The writer has endeavored in the following pages, to comply with frequent requests made to him to prepare a small volume of Evening Prayers, suitable as a companion to the "Morning Watches." May all that is amiss in thought and word, be lost in the fragrant incense-cloud which ascends from the Golden Altar before the Eternal Throne!
"You are to make an altar for the burning of incense. You are to place the altar in front of the veil by the ark of the testimony — in front of the mercy seat that is over the testimony — where I will meet with you. And when Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations!" Exodus 30:1, 6, 8
Prayer for Communion with God
"Abide with us — for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent." Luke 24:29
O my Father, I desire to approach Your throne of Grace on the evening of this day, beseeching You to grant me Your benediction and blessing. The shadows of night have once more gathered around me — may no shadow of sin or unbelief darken my soul, or interrupt my communion with You. Let me enter the inner chamber of Your presence, and experience conscious fellowship with You, my Father in Heaven.
Graciously forgive all the sins of the past day, its sins of omission and of commission, of thought, and word, and deed. Hide me anew in the clefts of the Smitten Rock. I confidently repose my everlasting interests on the finished work and righteousness of the adorable Redeemer. May I know more and more of the attractive power of His Cross — and the adaptation of His character and work, to all the wants and weaknesses, the sorrows and infirmities, of my tried and suffering and tempted nature. May I live more under the sovereign motive of love to Him — and experience more the happiness of life spent in His service.
Gracious Lord! may a sense of Your favor penetrate with its leavening power — every duty in which I engage, lessening every cross, and sweetening every care. Take what You will away — but do not take Yourself; no earthly good can compensate for the loss of Your friendship! Existence would be one vast blank without You. Allow me to realize the blessedness of unfaltering dependence on Your covenant mercy, knowing that all which befalls me is the pledge and dictate of unerring love, and that nothing can come wrong to me — which comes from Your hand.
Thus while my daily walk is hallowed and brightened by Your presence and fellowship — may I be enabled to look calmly and undismayed on the unknown and chequered future — feeling that even over the gloomy portals of the grave, with You as my Portion and Heritage, I can write, "To die is gain!" Meanwhile, fit me for every duty, and prepare me for every trial. If You give me the "full cup" — give me grace to carry it with a steady hand! If You send adversity — let me regard it as Your own gracious discipline — to wean me from earth, and train me for glory.
May it be my great ambition, through the help of Your Blessed Spirit, to attain a gradual resemblance to the character, and conformity to the will, of my adorable Redeemer. May I be clothed with humility. May I be daily becoming more meek and gentle, more contented and thankful, more submissive and resigned, watching against anything in my heart or conduct that I know would be displeasing to You, making it my food and my drink to do Your holy will.
O unslumbering Shepherd of Israel, grant Your guardian care to all who are near and dear to me; shield them from danger; give Your angels charge over them; sanctify them body, soul, and spirit; seal them unto the day of eternal redemption.
May we all lie down to sleep this night in Your fear, and awake in Your favor — fitted for the duties of a new day. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
"Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense — and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."
Prayer for Pardoning Grace
"For Your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity — for it is great!" Psalm 25:11
Gracious God! Look down upon me this night in Your great mercy. May I have now the inner sunshine of Your presence! Before I retire to rest, let me pitch my tent near Yourself, and enjoy the tokens of Your favor and blessing. Your loving-kindness has been new to me every morning, and Your faithfulness every night.
I desire to render the thank-offering of a grateful heart to You. My life is one wondrous attestation to Your patience and forbearance. The kindness of the best earthly friend, has been nothing to You. You might long before now, have left me to reap the fruits of my own guilty estrangement, withdrawing the grace and Spirit I have so long resisted, executing against me the awful doom of the cumberer. But I am still spared — a living monument of mercy! Your ways are not as man's ways — nor Your thoughts as man's thoughts.
O my Father, I would seek anew this night, to close with the sole Sovereign remedy — Jesus! There is no other prop but You — to support a sinking soul and a sinking world. There is nothing between me and everlasting destruction — but Your glorious work and finished righteousness. I rejoice to think that it is all I need — living or dying, for time or for eternity! O blot out my many, many sins in Your precious blood. Nothing in my own hands I bring — simply to Your cross I cling. Mercy and truth have met together there; righteousness and peace have embraced each other. Reposing in what You have done, and in what You are still willing to do — I can rejoicingly say, "Return unto your rest, O my soul."
