promise, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We remember the full price paid by You on the cross; and we exult in the assurance, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Thus trusting in the work of free grace, we retire to seek Your face again on our bedside knees.
We remember, heavenly Father, our wondrous privilege of being called to make intercession for others also. Precepts impel—promises invite—examples give encouragement. We are taught that, "The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends." A prayerful Christian is a world-wide blessing. How would this earth blossom and fructify exceedingly, if praying lips gave You no rest. Thus we wrestle with You for all who near and dear to us by ties of kindred, friendship, and social union. Enrich them with all grace. Grant that we may be one in Christ now, and one for evermore. May we together fight the good fight of faith, together lay hold of eternal life, together enter into the joy of our Lord. May Your grace and blessing answer, for the sake of our only Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
O Eternal and most glorious Lord God, we bless You that You have given us by the eye of faith to see You as our Father on Your mercy-seat, and to believe that as we thus draw near to You—that You will draw near to us. Help us to crave more and more of Your presence, until Your fullness fills us wholly. We would not have one portion of our hearts unoccupied by You. In You we live, and move, and have our being. Do be pleased to live and move within us, breathing in our prayers, inhabiting our praises, speaking in our words, moving in our every movement.
It is our especial prayer this morning that You will be pleased to come, and by Your Spirit to cause our faith to grow exceedingly. Holy Father, mightily increase this grace within us. It is of Your bounteous goodness that we believe—but still, how weak and wavering is our faith, how dim is its light, how tottering is its step, how tremulously it stands, how slow is its growth, how frequent are its backslidings! When by this time it should be mighty to scale the heaven of heavens, it often lies groveling in the dust. How much of distrust mingles with its strongest efforts! Pity our manifold infirmities. Help our vile unbelief. You have been pleased of Your free love—to kindle within us this heaven-sent spark. How easy for You to fan it into glowing flame! O Lord, hearken—for Your mercy's sake. While we mourn over our many maladies—we see that increase of faith would be the grand remedy! Our hearts are often the cage of every unclean bird, the fount of every loathsome desire, the poisonous tree of every deadly fruit, the open wayside of every earthly lust and passion. It is because our faith sleeps. Awaken it, good Lord. Bid it put forth more strength, until it brings all heaven into the soul, and all impurity is cast out.
We now go forth to intermingle with the world. This foe is artful to entrap us. It will approach in fascinating guise. It will extend many a gilded bait, and will present many a poisoned cup. Lord, increase our faith, and we shall scorn every painted bauble, and trample down every bewitching snare. We shall then be more than conquerors, for this is the victory which overcomes the world—even our faith.
Many duties are before us. Our callings demand firmness, energy, and zeal. We desire to work in Your vineyard this day, not slothful in any business—but as Your servants, devoted to Your cause, valiant for Your truth. We know that love is the working grace, and that our love will be commensurate with our faith. Let but our faith stride forth in giant-power, and love will respond and put energy into every act, and then at the close of this day, Your Spirit will bear witness with our spirit: well done, good and faithful servant. Oh! receive the cry of our hearts—increase our faith.
Often do we mourn the absence of our beloved Lord. His smile makes earth a paradise. His voice is the sweetest music to our ears. Without Him, life is a dreary blank. Apart from Him, we stumble and fall. With Him we are strong to do all things. Why is He ever absent? He stands at the door—but it is barred by unbelief. If faith gives entrance, Jesus enters in, and takes up His abode. It is a true word, "Christ dwells in the heart by faith." Longing for this indwelling, we cry, Good Lord, increase our faith.
Our joys are at their fullest tide, when we realize that we are members of Your family. Your household is the household of faith. Without it we are strangers and aliens. We know that it is by faith in Jesus Christ that we are Your children. Increase then our faith that we may rejoice in our high relationship, and glory in our glorious inheritance.
You have strewn many precious promises up and down the Bible pages. They are flowers of sweet fragrance, when culled by faith. They are fruit of refreshing flavor, when gathered by this grace. But without it, they are empty husks. Do not allow this treasure—to be no treasure to us. May we be rich in its richness, imbibe its sweetness, feast on its preciousness, draw vigor from its manna, be strong in its strength, and happy in its joy. This cannot be without much faith. Good Lord, hear the cry of our anxious hearts, and increase our faith, through the merits and for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
O Lord God, our Father in heaven, preserved by Your kind providence through another brief stage of our earthly pilgrimage, we assemble around Your mercy-seat. We cannot bless You, as You deserve, for this inestimable privilege of united access to You. We thank You, that, vile and sin-soiled as we are, we may come into Your immediate presence, and hold this converse with You, and commune with You concerning all our matters, all our sins, and fears and hopes and desires.
Grant us more and more by Your Holy Spirit to prize the privilege of prayer. We are astonished that we poor sinners on earth may speak directly to You—the great the glorious God, on Your throne in the heaven of heavens! How wondrous the thought that our poor breathings may fly on the wings of faith, and have instant access to the ears of Your grace! We bless You that prayer moves Your right hand, by which all things were made and are upheld.
It is of Your tender compassion that we are commanded in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, to make our requests known unto You. May we yield humble obedience, and so may the peace of God which passes all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We thank You, and we clasp the wondrous promise; we feel the high privilege to which it raises us: Ask and you shall have—seek and you shall find—knock and it shall be opened unto you. So grant now to us who ask. May we who seek find; open the door to us who knock; and in answer to our wrestling cry—fill us with the spirit of grace and supplication. May we pray always and not faint. May prayer be the mold in which our minds are framed, the channel in which our thoughts shall flow, the path in which our feet shall tread, the watch upon the door of our lips. May prayer be with us when we leave our morning chamber, when we move throughout the day, when we retire to our evening rest.
Give us undoubting faith that our supplications never are in vain. May we know assuredly that if we do not obtain our exact petitions—that we shall have larger, richer answers; that it is Your property to do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we canaskor think. Unasked, You have given the greatest of all gifts, the unspeakable gift of Your dear Son. We hence feel confident that in answer to our incessant cries, You will give us all things needful for life and godliness.
May the manner of our prayers be always wise and humble and submissive. When we seek nothing but the glory of Your name, the advance of the Redeemer's kingdom—may we ask boldly and expect fully. When we bring temporal matters before Your throne, may we in humble submission spread out our need, and from our inmost souls breathe out the cry, "Not as we will—but as You will."
Hear too our united supplication for the pardon of all sins which Your omniscient eye has seen in us this day. We are deeply conscious that evil cleaves to our holiest walk. We see and bewail our many transgressions and shortcomings. How many more are in the light of Your countenance. How exceeding is their magnitude before You. Enter not into judgment with us. Behold us only in Your dear Son. Regard us as sheltered from wrath—in the covert of His cleansing wounds. Accept His sacrifice on the cross as our full atonement, and as the perfect payment of our every debt.
We would mention before You all our kindred, family, and friends. May we all be bound together in the bundle of life, which is in Christ Jesus. Sanctify us all, body, soul, and spirit. May we be one now in the bonds of the everlasting gospel—and one forever in the eternal mansions of glory.
We thank You for all who have departed this life in Your faith and fear, beseeching You to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that, this life ended, we may joy with them in Your eternal kingdom. We present these prayers, trusting only in the name of Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, most gracious Savior, with grateful joy we come to You. We know Your boundless love. We believe that You delight over us—to bless us and to do us good. We look to Your cross, and we see how You have loved us. You have given Yourself that we should never die. Surely with Yourself You will add all needful blessings. You have left us a precious legacy of promise; surely you will open heaven wide—to pour down fulfillment.
We remember the wondrous word, "I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever—even the Spirit of truth." We spread before You this most blessed pledge. We present our empty hearts before You—and we meekly beseech You to fill them with Your Holy Spirit.
We earnestly desire to be temples entirely occupied by His presence. We are blind; send Him to give us light. Darkness is around us and within us; may He say, Let there be light, and there shall be light. We believe that it is eternal life to know the Father, and You whom the Father has sent; may He brightly illumine our minds to understand with exceeding joy the Father's eternal love, the sure provisions of the covenant of grace, and all the glories of Your finished work. May He give us faith to see our names engraved on Your heart—our souls and bodies assuredly redeemed by Your blood—our lives of sinfulness gloriously covered by Your life of pure obedience. Replenish us with His revealing grace, that we may realize our indissoluble oneness with You—that You have espoused us to Yourself forever in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies, and in faithfulness —that we are one with You as branches are one with the stem, as building is one with the foundation, and that nothing can part us from Your unchanging love.
In the midst of our sorrows—may His comforts cheer us. In all our trials—may His strength sustain us. When we are disposed to faint and be weary, may the dew of His blessing revive us. May His presence render us very fruitful trees of holiness. By His might establish within us, the reign of righteousness and peace and joy. Send Him as the Searcher of hearts to show us more of our utter corruption, that in deep self-abhorrence, realizing our worse than helplessness, we may flee to You, cling more closely to You, and receive You, as the beginning and the end, the first and the last of our salvation.
We desire to pray always, without doubting and without ceasing. So enrich us with the constant spirit of supplication, that our lives may be continuous prayer. We long to encircle You with the thanksgivings which are infinitely Your due. By Your Spirit kindle within us the undying flame of adoration, so that our heaven of praise may commence on earth, and that the endless hallelujahs may be no new song to us. So dispose our hearts, that when He shall seek us with all these blessings on His wings, we may never vex Him by our indifference and waywardness, never grieve Him by our cold welcome, never resist Him by our harsh rebellion; but may we lift up the gates of our souls that this heavenly visitant may come in, and occupy the throne and rule forever!