Bring me to live more habitually under the constraining influence of redeeming love. Purchased at such a price, may I be willing freely to consecrate soul and body to Your service. Let me feel that the bitterest of all trials — is the forfeiture of Your favor and love; and the loftiest joy — is the assured possession of Your gracious friendship. May my spirit be brought into blessed unison with Yours. May I become more gentle, and resigned, and submissive, and unselfish; more heavenly-minded; more Savior-like! May I be led to regard all, even Your darkest dealings with me here — as needful parts in Your plan of stupendous wisdom. May I rest contented in the assurance that what I do not understand now — I shall know hereafter.
Unite me to all my dear friends, and them to me, in the bonds of Christian love. Amid all the fluctuations of this mortal life, may we ever have grace given us to cleave unto the Lord with full purpose of heart. Treading the same pilgrim-journey — may we arrive at last at the same pilgrim-home.
I would retire to rest this night with my eye on the opened fountain. O give me that peace of Yours, which the world knows nothing of, which the world cannot give, and, blessed be God, which the world cannot take away! Abide with me, for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent. Give your angels charge over me during the unconscious hours of sleep, and, when all my evenings and mornings shall be finished — may it be mine to wake up with Yourself in glory everlasting, through Jesus Christ my only Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Renewing Grace
"Renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10
Blessed God, I desire anew to end this night with You! Enkindle my soul as with a live coal from off Your holy altar! Let all unhallowed and obtrusive thoughts and cares be set aside — that I may enjoy a season of fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
I rejoice to think that I have such a Friend to repair to — such a never-failing refuge in every season of perplexity and trouble. Vicissitude is written on all around me — but "You are the same." Though often, alas! I have changed towards You — You have never changed towards me. You loved me from the beginning, and that love remains to this hour — infinite and unalterable!
O my Father, I am mourning over my many and grievous backslidings, and my base and unworthy requital of all Your unmerited kindness. Bring me in poverty of Spirit, with deep conscious unworthiness, to say, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" Give me a realizing sense of the evil of sin — and my own sin in particular. I feel that I have no abiding and humbling consciousness of my guilt. How little of genuine, heartfelt contrition do I experience! How often I appear to be humble and penitent — when I am not! How do my very prayers condemn me! My confessions of sin, need to be confessed themselves!
Oh renew me in the spirit of my mind. May all old things pass away; may all things be made new. Transform me by the indwelling power of Your quickening Spirit. May affections now alienated from You — be reclaimed to Your service. May I seek to be more animated by the sovereign motive of love to Jesus, whose I am — and whom it is alike my duty and my privilege to obey. Knowing that this is Your will concerning me, even my sanctification — may it be my constant ambition to be growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I have in myself no might, no power, no sufficiency, to do any of these things. My sufficiency is of You. Make Your grace sufficient for me, and perfect Your strength in my weakness. Keep me from all evil that would be likely to grieve me. Wean me from all that is fleeting and perishable here, and may all Your dealings towards me issue in the confirmed habit of a holy life. If You send affliction — let me regard it as Your own way of dispensing spiritual blessing, and bow with lowly submission to Your sovereign appointments.
Bless all my beloved friends. Keep them as the apple of Your eye. Hide them under the shadow of Your everlasting wings. Sanctify trial to all in sorrow. Let the widow and the fatherless put their trust in You. Support the poor and him that has no helper. Support the aged. Sustain the dying. May we all bear one another's burdens — and so fulfill the law of Christ.
As the pillar of cloud has been with me by day, so may the pillar of fire be with me this night. Watch over me during the unconscious hours of sleep, and when I awake — may I be still with You. And all I ask is for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Savior. Amen.
"Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense — and the lifting up of my hands, as the evening sacrifice."
Prayer for Sanctifying Grace
"Sanctify them through Your truth; Your word is truth." John 17:17
Blessed Lord, bend Your pitying eye of love and mercy upon me this evening. Draw near to me, as I venture once more on praying and on pleading ground. I desire to feel that I am one night nearer to glory. Oh, enable me to feel, as night after night is silently stealing over my head — that my seasons and opportunities of grace are fleeting fast away — and that soon the night comes, wherein I can work no more.