Especially may Your Spirit aid us when we search the Scriptures. The depths are very deep; the heights are exceeding high. We have no lines to fathom, and no wings to soar; but by His gracious help may we be enabled to explore all truth, to love it with all our hearts, to embrace it with all our powers, and to engraft it in our lives. Thus may we daily become more spiritually-minded, which is life and peace.
These blessings, thus earnestly sought by us, grant to all whom duty and affection prompt us to remember in our prayers. Pour Your Spirit on our children, Your blessing on our offspring. Bring home to Your fold, all wanderers and outcasts. Hasten the time when You shall be adored as the one Shepherd of one flock. Accept and answer our humble petitions, for Your great name's sake. Amen.
Ever blessed Lord God, with joy and thankfulness we again with united hearts and voices gather round You in the name of Jesus.
"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16. We humbly pray that all the occurrences of this departing day may work together for our good. A little stage of life is passed. Its end should find us riper in grace—and more fit to see Your face. But we have left many duties undone—may this condemning thought strip us more and more of all self-righteousness; and deepen in us the resolve, that, if other days are ours, they shall, Your Spirit helping us—be more devoted to Your gracious service.
Past opportunities can never be recalled. They once were ours to use, and their misuse adds to our overwhelming guilt. While we plead Your dear Son's atonement as our hope of pardon—may we be quickened to more constant and watchful care. Help us to redeem the time, knowing that to us it is very short— a little speck, a span, a vanishing shadow, a fading flower. And seeing that we have no merit of our own, may we prize more intensely the inestimable merits of Christ Jesus our Lord, whom we rejoicingly receive as our wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. "Teach us to number our days aright—that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
Many temptations have beset our path. Grant that in each we may see the deceit, the subtlety, the bitter enmity, and the wily power of our deadly adversaries. May the experience of this day lead us to stand with a more wary eye on the watch-tower of faith, and to cling with more determined grasp to the almighty arm of our protecting Lord. Wherever we have fallen, may we smite upon our breasts and hide our sins beneath the Redeemer's sheltering righteousness. Wherever we have escaped, may we ascribe deliverance wholly to Your sustaining grace, and may our grateful songs exalt the Lord our Strength. If we have been permitted to do anything to the glory of Your great name, whether in word or work—be pleased to add Your effectual blessing, and multiply a thousand-fold, the seed so scantily sown!
We trust that prayers have ascended this day from our secret closets; and many aspirations from our hearts, when busied in appointed work. May You be pleased to receive them from our great Intercessor's hands, and may answers descend according to His prevailing worth. Bless also to our souls—every grain of truth which we have gleaned in the rich fields of Your holy Word. May they all take deep root. May Satan steal none away. May Your heavenly dew refresh them. May Your heavenly rays ripen them. May they bear abundant fruit—to our great joy and to Your exceeding praise.
And now our wearied frames solicit sleep. Give us the restoring rest needful for the next day's toil. If dreams be ours, may no tinge of evil be intermixed. But may Your Spirit, whether we sleep or watch, make us the blessed temple of His sanctifying presence.
Throughout the wide earth, many of Your people this night are lying down in misery and pain. Their consciences accuse of sin; their minds are harassed by tormenting and foreboding thoughts; personal and relative anxieties hold their eyes waking. Permit us to commend their wretchedness to You, their great Creator and Savior. You have a balm for every wound, a solace for every anguish, a remedy for every pain, a deliverance from every impossible situation, and a peace for all disquietude.
Hear our prayer for these, Your people, and grant help. You can change their 'night of darkness' into joyful light. Holy Spirit, reveal Jesus to them—which will give them unmixed blessedness. We thus implore You, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. From Your high throne behold with gracious eye—Your humble servants. We would not cross the threshold of this day without committing ourselves, our souls and bodies, all our concerns, and all our friends—to Your guardian care. We know that we are not our own; we desire to be wholly Yours. Watch over us, keep us, guide us, direct us, sanctify us, and bless us. Incline our hearts to delight in Your holy ways.
As the potter frames the clay—may You mold us wholly into the blessed image of Jesus! Make us vessels of honor, fitted for Your service. May our lips, as well-tuned harps, sound the sweet melody of Your heavenly praise. May all around take knowledge of us—that we have been much with Jesus—that we are dead to earthly vanities—crucified with Christ—yet living by Your Spirit—trampling the world beneath our spurning feet—having no conformity to lying vanities—but entirely transformed by the renewing of our minds—clad in the whole armor of God—shining as lights in the dark world—and having "holiness to the Lord" conspicuous on our brow!
We do not know with what matters, we may be intermingled with this day. Let no evil soil our hands. Help us, as we pass along the miry paths of life—to keep our garments pure from all spot and stain. While transacting needful concerns, may our affections be high in heaven with You. As the flame tends upward, so may the fire of heavenly love in our souls, kindled and fanned by Your Holy Spirit—be ever ascending in brighter and purer blaze!
Keep our gaze immovably fixed, not on the things which are seen—but on the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal—but the things which are unseen are eternal. Open our eyes to see "emptiness, fragility and mockery" inscribed on all earth's vanities! They cannot satisfy! As a shadow—they depart and flee away! While we grasp them—they are gone! May we view all things in the 'mirror of eternity!'
Impress on us the solemn truth, that in a little while, "the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare!" May we move through this world, with our eyes watching for the sign of the Son of man in the heavens. May our ears be ever listening for the last trumpet's peal, and may we be looking for and hastening unto the new heavens and new earth wherein righteousness dwells. May one aspiration ever swell within our hearts, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"
We know not who of our fellow-men shall cross our path this day. Give us the persuasion that You will order all our interactions with them according to Your all-ruling wisdom. May mutual good be gained and done by us. May we look on everyone as sent by You—with, or for, a blessing. Forbid it, O gracious Lord, that we should not be profited and profitable. At the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, may we bless You for grace brought to us by Your servants this day. And may others bless You for grace communicated through us. Guide us by Your counsel that we may speak each word as our last word, and step each step as our last step. May we go in and out holding our lives in open hand, ready to be surrendered at Your call. If this day should be our last, may it be our best. May earth's farewell be abundant entrance to Your everlasting kingdom. Hearken and do, most blessed God, for Christ's sake. Amen.
Holy Father, who is like unto You, glorious in holiness, keeping mercy for thousands; forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin! If Your mercy had any limits—where could we find refuge from our deserved wrath? But Your love in Christ Jesus is without measure and without end, therefore we poor sinners now live before You, to bow in worship at Your throne.
We present ourselves in deep humility. Sins of omission, sins of commission, sins against You our Heavenly Father, sins against Your beloved Son our adorable Redeemer, sins against the strivings of Your Holy Spirit, sins against the dictates of a warning conscience, sins against the precepts of Your blessed Word, sins against our neighbors and ourselves, sins at home and abroad—testify that we have been this day, unprofitable servants and vile transgressors!
Enter not into judgment with us. We plead no righteousness of our own. We cloak no iniquity. We spread out the hours of this day before You—as black with evil. Our earnest prayer is for pardon, through the meritorious death of Him who died for us, and now lives at Your right hand, to make intercession for our guilty souls and bodies.
At the close of each day, we are constrained to renew our penitence. How often have we vowed that our love would burn more brightly, our service would be more sincere, and our lives more devoted. We leave our chambers with pious resolve to be wholly Yours—but we soon stumble and backslide, and return to confess our weakness, misery, and sin.
Forever blessed be Your holy name—that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from our doings! If the slightest merit were needed at our hands, our agonized cry must be, "Lost, ruined and undone!" Heaven could never be ours. We must go from hence—to everlasting destruction, away from Your presence—to lie down among the wailings of the outcasts! But we adore You for Christ our all, and we plead His full, perfect, and sufficient atoning sacrifice.
But we feel, that though our works can never justify—yet still their abundance should show forth Your praise, and exhibit evidence that Your Spirit has called us to Your faith and fear, and to pure and loving and unceasing service. Enable us, we beseech You, if future days should be ours, to amend our lives according to Your holy Word. Increase in us hatred and abhorrence of all evil. Strengthen us to flee the sins which we confess. Make us more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Open our eyes to the snares ever before our feet, and help us to escape them, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue.
Of Your free grace grant, we beseech You, that no evil fruits may spring up from the evil seeds which our unwary hands have strewn. Let no fellow-creature be hardened in vanity and folly—by our lack of holy living. If we have been ashamed this day of Christ and His Word, pardon our unfaithfulness, and give us opportunity to repair the neglect. If any words from our lips have shown unkindness, malice, envy, or lack of love, grant that they may be no stumbling-block in the way of others. May no unadvised speech or hasty temper in us bring dishonor to Your sacred name. Oh that our upright example may ever rebuke vice and allure to godliness, and give evidence that the ways of Christ are lovely!
Bless with Your enriching grace—every effort made by us to make known Your saving truth. Hear and answer all our prayers for ourselves and others.
Into Your hands we now commit ourselves, our souls, our bodies, for You have redeemed us O Lord, O God of truth. Keep all evil far away. May refreshing slumber, if it be Your gracious will, soothe and restore our powers. Give ministering spirits charge to watch around us. We earnestly implore, that our every thought may be holiness to You. For Your name's sake—send us not empty away. We crave acceptance in the merits of Christ our Savior. Amen.
Father of all mercies—be all mercy unto us. The light returns—but without Your light within, no profit can outward light afford. Give us the saving light of Your Holy Spirit, that we may see You as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of our salvation, the delight of our souls, rejoicing over us with joy, resting in Your love.
The gift of this day will bring us, we trust—nearer to heaven. May it raise us higher in heaven. May our eternity be happier, our hallelujahs louder, because of the grace now given and rightly used. We especially commend our wicked and deceitful hearts to Your watchful care. We know their treachery. We cannot keep them. Guard their every portal, lest the wily serpent should sneak in. Give us quick discernment of his deadly arts. If he approaches us as an angel of light—may we detect the bold disguise, and bid him, "Be gone!"
Help us to realize that opportunities quickly fly away—never more to return. May all our words and works allure others to the highest walks of faith and love. May the loiterers be quickened by our example, to an increase of diligence. May worldlings be won to the pure delight of spiritual acquaintedness with You. May our zeal for Jesus and His truth warn the timid and irresolute of the fearful doom of those who are ashamed of Him. Cause us to be such mirrors of Your grace that all may see in us how good and joyful a thing it is to live in the service of our God.
May we rejoice to remember that You, O God, see us! Come, Holy Spirit, our souls inspire, and so uncloak the empty vanity of all earthly things, that no conformity to its baubles may bespatter us with mire. Utterly transform us by the renewing of our minds. May our lips be as well tuned cymbals, sweetly sounding Your praise. May a halo of heavenly-mindedness sparkle around us. We are invited to precious delights. The banqueting-house of Your Word is wide open. The voice of the heavenly spouse calls us: "Eat, O friends; drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved. Eat that which is good, and let your souls delight themselves in fatness!" Quicken us to arise and come apart, and regale ourselves amid the rich refreshment of gospel-promises. May we sit down under our Lord's shadow with great delight, and may we find His fruit sweet to our taste.
Help us to have compassion on the ignorant, and on those who are out of the holy way, remembering the misery of past days, when darkness blinded our eyes. Enable us tenderly to warn, and with yearning hearts—to draw them from destruction's crowded way.
We thank You for Your heart-stirring Word, which converts the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.
Time is very short. Soon our last grain will fall through the hour-glass! Grant that we may gather up the fragments which remain, that no more may be lost!
Be with those who through sickness, age, infirmity, or other disability—cannot labor in Your vineyard. Remind us that our activities may soon similarly fade. Give them the calm joy of holy meditation, and by their prayers may they call down blessings on the warfaring camp and the wayfaring pilgrims. Thus may every member of the Church in his vocation and ministry, joyfully and truly serve You.
Regard with Your especial favor, those connected with us by the ties of kindred and Christian love. Bless all whose friendship cheers us, and whose kindness is a sunbeam to our path. Supply all their needs according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. If there are any who have ill-will towards us, take it out of their hearts, and turn their enmity to love. Never allow us to be overcome of evil—but to overcome all evil with good. If any curse us—may we bless them, knowing that we are thereunto called, that we should inherit a blessing.
O King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be glorified in us and by us this day and forever, through Jesus Christ our Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
O Eternal God, who alone has immortality, ever living in glory, unchanged, unchangeable, bend down Your ear to hear. Hearken and bless us. Grant that the morning light and the evening shade may alike write lessons of wisdom on our hearts. May the close of another day teach us the rapid flight of time. Truly our life is but a vapor. How soon will our sojourn on earth be done. As the spilled water cannot be gathered up, so lost opportunities no more return.
Pardon us that we have so poorly used the hours which have just fled. Pardon us that we have so failed to do Your work and to advance Your glory. We humble ourselves as most unprofitable servants. Our best doings are but filthy rags. Our worst doings, how hateful they must be to You, in whose sight the very heavens are not clean. In shame we now hide ourselves in our great Redeemer's wounds. Clinging to His cross, we supplicate forgiveness of every committed sin and of every omitted duty.
All glory to Your holy name, that Jesus is revealed to us as the Lord our Righteousness. Accept His obedience—for our disobedience, to the praise of the glory of Your grace. Grant that the beds which we now approach may remind us that graves will soon open for us. As our eyes are now about to close in sleep—so they will soon close on this earthly scene. May our frequent lying down make us familiar with the image of death. May we alvvay be ready, waiting for admittance to Your immediate presence.
Grant that the love of heavenly things may so engross our minds, that attachment to earthly things may utterly become extinct. Our treasure is not here in this poor world. Where our treasure is, surely our affections should be placed. Enable us to reflect that our life is in Your hands. May we then hold it loosely in our hand, prepared for Your recall. We willingly endure pain and suffering to recruit for a moment our transitory health, shall we shrink from the pains of death, which introduce us to the freshness of eternal youth?
Send down Your Holy Spirit to reveal to us all the fullness of the truth, that the blessed Jesus has abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light. Gracious Savior, proclaim to the ears of our faith, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever". We desire to retire this night in full assurance, that yet a little while, and He who shall come will come and will not tarry; and that when Christ who is our life shall appear—then we also shall appear with Him in glory!
All glory be to You for these precious hopes. All honor be to You for the gospel of the glory of Your grace. All praise be to You for Your unspeakable gift of Jesus Christ. All thanks for the love of the Spirit, who has translated us from darkness into this marvelous light. For truly our fellowship is with the Father said with His Son Jesus Christ.
O You who have showered so many blessings upon earth this day, withhold not Your mercies in the night season. Darkness is not darkness to You—but day and night are both alike. Your gracious hand never wearies. Your power needs no repose. Refresh, we beg You, the multitudes who now lie down wearied and worn out. Keep feverish unrest from those whom sleepless pillows now await. Be their song when all around is silent. Strengthen those who are called to watch by the beds of the sick and suffering and dying. Make them the happy ministers of comfort and peace.
Throughout this night many prayers will be poured forth. Hear them, answer them, send in response the comforts of Your Spirit. Some are constrained to travel—be by their side. Some are tossed on the billows of the sea; if the stormy wind shall arise, may their souls find sweet calm in You. Thus we commend to You all the needs of all Your redeemed people. We bless You that we may thus plead for them. Show Yourself, we beg You, the God of all grace and love and power for the glory of Your name in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Another morning, O our God, now dawns. It is the last morning of this week, and it may be the last morning of our earthly course. In the review of all the blessings of the past days, we thank You; and we mourn from our inmost souls that our praises are so feeble and graceless. Pity us for Christ's sake. In Him, Your mercy exceeds all bounds, and survives all time. In Him, be ever a God of mercy unto us.
In the uncertainty of what is ordered for us, we place ourselves entirely in Your fatherly arms. We cry 'Abba, Father!' and we confidently implore the children's blessing. If we live through this day, may our lives be the high happiness of serving You. Work in us to will, work in us to do, according to Your good pleasure.
We are blind—be our light. We are ignorant—be our wisdom. We are steeped in selfishness—pluck all self out of us. Make us followers of Your dear Son who pleased not Himself. May it be our food and drink to do Your will. Thus may we finish our course with gladness. Open our ears very quickly to hear Your Spirit's voice. Without one halting pause may we run delightedly after His beckoning hand. Melt our consciences, that no hardness may remain. Make them tenderly alive to evil's slightest touch. If the enemy approaches, quicken our steps to flee into the wounds of Jesus as our sure refuge. Sheltered in the ark of safety, may we cease to tremble at all alarms. May the good Shepherd lead us this day into the green pastures of His refreshing Word, and cause us to lie down beside the rivers of His comforts. Fill us with Your peace, which passes all understanding, that no disquieting gales from the world may ruffle the calm surface of our souls. In all our needful fellowship with men, enable us to act as servants faithful to their King in heaven, and as entrusted with a blessing for others. May many be the better, and none the worse—that our lips are not yet silent in the grave. Help us never to be ashamed of the gospel of Your grace. May men read in us, that it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.
Blessed Lord God, make this a blessed day to your redeemed people. Cause the devil to tremble, because Your power is gone forth mightily to save. Call forth sorrow unto repentance never to be repented of. Give new life which never shall be extinct. Put happy songs into many mouths, which shall sound throughout eternity.
For the good of our own souls, and for the good of Your whole Church, we pray especially for those whom You have called to be ministers of Your truth. Give them calm hours to equip for work. Call them to undisturbed communion with You. Shut out the world and all its matters from their holy meditations. Help them to draw water from the deep wells of salvation, with which to refresh the flocks. May they taste themselves, and inwardly digest the truths which You shall teach them to proclaim. May they stand in their pulpits as true men of God, as very ambassadors for Christ. May their every sentence be deeply imbued with the Spirit of the Lord, and thoroughly baptized in His blood. May they plead as dying men with dying men, using each opportunity as the last. Let the world see that You will work, and none shall effectually hinder. Roll away the reproach from pulpits that insipidity and ignorance are sometimes found, where zeal should burn and knowledge should abound. As the message of Christ exceeds all other themes, so may it be uttered in eloquence thrilling from enlightened hearts. Let not the enticing words of man's wisdom be sought—but may the Spirit's power give dignity and success.
Hear our prayers too, for those who shall this day make holy preparation to take the teaching place in Sunday schools. Enable them to feel their high position rightly, and duly to estimate each recurring opportunity. Help them to instruct with wrestling prayer, knowing that You alone can command the blessing —with glowing love for souls, feeling that one soul saved outweighs in worth all worlds —with tender patience, remembering Your wondrous long-suffering towards them —with lively faith, believing that no word of truth can ever sound in vain. Bless them. Bless their numerous classes. Cause our schools to shine as centers of gospel-light, and let the Word of the Lord have free course and be glorified through many regenerate parishes. We ask in full faith of abundant answers in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit—we meekly knock at mercy's gate. Father, unto You we cry. Blessed Jesus, Your name we plead. Holy Spirit, by Your help we venture near.