Alas! O my Father, how little have I improved the time that is past! I am a wonder to myself, that with all my deep ingratitude and utter vileness — I am yet permitted to approach Your footstool! I have sinned against light and love — warning and mercy — grace and privilege. The retrospect of life — is a retrospect of guilt. I mourn over my manifold shortcomings — the alienation of my heart from You — the fitfulness of my spiritual frames — the ebbings and flowings in the tide of my love. When tried by the lofty and unerring standard of Your law — how are my best actions and duties marred with defilement! How much self-seeking and self-glorying — and how little animated by the predominating motive of love to You, and singleness of eye to Your service!
Blessed Jesus! I flee anew to the pavilion of Your love. I have no other hope, no other refuge — but in Your finished work — Your matchless atonement — Your spotless righteousness! There is in You an all-sufficiency for every need. Finite necessities cannot exhaust Infinite fullness. Let me hear Your voice saying, "Your sins, which are many — are all forgiven you!" O sprinkle me with Your blood; sanctify me, body, soul, and spirit.
Transform me more and more into Your own image. May I know more and more the happiness of true holiness — that I am really blessed in seeking to walk so as to please God. May the power of grace wax stronger and stronger — and the power of sin wax weaker and weaker. May trials and crosses become light and easy to me — when borne in a spirit of meek, unrepining submission to the Divine will. May this quiet every doubt and misgiving, "Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things!" Lord, may every providential dealing prove a heart-searcher, testing the reality of my love to You, and my fitness and preparedness for Your heavenly kingdom.
Extend, Lord, Your cause and Gospel everywhere. Strengthen Your missionary and ministering servants. May they ever hear the sound of their Master's footsteps behind them. May your churches walk in the fear of God and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Bless all my beloved friends wherever they are; be their Almighty Protector and Guide. Let the angel come at this the time of evening incense, touching all our hearts, and granting us an answer to our several petitions. Let us rise tomorrow refreshed for Your service — and fitted for whatever in Your good providence, we may be called either to do or to suffer. Hear me, gracious God, for the sake of Him whom You hear always. Amen.
"Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense — and the lifting up of my hands, as the evening sacrifice."
Prayer for Restraining Grace
"Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins." Psalm 19:13
Blessed God, You have in Your mercy permitted me to see
the close of another day. With what unwearying watchfulness have You been
compassing my path —
defending me from danger,
guarding me from temptation,
hedging up my way with thorns,
sustaining me with the blessings of Your goodness!
I have no friend in the world like You — none so able, none so willing to be my friend. If I have been successful in resisting sin, it is all Your blessed grace which has enabled me. From how many slippery places have You rescued me! When often on the brink of the precipice, ready to fall — Your interposing hand has saved me from inevitable destruction. When through my own weakness and unwatchfulness, I would have been wandering in hopeless alienation from You — You have mercifully not allowed the bruised reed to be broken, nor the smoking flax to be quenched!
O my Father, my earnest prayer is that Your grace may still be made sufficient for me. May no spiritual foe be allowed to invade my peace or endanger my safety. Let Your love be restored to its rightful ascendancy in my affections. May no rival be allowed to usurp its place. May I ever exercise a holy jealousy over this truant, wandering, deceitful heart — seeking day by day to subdue unmortified sin.
May all Your dispensations issue in my sanctification. Let me seek no unruffled path; may the cross be willingly carried. You love me too well to give me my own way. Whatever Your will and Your dealings may be — be it mine cheerfully and rejoicingly to acquiesce in them, knowing them to be the dictate of infinite wisdom and unchanging love. May all my worldly business and engagements, be interfused and hallowed with the blessed sense and assurance of Your favor! Walking all the day in the light of Your countenance — I must be safe!
God of Bethel — grant Your richest benediction on all who are near and dear to me. Give your angels charge over them; let their names be written among the living in Jerusalem; and oh, may we all seek in our several spheres to glorify You on earth, either by active duty or by patient endurance; exemplifying in our daily walk the meek and lowly, the unselfish and self-denying, spirit of Him, who has left us an example that we should follow His steps.
Hasten the coming of Your Son's kingdom. Arise, O my Father, and plead Your own cause. Save Your people, bless Your inheritance, feed them, and lift them up forever.