How solemn is all prayer! How more than solemn is a family's last prayer on the last evening of a concluded week. Prayer drew back the curtains of its first day. May prayer now close the door.
What penitence, confusion, shame befit us! This week accumulates our mass of guilt. It proves us offenders at every moment and in every act. If our past hours are weighed in the scales of justice, we must lie low, convicted and undone. The voice of Your righteous law proclaims our manifold transgressions. Condemning conscience mournfully assents. But, gracious Savior, in You we have redemption through Your blood, even the forgiveness of our sins. O Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us Your peace. O Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. O Christ hear us. Lord have mercy upon us. Christ have mercy upon us.
Why was Your cross erected—but to be our refuge! Why did Your blood stream—but to wash us clean! Why did You become our surety—but that Your death might be ours! Why is Your name Jesus—but because it is Your property to save! We call upon You, that all the purposes of Your grace may be in us abundantly fulfilled. We come unto You. You have said, him who comes unto Me—I will never cast out. Receive us then to Your uttermost salvation.
If we see tomorrow's light, we shall commence a new week. May it be in newness of heart. Repair now with refreshing sleep, our weary powers. Send sweet repose to restore what toil and cares have weakened. Do not allow Satan to molest our rest, or to disquiet with unwelcome thoughts. Pour vigor into our minds, that tomorrow in public and in private we may wrestle with You, as men striving for life, bold to grasp You until our cups overflow. Grant that we may awake from slumbers fresh for every holy exercise, fervent in spirit, alert for Your worship. May no languor oppress. May no intrusive recollections carry us back to a renounced world.
We beseech You also to watch around the couches of Your faithful ministers. Strengthen their energy of body. Give them needful activity of mind. Enable them to go forth a mighty army against the powers of darkness. Animate them with strong arm to unfurl the banner of the Cross. Help them with untiring zeal to deal closely with the consciences of men. With unwearied ardor may they sound aloud the great Redeemer's dying love. Send forth Your Holy Spirit in the gospel's conquering message. Let spiritual blessings fall, and the name of Jesus triumph gloriously.
Thus this week ends. The close reminds us that to each of us, that the race of life is well-near finished. This may be our last united prayer. Hear us then, when in the name of Christ we supplicate the everlasting pardon of all the sins of each and all of us now prostrate before Your throne. May full salvation be our common portion. May the righteousness of God be our robe through all the ages of eternity. May heaven be our one home forever. May our united song increase the praises which shall have no end.
Counteract all the evil which our commissions and omissions have tended to produce. Overrule all matters in which we have had concern wholly to Your glory. Grant that earth may not be worse because our feet have trod it. May we now look round as if our eyes should see this world no more. Do not allow us to bear away from this Your mercy-seat any unforgiving temper or unholy passion. Hallow us throughout, as pure temples of the Holy Spirit.
Give us the blessings which we crave. Give us much more, even all that the merits of Your Son have purchased, and all that the everlasting covenant of grace provides. Pour all heaven into our longing hearts. We would forget none who claim our prayers. Do for them even as for us. Guide them by Your counsel. Receive them to Your glory. Accept our tribute of adoration offered in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
O God, You are our God—early will we seek You. It is our joy and our delight, our highest privilege and our glorious honor, to approach in the name of Jesus Your throne of grace. We come with filial confidence, and cry unto You, 'Abba, Father!' Our hearts are too narrow to comprehend the riches of Your adopting love. Our lips fail when we strive to utter just praise. But hear us when we wrestle with You for larger supplies of Your Holy Spirit to enable us to realize our high estate.
We were once dead in trespasses and sins. But now our eyes are open to behold in part Your glory, and lips no longer dumb, hold sacred converse with You. We were strangers and outcasts—slaves in the prison-house of Satan—rebels against Your righteous rule—ignorant of Your gospel-love. But You have brought us near by the blood of Your dear Son. You have softened the heart of enmity. You have called us to be Your children by the faith of Jesus. You have admitted us into Your own family, and made us heirs of Your kingdom, and joint-heirs with Christ! Oh that we might love You—as You love us! Oh that we might walk worthy of You our God, and of Your heavenly calling! Oh that we might reflect the image of the Lord Jesus.
The gates of Your earthly sanctuary are now open to us. We are called to unite with Your favored children in public avowal that we are Yours. We are invited to lift up the voice of common prayer and praise with the multitude who keep holy day. We hear Your Spirit's animating call, "Oh come let us sing unto the Lord! Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms!" Help us as obedient children, to draw near unto You. May we see Your beauty and Your glory with the clear eye of faith. May we feel Your Spirit's mighty power in our hearts. May a live coal from the heavenly sanctuary touch our lips. May we find that we are the called of the Lord, free and strong to wrestle with You as the patriarch of old. May we rise far above earth, and have large foretaste of our heavenly home.
We remember with shame, that often our knees have bowed when our hearts have been unhumbled. Our confessions of misery as sinners have often been an empty sound. In the deep sense of our guilt—we fly for refuge into the wounded side of Jesus. Under the shelter of His cross we supplicate pardon for the past, and help in the worship of this day.
Except Your Spirit shall mightily move in us—no inward fire will kindle. O blessed Jesus, remember Your gracious Word. Do as You have said. Be present where Your people meet, and cause Your nearness to be felt. Especially clothe Your own Word with divine power. May it shine as a light from heaven, revealing You. Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O most mighty, with Your glory and Your majesty. And in Your majesty ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness.
When Satan shall draw near to infuse coldness and slumber, and careless wanderings into our minds, or to carry away the good seed—may You rebuke him, and drive him far away. Be a wall of fire round about Your congregations, and the glory in their midst.
Heavenly Father, bless all who shall teach Your Word this day, whether in the pulpit, in the school, in visits to the sick, or beside the dying bed. May they receive from You what they shall dispense to others. May their own souls richly feed on the good provisions which from Your storehouse they bring forth. May it be clearly evident that their feet firmly walk in the narrow way to which they invite others. May they brightly shine in that light which they labor to diffuse.
Thus may there be showers of spiritual blessings on this weary earth. Water with fructifying dew all the good truth which shall be scattered. May the fruits of salvation be abundant. May the everlasting songs be augmented. Bind in closer bonds of love—pastors to their flocks, and flocks to their pastors, and all to You. Kindle mutual prayer for common weal. May they joy in each other's joy, strengthen in each other's strength, and be comforted in each other's comfort. Hear our prayer. Hasten Your kingdom. Bless us for the sake of Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
Lord Almighty, as a family we commenced this day on bended knees; as a family, on bended knees we close it. Prayer opened the portals, let prayer now bar them. In humble faith we asked Your presence and Your grace. For Your presence and Your grace we now give thanks. We began, looking to the Savior; looking to the Savior we conclude.
We felt our need with morning light, we feel it not less at evening's shade. We early smote upon our breasts as miserable sinners; as miserable sinners we smite again. Through all our lives no day has passed which has not proved us guilty in Your sight. The record of every moment—is a record of transgression. But this day the iniquity of holy things adds to our condemnation. Sanctuary-hours accuse us. Prayers have been uttered, while hearts have been prayerless. Praise has been often praiseless sound. Our best services are but as filthy rags. We utterly renounce them. They are unworthy of You, our God. We bewail them as bearing witness to the evil which dwells within us. When the spirit is willing—the flesh is weak. We do not worship You as we ought. We do not serve You as we would. "All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind!" Isaiah 64:6. Be merciful, be merciful unto us—whose only hope is in Your unfailing mercy.
Blessed Jesus, we hide ourselves in the sure covert of Your wrath-appeasing wounds! Our sins rise higher than the heavens—but Your merits in our behalf surpass the very heaven of heavens! Our unrighteousness would weigh us down to hell—but Your glorious righteousness exalts us to Your heavenly throne! All things in us call for our damnation—but all things in You demand our acceptance. We appeal, then, from Your throne of perfect justice—to Your throne of boundless grace! Grant us to hear Your voice assuring us: that by Your stripes we are healed; that You have been bruised for our iniquities; that You have been made sin for us—that we might have Your divine righteousness; and that all our vile and grievous iniquities, are forgiven and buried in the ocean of Your sin-concealing blood! We are guilty—yet pardoned! We are lost in ourselves—yet fully saved in You!
We pray especially for all our fellow-worshipers. Pardon their shortcomings, even as we beseech You to pardon ours. Give them contrite hearts, even as we seek broken-heartedness for ourselves. Enable them to close this day clinging to the cross, even as we now seek safety and repose beneath its shelter. Hear our cry, too, for all the congregations throughout earth's breadth. Accept and answer the prayers which Your Holy Spirit has breathed within them. You search the hearts and know what is the mind of the Spirit. Let, then, floods of descending grace enrich a weary world. Your treasury will not be lessened. Your people will be enlarged and cheered. Great will be their gain without decrease in You.
We pray for blessings upon blessings on all the ministers of Your sacred truth, who know nothing among their people but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Let not Your word return unto You void. You have kindled the light of life, and set it in the world's gloom. Cause it, with increasing brightness, to outshine all mists of ignorance and superstition. Satan sees it, and trembles. He hates it, and would gladly extinguish it. Defeat his cruel wiles. Show that gospel-rays are far mightier than all powers of darkness.