The curtain of night is again drawn around me. If it be Your will, spare me to see the light and enjoy the comforts of a new day; may I seek anew to enjoy them in You; may every blessing be doubly sweet to me, bearing the impress of Your love in Jesus. Guide me in life, through death, into glory — for the sake of Him in whom is all my hope, and to whom, with You the Father, and You, ever-blessed Spirit, one God — be ascribed all blessing and honor and glory and praise, world without end. Amen.
"Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense — and the lifting up of my hands, as the evening sacrifice."
Prayer for Restoring Grace
"Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation." Psalm 51:12
Blessed God, I rejoice to know that the gates of prayer are ever open — that for the sake of Jesus Christ, my adorable Redeemer, You are waiting to be gracious — not willing that any should perish.
Come in the plenitude of Your love this evening, that I may feel it to be good for me to draw near to You! Scatter my darkness, O better Sun — with the brightness of Your rising. Give me filial confidence in approaching the mercy-seat, rejoicing in the mightiest of all Beings as my Father and Friend.
Blessed Jesus! I would exercise a simple confidence and trust in Your finished work, I would seek to wash anew in the opened fountain of Your blood, to repose anew in the faithful saying which never can cease, to the sin-stricken, sin-burdened soul, to be worthy of all acceptance — that You came into the world to save the chief of sinners.
I have to mourn, O my Father, my constant proneness to depart from You — the instability of my best purposes of obedience. Unsupported by Your grace — I must fall. There is nothing, O great Intercessor within the veil — but Your omnipotent pleadings — between me and irretrievable ruin. But You have prayed, and are even now praying, for me that my faith fail not. Oh if I am still prone to start aside, like a deceitful bow — bring me back again! Reclaim my truant heart from its wanderings. I would cast myself with simple dependence on Your grace for the future. This is sufficient for all needs — and equal to all exigencies. Your everlasting arms are lower than my deepest necessities. Adorable Savior, I may well cast my every care on You, for these cares You make Your own. You have a heart to feel — for those who have often no heart to feel for themselves. Oh let me ever seek to hear Your directing voice — and to hear no other.
Carry on within me Your own work in your own way. O, Great Shepherd of Israel, You cannot lead me wrong. I delight to trace Your guiding love in the past, and I may well trust You still. Going up through the wilderness, may I lean on Your arm. When I come to die, may the gloom of the dark valley be lighted with the rays of Your love, and may I hear Your voice whispering in gentle accents, "Fear not, for I am with you!"
Be gracious to all my beloved friends. Train them also, by Your good Spirit, for eternity. Fit them for every duty. Arm them against every temptation. Dispose them to fear Your glorious name, and to live from day to day under the powers and influences of a world to come. Compassionate the afflicted; comfort the bereaved; support the dying.
O my Father, take the charge of me during the silent watches of another night. May I rise on the morrow to renew my work and warfare on earth, looking forward to the time when the twilight of this world shall melt into everlasting day — and when nothing shall evermore mar or interrupt the blessedness of endless communion with You. Through Jesus Christ, my only Lord and Savior. Amen.
"Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense — and the lifting up of my hands, as the evening sacrifice."
Prayer for Quickening Grace
"Quicken me according to Your love, and I will obey the statutes of Your mouth." Psalm 119:88
O my Father, on this the close of another day, I desire
to approach the footstool of Your throne. Glory be to Your holy name that I
can enjoy freedom of access into Your presence, and with the confidence of
Your child — unburden and unbosom to You all . . .
my needs and sins,
my sorrows and infirmities,
my perplexities and cares.
O my Father, how unworthy I am of the least of all Your mercies! What righteous cause have You to cut me down as a cumberer of the ground. How cold my love, how infrequent my prayers! How full is my heart, of pride and vain-glory, self and sin! How little have I habitually realized Your nearness, and sought Your favor as my chief good! There is enough of coldness and formality in my best approaches to Your footstool — to lead You in Your wrath to spurn me forever away, and to mingle my blood with my sacrifices!