In the riches of Your love You have opened the springs of heavenly knowledge in this wilderness world. Keep the stream pure from the corruption of man's traditions and vain conceits. May every drop sparkle like crystal. May it flow clear and unsullied as mountain-snow. May it refresh as the morning-dew, The prince of this world strives to poison it with mixtures of all kinds of error. We look to You to keep the fountain of Your Word healthful and unadulterated.
Guard with Your preserving care the vine which Your right hand has planted. Do not allow the wild boar of the forest to lay it waste, nor the little foxes to spoil the tender grapes. Add to Your Church daily such as shall be saved. These prayers for ourselves, Your ministers, Your people, we humbly offer in the faith and name of Jesus Christ, and trusting only in His saving merits. Amen.
Holy Father, Almighty God, behold us as a little company on our knees before You. Regard us in tender love—for Jesus' sake. Bend down Your ear—and grant Your smile. Another working week begins. We commence it, adoring You for the refreshment to mind and body of yesterday's rest. All praise be to Your gracious care for replenishing our souls from the storehouse of Your Word.
May we now go forth to the duties of our calling strong in the might of Your truth, nourished by the sincere milk of Your gospel. Let Your Word be held fast by us, and may we feast on it, and may it be the very joy and rejoicing of our hearts. Concerning the works of men, by the words of Your lips keep us from the paths of the destroyer. Wherever our feet are set, may our thoughts be high with You—on the mount of meditation. Enable each one of us in spirit to testify, "Oh! how I love Your law, it is ray meditation all the day long!" Teach us the happy art of attending to temporal things—with minds intent on eternal things. In all our needful employ, help us to set You, our God, before us, and to walk on earth as seeing Him who is invisible. Grant that all occurrences this day may draw us nearer to our heavenly Father, and bring down more of heaven into our hearts.
We are strangers and pilgrims here. Give us the stranger's indifference. Let our hands hold the pilgrim's staff. Let our march be Zion-ward—watching for our dear Lord's return—listening for the archangel's shout, and the last trumpet's clang—prepared to lift up our heads with joy, knowing that His coming will be the day of our consummated redemption.
O our God, we desire to give our hearts unto You, now, and for this week, without one shadow of reserve. We beseech You take full possession of them. Expel mightily every opposing foe. Crush every rebel lust. Mortify each traitorous passion. Annihilate each earth-born desire. Our hearts are Yours—for You have created them. They are Yours—for You have redeemed them by the most precious blood of Your only begotten Son. They are Yours—because in free love You have renewed them by Your Holy Spirit. They are Yours—because You have conquered them by Your grace. They are Yours—because we willingly surrender them to You. Claim them, we beseech You, as Your own heritage. Occupy them wholly by Your presence. Exclude every intruding rival. Reign supreme within them.
We would love You now, and forevermore, with all our hearts, and all our souls, and all our might, and all our strength. You are worthy of infinitude of adoration, far beyond what our dull hearts can yield. Is love among men awakened by genius, wisdom, worth, and seeming perfection? You are the very perfection of all perfections. All intellect is derived from You. Our scanty rivulets flow from Your unfathomable fountain. Compared with You—the sun is darkness, all beauty is deformity, all knowledge is folly, the best goodness is most faulty. You, the great Creator, who inhabits eternity, are high above all creatures. So invigorate our love, that it may worthily rise to You and tightly entwine itself around You.
Bless all with whom we shall have interchange of thought. May Christ in them teach us. May Christ in us give grace to them. Thus may we be fellow-helpers to each other's faith. We know not the effect of any utterance. We humbly beg You, that Your Holy Spirit may suggest each word, and sanctify it to the use of edifying. Enable us, as the salt of the earth, to purify and check corruption. Help us, as flowers in the garden of the Lord, to diffuse holy fragrance.
If in our daily matters we shall have contact with the ungodly, worldly, or profane, may we receive no hurtful taint—but may we rather allure them to the more excellent way. If provocations should assail, may we keep our mouths, as it were, with a bridle, and overcome evil with good. We know the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of man's heart. We fear, therefore, lest any evil should lurk undetected within our heart. We beseech You search us thoroughly by Your Spirit, and lead us in the way everlasting.
Bless with especial favor, all who pray for us. Answer their prayers, and recompense them a thousand-fold into their bosoms. Bless those who ask our prayers. Enrich them according as their need shall be. Accept this morning's sacrifice of prayer and praise. It is our bounden duty. We worship in the great Redeemer's name. Amen.
Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit, help us now to pray. We feel our weakness, our ignorance, our deep corruptions. Without You, no thought is good. Without You, our words cannot ascend to heaven. But trusting in Your dear Son—we come to bless and praise You, O You who are the author and giver of all good things, for Your gracious care of us throughout the hours of this departing day. We are vile earth and miserable sinners—but You have magnified Your grace in crowning us with loving-kindness and tender mercies.
We thank You for the full stream of temporal blessings which has gladdened our dwelling. We thank You for the sweet air which has refreshed our frames, for the light of Your glorious sun, for the food which has renewed our strength, for the clothing which clothes us, for the dwelling which shelters us. No extreme heat smites us. No extreme cold benumbs us. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to our comfort. Do not allow us to be insensible to these mercies, because they are our daily portion. Enable us to read in each—-a Father's love. The withdrawal of the least of these common favors would fill us with misery and distress. If Your providential care should relax—plague and pestilence and famine and all the countless tribes of woe might settle on our land.
Gathered together this evening, free from all external troubles, secure, at ease, and in peace—we humbly desire to bring the tribute of thanksgiving. We present ourselves, our bodies, all we are, and all that is within us—as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto You, which is our reasonable service. High as is Your hand in bestowing mercies, so high is it in averting evil. In every spectacle of another's woe, may we deeply recognize our immunity, solely through Your distinguishing love. Let every sight of sorrow deepen in us gratitude, for unmerited exemption. When tidings reach us in our sheltered homes of catastrophes and accidents abroad, may our grateful hearts respond, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall dwell under the shadow of the Almighty."
While we thus adore You for temporal protection, help us to raise our voices higher still in recording spiritual support. We thank You that in full warmth of filial faith, we look up this evening and cry Abba, Father. If Your Holy Spirit had withdrawn His cheering presence, darkness and doubts would have obscured our hopes. We might have been sinking in deep waters, where there is no standing. The enemy might have come in like a flood. The night of despondency might have blackened around us. But through grace—we retain our confidence, which has great recompense of reward. This proceeds solely from Your goodness. We render thanks.
We know by sad experience the power, and craft, and malignity of our spiritual adversary. If this day he has not affrighted us as a roaring lion—it is solely because You have restrained him. If he has not laid wait as an adder in our path—it is because of the prevention of Your interposing arm. All the artillery of hell might have been directed against us. What wounds might we have received! Crippled and downcast—we might have gone mourning to our graves. But You have been our shield, therefore we will sing with adoring lips, "The Lord is our rock, and our fortress, and our deliverer; our God, our strength, in whom we will trust; our buckler, and the horn of our salvation, and our high tower."
To our praises we add humble prayers. Your mercies are new at evening and at morning. Great is Your faithfulness. May Your guardian-care continue now when night's shadows fall. Help us while we helpless lie. Around our dwelling set angelic hosts to watch. Let no alarms disturb our peace. Let no foes invade our home.
Our wearied frames require repose. Grant us sweet rest. Let grateful slumbers close our eyes. While consciousness remains, let our thoughts hold converse with our God. If this night our souls are summoned to depart, may they be swiftly borne to our eternal rest.
But if we leave our beds again, may we be renewed to love You more, and refreshed to serve You better. Extend these blessings to all our absent relatives and friends. We commend all to Your tenderest love. May they all close this day at peace with You, through the atoning death of Jesus. May they lie down happy in conscience through the blood of sprinkling. And if they rise tomorrow, may it be to walk before You in newness of life. May these prayers ascend, through the merits of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Give ear, O ever-watchful Shepherd of Your flock—lead us, guide us, safely tend us this day. Without Your restraining rod—we shall err and stray like lost sheep. Hedge up our paths, lest we be misled into the unwholesome pastures of the world, and drink of its poisonous streams. Direct our feet, lest we be entangled by some secret snare of the devil, or stumble into his hidden pitfalls. Encircle Your fold by Your protecting power, that the roaring lion may not devour, nor any cruel foe assail. Remember Your ransomed flock. Protect, preserve it as the purchase of Your dear Son's blood.
O Lord, we beseech You now to defend us, not only from outward adversaries—but especially from ourselves! We have foes which cleave closer to us than our very skin. We cannot escape them. Help us to elude their enticing wiles. In public and in private, when we come in or go out, whether we rise up or sit down—they cling to our side. Deliver us from their constant baits and traps. The old man yet lives within us and is powerful. Help us to nail him to the cross of Jesus. We earnestly desire to put him off with all his foul deeds, and to put on the new man, which is created in righteousness and true holiness. If You speak the word—the victory is ours!
But our own strength is less than weak. In our flesh there dwells no good thing—it is the vile abode of every corrupt desire. It is the den in which all vile passions lurk. It lusts against the Spirit. Left to ourselves, we fall. But Your Spirit is omnipotent. Oh! then, bid Your Spirit to arise in all His might, and crush indwelling opponents!
How often do we mourn that, when we would do good, evil is present with us. The good that we would do—we cannot do; the evil that we would not do—that we do. We look to You to deliver us from the body of this death. Strengthen us with heavenly aid in the inner man, lest we faint and be weary in the conflict—and yield to our bosom-foes. The enemy is within the citadel! Come with Your almighty power and subdue him. Enable us, therefore, by Your Spirit, to mortify all the deeds of the body. Those who are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.
O Jesus, we are Yours! Other lords have had dominion over us—but now we are Your willing servants. Come, then, O You who are our Lord, pierce to the death—utterly destroy—abolish in us every particle of carnal self!
O You whom our souls love, we are grieved that Your enemies so widely rule below. We regard Your foes as our foes—Your victories as our victories—Your triumphs as our triumphs—Your glory as our glory. When will Your presence regenerate the earth? When will Your reign of righteousness and purity and peace be established? When will evil vanish before Your bright beams? When will Your descending chariot drive Satan into blackness of darkness forever? We love Your appearing, and we cry, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"
But while You are pleased to delay, infuse life into every effort to extinguish vice. Fill with Your Spirit all who sit on thrones of supremacy and might. May they reign as they who own Your higher reign. May they wear the crown as they who seek the crown eternal. Especially bless the Queen who is called in Your good providence to wield the scepter of these realms. Grant to her, and her fellow-potentates, that out of godly hearts they may devise godly measures. Grant also, to all who exercise subordinate authority that their desires may be righteous; their counsels wise; their aims sincere. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, and thus obtain all other things.
Teach us to yield obedience to them, as to Your appointed ministers. In thrones and principalities may we see Your ordinance for our good. May we show all godly submission, as instructed in Your Word. Thus may our lives be quiet and peaceable in all godliness and honesty. You who hear prayer, hear us, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
God Almighty, heavenly Father, at the close of this day multitudes surround Your throne with praises on their lips. None can have cause to exceed us in thanksgiving. Grant that no grateful fervor may surpass our adoring warmth.
Your eye of love has never failed to watch us. But our eyes have turned from You, to countless vanities. We smite upon our breasts before You, and bewail our waywardness and folly. Your gracious hand has ever been extended to preserve us. It is through Your protecting care alone, that we now kneel in safety in Your presence. Every moment, streams of mercy have flowed from heaven. We confess with shame and contrition, that we are not worthy of the least of all the mercies and all the grace which You have granted to us. If our hearts should burn in one bright flame of love—if our lips should utter no sound but glowing praise—if our lives should be one incense of thanksgiving—it would fall short of our vast debt to You!
We pray this night for large outpourings of Your Spirit to kindle worthy love, and to awaken adequate returns of praise. If You should permit us, in the plenitude of Your goodness, to see other days, we pray that they may be passed in closer nearness to You, and deeper devotedness to Your service. May Your glory be the aim and end of every thought and word and work. At every moment let our inward cry be heard, "Lord, what will You have us to do?"
Send Your Holy Spirit to reveal to us Your will. May His voice be heard, "This is the way, walk in it," when we would turn to the right hand or to the left. Through the riches of Your saving grace we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, as the way, the truth, and the life. Help us that we may evermore walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith as we have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
We know that we have no power of ourselves, to keep ourselves. Our best strength, is utter weakness. Our firmest resolves, are as fleeting as the morning cloud and early dew. Oh! then never leave us nor forsake us. Perfect that which concerns our souls. You have begun in us the good work of faith. Mightily carry it on, that we may be pure and blameless in the great day of Christ.
As children of light and of the day, may we not sleep as do others—but may we be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
At the end of another day's march, we humbly wash anew in the all-cleansing blood. Thus we retire to our beds in happy assurance that You no more see in us the spots, the soils, the filth of former iniquities. We retire, too, remembering that another stage in our brief pilgrimage is passed, and that our opportunities of doing good on earth are rapidly fading away. Yet a little while and we go hence, no more to be seen among the children of men. Help us that we may gird up the loins of our minds, and quicken our steps, and speed as if each moment was our last. Give us grace to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.
May our sleep remind us of the sleep of death; our beds of the graves which must so soon receive us. While we live may we live unto the Lord; when we die, may we die unto the Lord. Thus may our lives be happiness, and our deaths glory. Who are we that we should ask such things? We know and we deplore our miserable unworthiness. Our only hope is in Your love, in Jesus Christ our complete Redeemer and our all-prevailing Advocate. In His mighty name we thus address You. Hear and answer, for His sake. Amen.
We lift up our eyes and our souls unto You who dwells in the heavens. Blessed be Your holy name that we, weighed down by countless sins, may fly in spirit to the presence of our Father and our God. Through the multitude of Your unfailing mercies, we see the returning dawn of day. To the light of nature add, we meekly beg You—the light of Your heavenly grace. O You commanded the light to shine out of darkness, be pleased to shine more and more into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of Your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
Vain will be the gift of another day, unless we grow in grace, increase in knowledge, add to our stores of faith, and ripen for the ingathering into Your garner. Help us, then, most mighty God—most mightily from on high. Is it not Your blessed will that we should know You as You are, and love You supremely, and serve You wholly, and adore You in every moment of our time, in every movement of our minds, in every pulse of our affections, in every faculty with which we are endowed? Through grace, our will responds to Yours.
But the power to obey is not in us. You in Your free love must work in us to do. Here, then, We present our empty hearts to You. Be pleased to fill them to overflowing with Your choicest gifts. We bring our blinded understanding; chase away all the mists of ignorance and superstition by bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness. We would take our seat beneath the great Redeemer's cross; may healing streams continuously descend, cleansing us from all our filth, pouring sweet balm into every grievous wound, and purging our consciences from dead works to serve You, the living God.
Help us too, to gain strength in the rich pastures of Your heavenly Word. We bless You for the treasure beyond treasures, the open page of Your Holy Scriptures. May we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, until our inner man is wholly molded into gospel-form. From our replenished hearts may there flow forth rivers of living water. Let us minister to others as You have given to us the measure of faith. From all vain words, good Lord, deliver us. We earnestly desire in all things to imitate Christ, who has left us an example that we should follow His steps. Grace ever dwelt on His lips. He did no sin, neither was any deceit found in His mouth. May we be like-minded.
While we thus pray, we remember the unprofitableness and the iniquity of our past words. They arise before us, black in guilt, testifying against us, calling for our condemnation. We would silence their accusing voice, by burying them all in the deep grave of the Redeemer's wounds.
We again praise You and adore You for the gift of Jesus. We feel that without Him we would be utterly undone. We believe that in Him we are eternally delivered from deserved wrath, and saved with everlasting salvation.
We now go forth to the vocations of this day. May we studiously cultivate love to our brethren. Precious is the communion of saints. Those who fear the Lord should speak often one to another. We know that Your ears delight to hear, and that You are writing a book of remembrance. May that book record that holy converse is our chosen pleasure-ground. How rapidly might the spiritual temple rear its head, how brightly might the living stones reflect the rays of heaven—if we gave ourselves to the sweet employ of comforting one another, and edifying one another, and provoking one another to love and to good works!
We restrict not our prayers to our own needs. We look around on the whole family of man. O Lord, add multitudes this day to Your Church even such as shall be saved. Compel Satan to release his groaning captives. Hurl him from his wrongful throne. Enlarge the joyful song of the redeemed. Translate many into the kingdom of Your dear Son. So shall Your glory be increased, and earth sing aloud of Your praise. We add our hallelujah, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Merciful Father, O God of hope and consolation, visit us now with the abundance of Your heavenly grace. May we realize Your life-giving presence. Holy Spirit, help us to come boldly to the mercy-seat. How great, how inestimable, are our privileges in Christ Jesus. Without Him, we must have stood afar off, as strangers and outcasts. In Him, we draw near, and touch the outstretched scepter of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the sovereign Creator of heaven and earth. Without Him, how could we dare to lift up our guilty eyes. In Him, we gaze with open face on God, as our Father and most loving friend. Without Him, we must hide our lips in the lowest dust of trembling shame. In Him, we open our mouths loudly in petition and in praise. Without Him, all above us is wrath and consuming fire. In Him, heaven is all love towards us, and the home of our adoring souls forever. Without Him, below us is a gaping hell, and bitterness of anguish without end. In Him, those gates are barred by His most precious blood, so that no redeemed one can be imprisoned there. Without Him, blackness of darkness spreads its horrors in our faces. In Him, an eternity of bright glory is our boundless horizon. Without Him, mountains upon mountains of iniquity fill up our account. In Him, the stream of His blood follows us, leveling all hindrances, and cleansing every vile blot. Without Him, all within us is terror, consternation, and dismay. In Him, every internal accusation is charmed into joy and peace. Without Him, all things external—the earth which we have soiled—its creatures used as instruments of evil—call for our condemnation. In Him, they all minister to our comfort, and are ours to enjoy with thanksgiving. Therefore it is very fitting, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at this time, and at this place, and at all times and in all places, adore You for the unspeakable gift of Jesus, O Lord, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God.
We loathe ourselves that we do not love You with more intense fervor. We abhor our cold, and dead, and contracted feelings. Take away, we beseech You, the chilly heart of stone—and give us hearts of flesh. Reveal to us to the very full, Your saving love in Jesus, the glories of His cross, and the infinite merits of His finished work. May we gaze on Him until we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Blessed Jesus, when we thus sing Your praise, poor and feeble as we are—we can find no measure, and no end. We long for Your abodes above, where no thoughts shall ever wander, and no weary flesh rebels. But while earth is our home, we beg You to grant that we may live striving with all our power to testify our grateful love.
It is our true desire that others now afar off should know You, and be made partakers of our joy. You have put it into the minds of men to establish many societies to labor in this cause. We commend them to Your special grace. Give wisdom to their counsels. Suggest expansive means. May those who direct their work wax strong in faith, in zeal, in hope. May no seeming difficulties deter them. May no disappointments quench their ardor. What are the greatest mountains of difficulties before the might of Jehovah Jesus? They shall be as plains. Go forth with all their toiling missionaries. The fields are white for ingathering, send forth laborers into Your harvest. By their means glean multitudes from the wilderness of the world. Blessed, great, and glorious Trinity, three Persons, one God, hear Your poor servants' cry. Amen.