I cast myself as a worthless unworthy sinner, at the feet of Jesus. I need daily, hourly washing at that fountain which He has opened for sin and for uncleanness. Wash me, gracious Lord — fully, freely, and forever. Let me know the blessedness of "no condemnation." Deepen my contrition on account of my sin. I am apt to palliate its enormity, to invent vain excuses for its commission, to hide its heinousness from myself, and to hide it from You. Let me see all my sin — in the light of Calvary's cross! May I hate it with a perfect hatred, and resolve in Your grace that it henceforth shall have no dominion over me. Oh quicken me by the indwelling of Your blessed Spirit. May I seek to be progressing in the divine life. May my pathway heavenward be brightened by a lively sense of reconciliation, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
Let me lean on Your heavenly arm, seeking Your glory with singleness of eye. May it be my greatest grief to give You pain, my greatest joy and happiness to do Your will. Keep me from all hard thoughts and unrighteous surmises regarding Your dealings. May I see them all as designed to quicken my steps in the heavenly way, to bring me nearer Yourself, and to impart an increasing fitness for glory. Let Your kingdom come, let Your blessed Gospel triumph over the pride and superstition and will-worship of man. Put an end to war and discord, and may all the ends of the earth see Your salvation. Bless Your ministering servants; may they be valiant for the truth, and have no fear — but the fear of God.
Be the Guide and Guardian of all whom I love. Preserve their bodies from danger, and their souls from sin. Watch over them and myself this night; be about our bed, as You have been about our path. Night after night as I retire to rest — may I think of the deeper darkness of the night of death, which must, sooner or later encompass me. Reposing in the merits of my gracious Redeemer, may I be enabled to look beyond death and the grave, to that morning without clouds, when I shall awake in His likeness, and be ushered into the full vision and fruition of You my God; and all that I ask or hope for is for His sake. Amen.
Prayer for Imputed Righteousness
"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all those who believe." Romans 3:22
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, I desire to draw near into Your sacred presence on this the evening of another day, under a deep sense of my own great unworthiness. What am I, guilty, sinful, polluted — that I should be permitted to take Your name into my lips, or so much as lift up my eyes to the place where You in glory dwell!
I desire to renounce all dependence on myself. I come with all the great burden of my great guilt — to my great Savior. I seek to bring the unrighteousness of an unworthy creature — to the infinite righteousness and everlasting faithfulness of my loving Redeemer. Where would I have been, Blessed Jesus — but for You! All that I am, and all I have — I owe to Your free, sovereign, unmerited grace!
All my temporal mercies are sweetened to me as flowing from Your cross, and bearing on them the image and superscription of Your love. And for every spiritual blessing I enjoy, and every spiritual hope I entertain — I desire doubly to adore you, O Great Author and Finisher of my faith!
Whom have I in Heaven but You, and there is none in all the earth I desire besides You. You alone can fill up the aching voids of my heart. In vain can I look to a transient world, or to the perishable creature — for solid peace and permanent enjoyment. All my well-springs are in Yourself; with You for my portion I am independent of every other.
I desire this night to obtain a lively and humbling view of my own spiritual poverty and deep creature destitution — that I may rejoice in the fullness and all-sufficiency of that righteousness which is unto all, and upon all those who believe. In that righteousness I would seek to live — and in that righteousness I would seek to die. There is nothing else but Your righteousness, between me and everlasting ruin. But for You, O great Covenant-Angel standing in the breach — the fire of God would break forth and mingle my blood with this my evening sacrifice! But I "will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with a robe of righteousness." I take You, O adorable Savior, as mine alone, mine wholly; mine for all my needs and all exigencies. I rejoice in the inexhaustible riches treasured up in You — that Your fullness is adequate to supply all my present necessities; and out of that fullness I may still continue receiving, and that forever and ever!
O my Father, look in great kindness, on all whom I love. Pity a perishing world. Arrest the careless; reclaim the wandering; strengthen the feeble. Hasten Your Son's coming and kingdom. How long shall the wicked — how long shall the wicked triumph? Save Your people; bless Your inheritance; feed them also, and lift them up forever.
Let the curtain of Your protecting providence be drawn around me this night. Let me fall asleep at peace with You — ready, if need be, to awake up in glory. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for Peace in Believing
"Therefore being justified by faith — we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1
Gracious God, I would seek to end another day with You; I would desire to look up to You through Jesus Christ, Your well-beloved Son, and to be made partaker of that peace which passes all understanding. There is no other refuge for the sin-stricken, woe-worn spirit. In vain amid other portions and meaner joys can I say to my soul "peace, peace." There is no peace! But reposing, blessed Savior, on Your finished work and everlasting righteousness, I have a peace which the world knows nothing of, and which enables me to rise superior to all the vicissitudes and changes of this fleeting life.