Almighty Father, without You nothing is strong, nothing is holy. Conscious of our own weakness, trusting only in Your grace and power, we beseech You this day to increase and multiply Your mercy upon us. We are going forth to tread on slippery ground—may You uphold us. Our march is through a land of which Satan is the prince—may You protect us. Snares at each turn await our steps—may You guide us. We look around—and fear. We look up to You—and take courage. By grace alone can we stand. If Your grace should fail us, instantly we fall. Our earnest prayer is, "Hold me up—and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117
We cherish the sweet assurance that according to Your sure promise, You will keep us unto eternal life. Do not allow the strength of assurance to lapse into the weakness of carnal security. To firm faith, add firm confidence. Stir us up to use all diligence to make our calling and election sure. May we never forget that temptations will pursue us to the very gates of heaven. We know that we may run well and run long, and yet by grievous stumbling, bring dishonor to the name of Christ. In Your holy Word You have erected many warning beacons. May we ponder and beware. Many examples are recorded for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Even angels kept not their first estate—but fell from heaven. Our first parents, pure from inward corruption, sinned in paradise. Judas, by the very side of Jesus, nourished thoughts of foulest treachery. Faithful patriarchs have erred through unbelief. The meekest among men have in passion poured out insulting words. Peter boasts in self-confidence and instantly denies his Lord. We read, and flee unto You for support!
Angels indeed are our ministering friends; but still the accursed spirit is ever near to seduce to evil. The new man is raised up in us; but the old nature still lives, is active, and is strong. Rest is indeed prepared for us in heaven—but we may not rest in our way thitherward. The crown of life and victory is bright before us; but now is the struggle, the conflict, and the fight. Bright are the promises to those who overcome; but there is woe to them who draw back. Bravely we must fight, if gloriously we would triumph. We know that You will never desert us; and we look to You to give us grace that we may never desert You.
Strengthen our hands to cleave to You. Give us persevering might, that having done all we may sit down with Jesus in His throne, even as He overcame, and is set down 'with the Father in His throne.
Thus may we as Christian champions resist the devil, and give him no place. Comfort us with the knowledge that the evil day is very short. Set before us the life of glory, which has no end. May we strive against sin, as if each failure would be eternal woe. Help us to stand firm, knowing that we shall soon tread Satan under our feet. If through shortness of time he is more fierce, through shortness of time may we be more valiant.
Guide us, instruct us, keep us as the apple of Your eye. As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings; so, O Lord, alone—may You lead us. If we are permitted to pass unharmed through all the perils of this day, and to unite again in prayer before Your throne, may we meet to realize that another day's temptations are behind us; and may abundant praises swell from rejoicing hearts.
Be with all our kindred, all our friends, all who pray for us and all who ask our prayers. We have sought much—may You give more, through the merits of Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
O Lord God, who inhabits the praises of heaven—to You cherubim and seraphim continually fall down and worship. Turn not from us, who meekly desire to intermingle our adoring songs. For all the mercies known and unknown of this departing day we bless You. From Your free bounty they have freely come. You have given Your angels charge concerning us. Evils have been warded off, and in safety we now kneel.
Amazing love! You have sent Your only-begotten Son to suffer in our place, and to achieve complete salvation. You have added Your Holy Spirit to be our teacher, comforter, and sanctifying guide. You have superadded the ministry of angels to be a wall of fire round about us. Thus all heaven serves the welfare of us poor worms. Keep them, we beg You, ever active in our behalf. We know they rejoice when sinners melt in penitence. May they joy rejoice when grace in us expands. They have befriended us in many perils, and snatched our feet from many snares. Never allow them to rest, until the conflict is behind, and we stand a victorious company on salvation's shore!
Grant that our proneness to all evil, and deadness to all good, and resistance of Your Spirit's motions, may never provoke You to abandon us. May our hard hearts awaken pity, and not wrath. Let not the enemy through our corruption get any advantage. Let it be seen that heaven is far mightier than hell, and that those who are for us are more than they who are against us. If You but speak the word—we are more than conquerors over every temptation. If You smile graciously on us—we are more than beautified with every grace!
Hear then our wrestling cry. Arise to our help, and enrich us with all the blessings which Your covenant provides. Keep us ever feeding in the pastures which contain strengthening food, and ever drinking of the stream which makes glad the city of God. Especially cause the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly, in all wisdom. May we search the Scriptures, intent on finding Christ, the treasure of treasures, the wisdom of wisdom, enriching to eternity, making wise unto salvation. May we turn every promise and every precept into prayer, knowing that it is easy with You to do exceeding abundantly above all that You have said, and that Your grace can help us to walk in the highest heights of Your commandments.
But, alas! with all these true desires—how often do our weak hearts sin. Grant that in every fall—we may fall lower on our knees, and when we rise—may it be to loftier flights of true devotedness. If for our godly discipline You see well to visit our waywardness with a scourge; enable us meekly to receive correction, to bless Your reproving hand, to discern why the rebuke is sent, to repent and do the first works. Teach us to bless You for every chastening, and let all Your fatherly dealings make us partakers of Your holiness. May our every cross be sanctified. May our every loss be our true gain. May whatever You are pleased to give—be a heavenward help, and whatever You are pleased to deny—be a spiritual advantage. If dark days should be ordered for us, may much affliction be lightened by the joy of the Holy Spirit. Put into our mouths, songs in the night of trial. If any trouble should tempt us to distrust; may we be conscious that this is our infirmity, and may we remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.
Grant that the falling shadows of this evening may remind us that our earthly day is far spent, and that the night comes when no man can work. If we see tomorrow's dawn, may we arise to gird up the loins of our mind, to quicken our pilgrim steps, to labor in the gospel-vineyard, to leave undone no work to which You are pleased to call us, to use all diligence that we may be found of Christ in peace.
Give us the constant cry, "Lord, what will You have us to do?" Send Your Spirit to beckon us onward in our appointed path. Enable us to view every circumstance in the mirror of eternity. May we go in and out, with the great white throne conspicuously set before our eyes. May remembrance of coming judgment be ever present. Grant that to us—to live may be Christ, so to die shall be gain.
O God of all pitifulness, fulfill the petitions of Your humble servants, through the merits and intercession of Christ Jesus. Amen.
O God our Father, ever blessed, ever to be adored, the renewed gift of light and life, the restored use of reason and of limb, the recruited faculties of mind and body demand our warmest praise. We bless You that, in the riches of Your love, You condescend to bow down Your ear to our morning offering of thanksgiving.
Send Your Holy Spirit now to kindle anew the flame of gratitude, and to prompt the words of adoration. We ascribe it to undeserved goodness that we have any measure of bodily and mental vigor. Many this morning open their eyes in weakness and in pain, their flesh a burden, and their minds a blank. We are made to differ. Teach us that these our gifts are freely given, and come down from You, the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
"For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have—that you did not receive?" 1 Corinthians 4:7. Without Your light—our minds are all darkness. Seeing—we see not. We grope and stumble in the mazy paths of ignorance and error. Without Your regenerating Spirit—our wills are wholly depraved, and resolutely bent to resist the good and to espouse the evil. Without Your distinguishing grace—we would at this moment be afar off from You, vile among the vilest, bond-slaves of the devil, grinding in his mill, earning his wages of eternal woe! Without the visits of Your Spirit our knees would not bow acceptably in prayer, nor our lips gladly utter praise. We ascribe all spiritual blessings to Your sovereign will. You have loved us because You would love. Before we sought You—we were found by You. Before we called—You did answer. Before we knocked—the door was opened. Accept the tribute of our feeble praise. Pity us that our poverty cannot offer more. We groan, being burdened, longing for the perfect day when sin shall no more shackle our adoring spirits.
Let us not withhold praise for the large measure of temporal enjoyments, which gladden our path. We know that we are strangers and pilgrims through a world upset and soiled by sin—but still how much abounds to cheer, to solace, to delight us!
Thanks be to You for the enlivening rays of Your glorious sun, for the starry canopy above our heads at night, for the balmy air which floats around, for the perfume of the summer breeze, for the verdant carpet beneath our feet, for the sweetness of the flowers, the richness of the fruits, the nourishment of the crops, the refreshment of the flowing streams, the melody of the groves. We thank You that such evidences of Your goodness are inscribed upon the face of nature.
We thank You for the roof which spreads its shelter over us, for the table at which we sit to eat, for the beds on which we repose, for our convenient clothing, for our sufficient food, for the happy endearments of family and of kindred and of friendship, and for such employment as You have been pleased to grant. Surely You anoint our heads with oil. Our cups run over.
Teach us, as recipients of such wondrous bounty, freely to dispense. Help us so to order all our matters—that we may have the luxury of relieving the needs of others. Open our eyes to see in every case of poverty and woe—an opportunity of showing that we are followers of You, our most merciful God. Thus may the administration of our earthly good not only supply the needs of the needy—but be abundant also by many thanksgivings unto You.
Grant that earth may be the better this day, because of Your Spirit dwelling in us. Forbid it that we should be called, converted, enlightened, sanctified, saved—for ourselves alone. So bless our godly example, our watchful walk, our holy converse—that vice may be rebuked, and the slothful quickened, and the thoughtless aroused. By the truth of our lips, may the vain-talkers be silenced, and the sceptics convinced of their profanity. May Christ be now and ever so magnified in us—that many may be allured to His cross, and receive Him as all salvation forever.