I desire to remember with a grateful heart, that this peace has been purchased for me by the blood of the cross — that it is made as sure as everlasting power and wisdom and faithfulness can make it. O great Prince, who has power with God and prevails — I would lift the undivided eye of faith to Your bleeding sacrifice! Dispel every disquieting fear with the thought that You have done all, and suffered all, and procured all — for me! Being justified by faith, I have peace with You through the Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice in the plenitude of Your promises, that they are all yes and amen to those who believe. Man's word may fail, man's faithfulness may falter — but "the word of the Lord is tried," Your faithfulness is unto all generations!
O my Father, enable me to rejoice more and more in You as my everlasting portion. I know nothing which compares with the enjoyment of Your favor. Other props may be removed, other refuges may prove refuges of lies — but You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Give me grace to be active in Your service for the remainder of my fleeting life. Opportunities are fleeting. The night comes, when none of us can work. May simple believing, be followed by the earnest cultivation of every Christian virtue, and by progressive advancement in the heavenly life. May I faithfully employ the talents which You have entrusted to me, and seek never to be weary in well-doing. Preserve me from every unholy temper and unchristian deed. May I be gentle and meek, patient and forgiving, kind and benevolent, living in love towards all men.
On all my beloved friends, I supplicate Your richest blessing. Protect them with Your favor as with a shield. Sanctify them, body, soul, and spirit. Seal them unto the day of eternal redemption.
Bless all Your poor afflicted ones. Let them receive largely out of the wells of Your own everlasting consolation. Let them see Your sovereign hand alone in their trials, and say with unrepining submission, "May the Lord's will be done!"
O my Father, take the charge of me through the silent watches of the night. May I fall asleep listening to the gracious benediction, "Peace be unto you." And when the gates of the morning are opened, may it be to hear anew Your voice saying, "My presence will go with you!" Hear, accept, and answer me, for the dear Redeemer's sake. Amen.
Prayer for the Spirit of Adoption
"We have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry: Abba, Father!" Romans 8:15
Blessed Lord! I desire to draw near this night with holy boldness to the footstool of Your throne, rejoicing that I can look up to You as my Father in Heaven. "Behold what manner of love is this which the Father has bestowed on me — that I should be called a child of God!" You might have righteously left me orphaned, friendless, portionless forever! But in the midst of wrath, You have remembered mercy. The kindness of no earthly parent, O my Father — could equal yours. You have borne with all my obstinacy, all my perverseness, and waywardness, and ingratitude. I am at this hour the monument of a love — as wondrous, as it is undeserved.
Oh teach me to cultivate more and more a spirit of child-like obedience to You; to cherish a holy fear of offending so kind and forgiving and beneficent a Father. While You are strewing my wilderness path with unmerited blessings — may I be enabled to rise above every earthly gift and mercy — to the better inheritance I have in You, the bountiful Bestower of all!
Let this hour of prayer be doubly hallowed — by the thought that I am permitted to frequent my Heavenly Father's presence, and pour my needs into my Father's ear!
Let me feel every temporal blessing to be doubly sweet — as emanating from my Heavenly Father's hand, and being a proof and pledge of my Father's love!
Let this season of sorrow be sweetened by the thought that the rod is in my Heavenly Father's hand — and that the voice, through apparently rough — is the tender whispering of paternal wisdom and love!
Blessed Jesus! I desire to remember that it is You and You only who has not left me "comfortless." It is You who has devised and completed a way by which "Your banished" may not be "expelled" from a Father's presence. You have opened a door of welcome to the chief of sinners. It is Your blessed voice and Your glorious work, which utter the gracious declaration, "In my Father's house there are many mansions." Oh let me lean with a more simple and entire dependence on You; let me live from day to day with an unfaltering trust in Your mercy. May every new evening, as it finds me laying the incense-offering of gratitude and love on Your altar — find me also a stage nearer my Father's house, nearer home, and nearer You.
Take all my beloved friends under Your shadowing wings this night. The darkness cannot screen them from You; the curtains of night can not exclude Your kind and watchful eye. Guide, guard, protect them, and bring them all at last to Your heavenly kingdom.
Bless Your Church everywhere; lengthen her tent-cords and strengthen her stakes. Be a wall of fire around Your spiritual Zion, and the glory in the midst thereof. Clothe her ministers with salvation, let her saints and people shout aloud for joy.
Bless Your people on whom You have laid Your afflicting hand. May they take refuge in the arms that are chastising them, and be enabled to say in unmurmuring submission, "May the Lord's will be done!" Hear me, gracious Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, my blessed Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Weanedness from the World
"They are not of the world — even as I am not of the world." John 17:16
O my Father, I desire to come into Your gracious presence this night, beseeching You to bless me. Let my prayer come before You as incense. May the incense-offering of gratitude and thanksgiving ascend from a grateful heart. How manifold are the proofs I have to recount of kindness on your part! How deep the ingratitude I have to mourn on my own! My sins have reached unto the clouds — they are more in number than the sand of the sea!
You are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. I cannot evade Your righteous scrutiny — all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom I have to do! Lord, I have to lament the proneness of my evil heart of unbelief, ever to depart away from You, the living God. I mourn the debasing influence of earthly things — the fascinating power of a present evil world. How inclined I am to conform to its evil maxims and unholy practices! How often I am found among those who "mind earthly things" — my soul cleaving to the dust, instead of soaring upwards to Yourself, my sole satisfying portion!
O my Father, it is my earnest prayer that You would wean me from the world. Keep me from over-anxiety about the things that are seen — from being over-careful and troubled about earth's "many things" — to the exclusion of the one thing needful! Break every alluring worldly spell; disenchant temporal things of their false and delusive charm; disengage me by all the beneficial discipline of Your providence — from what is fleeting, uncertain, transient, perishable; and unite me to the things which cannot be shaken — but which remain forever! May my heart be more in Heaven — imbibing more of the pilgrim spirit. May I declare plainly that I seek a better country.
May the sins of the past day be forgiven — may the blood
of sprinkling wash their guilt away. May I be driven nearer and closer to
Him who is the true refuge and portion and Savior of
His people. I rejoice to think that He has . . .
a balm for every wound,
a comfort for every bosom,
a solace for every tear!
May it be mine to go up through this 'wilderness world' — leaning on His loving and omnipotent arm!
May Your Holy Spirit carry on His own work of sanctification within me. May He enlighten, quicken, comfort, strengthen me — and mold me in gradual conformity to Your divine will.
Bless all connected with me, by whatever tie. "When earth's separations are at an end — take me and all who are dear to me, to the enjoyment of Your presence and love in Your own everlasting kingdom. Let the pillar of Your presence be over us this night. Guard me during sleep's unconscious hours. Let no unquiet dreams disturb my repose; may I compose myself to rest under the sweet assurance that You the Lord, sustain me; and when I awake, may I be still with You, through Jesus Christ, my only Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Gratitude for the Past
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all His benefits!" Psalm 103:2
O God Almighty, draw near to me at this time in Your great mercy — and accept my evening sacrifice! I bless You for all that gladdens my earthly lot — for food and clothing, for friends and home, for health of body and soundness of mind. Lord, I delight to trace the wondrous way by which You have hitherto led me! You have compassed my path, and my lying down. You have supplied my ever-recurring necessities. My needs have been infinite — but infinite too has been Your gracious supply. With a grateful heart I would set up my Ebenezer, saying, "Hitherto has the Lord helped me!" And remembering Your faithfulness in the past — I would confidently trust You for the future.
May I thankfully employ the manifold gifts of Your bounty. Impress upon me the feeling that I am but a steward, responsible to You for all that I possess. Let me not selfishly appropriate the varied means of usefulness which you have put within my power — but willingly employ these in Your service for the good of others. When You come to demand a reckoning — may I be able to give a faithful account of my stewardship, paying You Your own, with interest.
O my Father, while I bless You for the other proofs and tokens of Your love — far above all would I bless You for Jesus! Where would I have been this night but for Him? How dreary would have been the past! How dismal and hopeless the future! Thanks, eternal thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift! Let me feel, more than I have done, the exceeding riches of Your grace — in Your kindness toward me through Christ Jesus. Let all Your dealings only serve to confirm my love to Him, and to lead me to cleave to Him with fuller purpose of heart. May he have my undivided homage. Let no earthly gift or blessing — supplant the Giver. May every rill of temporal bliss be doubly precious to me — as flowing from Christ's atoning sacrifice!