We crave these blessings not for ourselves only—but for the whole household of faith. Through our united zeal and prayer, may Your great kingdom come. We humbly place our petitions in the hands of Jesus Christ, our Advocate and Mediator. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, in the wisdom of Your tender mercy, You have been pleased to proclaim Yourself as Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace! These names are revealed for our peace and joy—that we may acquaint ourselves with You, and find rest unto our souls.
Help us by Your Spirit, entirely to know You according to Your Word. Open widely the eyes of our understanding, that we may fully grasp—the wonders of Your person; the wonders of Your love and grace and power; the wonders which You have already achieved by sin-atoning Your death; the wonders which You are achieving by Your unfailing intercession; the wonders which are yet to come when You shall appear again in power and great glory! Let Your counsels sound sweetly in the ear of our faith, and may we yield humble obedience to Your sacred precepts. To follow You fully is heaven—before heaven is reached!
Pardon us, that with such bright revelations of Yourself in the pages of Scripture—we have been so slow to learn, and so prone to forget. When by this time, we should have climbed the highest heights of spiritual perception. But alas! we are groveling in low depths of ignorance! We are blind—while light shines around! Take away all 'scales' from our eyes. Grind to dust—all remnants of the evil heart of unbelief.
Make it our chief joy—to study You, to meditate on You, to gaze on You, to hold communion with You! Enable us to experience that Your flesh is food indeed, and Your blood is drink indeed. May we be—like Mary—sitting meekly at Your feet; like the beloved disciple—leaning on Your breast; like Paul, counting all things as loss, for the excellency of knowing You; like Peter, appealing to You, who knows all things—that we indeed love You. Let not our faith cease from seeking You—until it vanishes in unclouded sight!
Bless the prayers which we this day have prayed, the praises which our lips have offered, and every godly work in which we have striven to advance Your glory. Hear our cry in behalf of all the great societies which You have established in our land, as instruments to extend Your kingdom. Grant that every Bible sent forth may be mighty through Your Spirit to cast out the evil one, to demolish his strongholds, to give the light of life, to reveal Your great salvation, to comfort mourners, to build up Your saints.
Look in mercy on the distressed lands over which darkness and superstition and idolatry spread their withering pall. Bless the holy missionaries who brave all toils, having You, the stirring motive, blazing in their hearts, and Your pure truth the one testimony of their faithful lips. Visit with Your compassion, our deluded fellow-subjects in the sister-island. Deliver them from the deceits of Antichrist. Illumine their hearts, that they may eschew all dangerous deceits, and in pure faith receive You as all their salvation and all their desire. Cause priest-craft, and formality, and every bewitching error, to wither before the brightness of Your rising.
Ride forth, O King of kings, O Lord of lords, conquering and to conquer. From pole to pole, let Your great name be known. Breathe on dry bones—and they shall live. Our hearts and souls yearn for Your glory. Shortly accomplish the number of Your elect. Take to Yourself Your great power and reign. Rebuke the wrongful usurpers. Cause the Father's glory to be seen in You. Cast not out our evening petition. Answer for Your love's sake. Amen.
Father of heaven, God of all grace and love, help us now to lie low in supplicating cries. We come humbly—because we come as wretched sinners in ourselves. We come boldly—because we come in the mighty name of Jesus. Strengthen our faith, that we may refuse to let You go—until You bless us with all blessings.
We are pained by our graceless hearts. We bewail our prayerless prayers. We know that whatever we ask in prayer believing—we shall receive. It is because of our vile sin—that we are so poor in grace. We are sluggards in the heavenly race, we are grovelers in the mire, when we should be soaring to the heights of heaven, on the eagle-wings of faith! What great things have we lost, because we have not drawn near to take them! What blessings we might have won for our homes, our parishes, our country, and the world, if pleading intercessions had refused to give You rest. Pardon the deadness of our poor hearts. Let future hours witness our importunities at Your throne. On our knees may we be incessant in telling You our needs and our desires. We ask for the very spirit of Your dear Son. His abode on earth was one unbroken communion with heaven. Grant that our life too may be one sweet savor of devotion!
In our prayerful hours may we be frequent in asking that Your way may be known upon earth, Your saving health among all nations. Did Your dear Son wept when He saw Jerusalem in the gall of bitterness and unbelief—and shall our eyes be dry when we contemplate the perishing multitudes of this sin-sick world! Our spirits should be stirred within us, when we reflect that the devil reigns as a tyrant over his enslaved dupes! What present misery! What future anguish! What desolation now! What weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth forever!
Arise, O gracious Lord God, and turn this darkness into light, these regions of impurity and vice, into fresh pastures of peace and joy. You have been pleased to organise societies to diffuse the wonders of redeeming love—may You by Your Spirit preside in all their councils, revealing to them Your gracious purposes, guiding their plans as shall most promote Your glory. May You go forth with all their messengers of truth. May the feet of the gospel-heralds be beautiful upon the mountains of the east, amid the snows of ice-bound tribes, and under the burning heat of torrid plains. May multitudes at their voice arise, and cast their idols to the moles and to the bats. Cause the name of Jesus to be as ointment poured forth, and may distant lands glory in the saving cross, and swell the melody of heaven by ascribing salvation to the Lamb. Open our hearts to pour liberal supplies into their coffers. Far be from us the hypocrisy of crying, "May Your kingdom come," and withholding the aid which, by self-denial, we might supply. Deliver us from all covetousness of filthy lucre—but make us avaricious of the praise which comes from You. May we weigh all things in the scales of eternity, and regard all possessions as less than nothing, which have no value in Your sight.
Blessed Jesus, we know that Your glorious return will change the whole aspect of this groaning world. The earnest expectation of the creature, waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. When will You take to Yourself Your great power—and reign? When will the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ? Precious promises have come forth as heralds of Your advent. Why does the fulfilling glory tarry? Hasten to remove all that impedes the descent of Your chariot of triumph. By Your Spirit make the mountains a straight way, and the rough places plain. Fit us for that day of gladness. Then may we lift up our heads with joy, and shout exultingly, "This is our God, we have waited for Him. We will be glad, and rejoice in His salvation!" May our life now be life for You—that Your glory may be our glory forever. Take our humble prayers, and present them with acceptance, O Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and our all. Amen.
O Lord our God, we thank You that we are called to the blessing of united prayer. Grant that Your Spirit may so animate our common cry, that it may abundantly prevail. May it fly upwards strong in adoring faith, fervent in expecting hope, fragrant in the Redeemer's merits.
Common need impels us. Common mercies prompt our evening song. In Your kind providence, You have made us inhabitants of one home, and sheltered us beneath one roof. We thank You that You have knit us together in this fellowship of mutual help, so that one renders service, while another is the directing head. May we in all good conscience minister to each other's comfort and real good. Let those who rule—rule wisely in Your fear, remembering their heavenly Master. Let us not forget the day of final reckoning, and do all as unto You, and under the power of that sure word, "You O God, see me!"
Especially make us helpers to each other's faith. In every domestic arrangement let reference to eternity prevail. Let a wise use of time provide our needs—that due time may invite to Scripture-study, calm reflection, and retired prayer. Considering the power of speaking and of silence, set a watch upon our mouths that no word may be unadvised, and let silence reprove—when rash utterance might injure. Blessed Jesus, You have set us an example that we should follow Your steps. Be so perspicuously our life, that for others to follow us—may truly be to follow You.
While thus we pray, conscience trembles at remembrance of our incessant failures. We would do good—but evil is present with us. The good that we would fo—we do not do; the evil that we would not do—that we do! We have no power of ourselves to help ourselves. We cannot come unto You—unless You shall draw us. But draw us individually, then collectively we shall run after You. Sprinkle each one of us this night anew with the blood of sprinkling, and may it be our shield against all evil.
Ofttimes have our longing thoughts gone forth to the eternal day—when we shall see You as You are, without one cloud of unbelief, without the interruption of one straying thought, without the downcast look of shame—but when there shall be one bright blaze of glory forever! We thank You that the lapse of another day—has brought us one day nearer to our glorious eternal home! Ofttimes have we panted for fuller knowledge of You, our God. But we have only seen You through a glass darkly. Our besotted faculties are dull to comprehend You; but then we shall see You face to face, and know even as we are known!
This evening teaches us that the separating interval grows rapidly less; that the night is far spent; that the day is at hand. To many this night will be the last. It may be so to one or more of us. If such should be Your will—may our entrance be very abundant into our heavenly home.
We look forward to that day when we take our last breath—we shall knock at heaven's gate in the name of Jesus. We shall present ourselves washed from earth's every stain, in His all-cleansing blood. We shall draw near to Your majestic throne, screened entirely in Jesus—the Lord our righteousness.
We come now to You, in the full assurance of faith, that You have redeemed us, O Lord, O God of truth; that Your every promise is very faithfulness; and that You will do for us more than we can ask, or think, or hope. But if a longer pilgrimage is our appointed lot, may refreshing sleep render us apt and active for the duties of tomorrow. If it is not heaven, may it witness our fitting more and more for it.
Prepare all pastors for their more than angelic work; and all worshipers for their service in the sanctuary. May heaven on the morrow be opened wider, and more wide, to receive the upward stream of prayer and praise—and to pour down floods of enlightening and sanctifying grace. How merciful are You to permit us thus to pray. Multiply Your mercy by most gracious answer. And to Your great name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—be eternal praise. Amen.