I rejoice in the midst of trial and perplexity — to think of You, the tried and suffering One. I rejoice that amid my sorrows — I can remember Yours, that amid my very tears — I can remember Jesus wept. You can enter into all the peculiarities of Your people's case, for You were in "all points tempted."
Let me feel, even amid the troublous changes of life, that what I am apt to call painful vicissitudes — are the sovereign decrees and allotments of Your infinite wisdom! What I cannot now comprehend — be it mine to wait the disclosures of that blessed morning when, standing at the luminous portals of Heaven, I shall joyfully acknowledge that, "You have done all things well!"
Bless my beloved friends; may they be growing in your fear and favor; may they all at last, as sheaves in your heavenly garner — be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
I commend myself, gracious God, to Your care; let me retire to rest this night in the blessed consciousness of Your favor; and if spared to see the light of a new day, fit me for whatever You have in store for me. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for Trust for the Future
"I will trust, and be not afraid." Isaiah 12:2
O my Father, You make the out-goings of the evening and the morning — to rejoice over me. I thank You for Your sparing mercy during the past day. While multitudes of my fellow men have been called away into an eternal world — and I am still preserved in the land of the living, and in the place of hope. It is of Your compassions alone, that I am not consumed!
My way Zionward is well-studded with Ebenezers, testifying "Thus far the Lord has helped me!"
The pillar of Your presence has guided me through many a perplexing path!
Your love has smiled through many a threatening cloud!
Your restraining grace has arrested me in many a slippery way!
When "my soul was among lions" — how often have You "sent Your angel" to rescue me and shut the lions' mouths! I am truly a marvel and miracle of Your patience, forbearance, and mercy! "Hold me up — and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117
O my Father, I joyfully take all these past kindnesses — as tokens for the future. To You I would confidingly commit the unknown tomorrow, and cleave to Your guiding arm with full purpose of heart. The lot is thrown into the lap — but the whole disposing of it is of the Lord! O, be it my joy and privilege, thus reposing in Your covenant faithfulness, to say, "Undertake for me!" I look forward to that time when all Your inscrutable dealings will be unfolded, when inner meanings and purposes now undiscerned by the eye of sense — will be brought to light, and all discovered to be full of infinite love.
Keep me from dishonoring You by the workings of unbelief. I am prone to trust my own wisdom — O give me teachableness of spirit and simplicity of faith, waiting patiently on You; leaving all that concerns me and mine, to Your better direction.
Blessed Jesus! I would seek to cleave closer and closer to Your cross! I have no trust — but in Your finished work. Other refuges may fail — but I am as secure in You, as everlasting love and wisdom and power can make me! O cleanse every guilty stain away in your most precious blood. Let me live day by day at the opened fountain — and feel that I only "live" while there. Thus simply relying on Your justifying grace — may I seek to walk in Your footsteps and to imbibe Your spirit. May I follow You, O Lamb of God — wherever You see fit to lead me. May I never feel as if I would wish one jot or tittle regarding me to be altered — when the reins of universal empire are in Your hands!
Take my beloved friends under Your special care. Watch over them, provide for them, decide for them. In all their ways — may they acknowledge You; and in all things — may they seek Your honor and glory.
Pity Your afflicted ones. Stay Your rough wind — in the day of Your sharp east wind. Let them rejoice that every bitter drop in the 'cup of life' is appointed by my Heavenly Father! May they submissively drink it, saying, "May Your will be done!"
Hear, Lord, the voice of my supplications, when You hear — forgive, and grant me an answer in peace, seeing all that I ask is in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Knowledge of Christ
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings." Philippians 3:10
Almighty God, draw near to me this night in Your great mercy. What am I, that nothingness, unworthiness, and sinfulness — should be permitted to stand in the presence of infinite purity, majesty, and glory? Lord, I dare not have ventured to bow at your footstool in my own merits. I am poor and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked. Enter not in judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no flesh living can be justified.
But, adored be Your name, I have an all-sufficient ground
of confidence with which to approach You. I bless You, that by the doing and
dying of Jesus, You have opened up a way of reconciliation to the chief of
sinners. Oh, enable me to know more fully the adaptation of His person and
work, to all the necessities and exigencies of my character and
circumstances. Let me know him in His infinite Godhead — as "mighty to
save;" in His spotless humanity — as mighty to compassionate. Let me know
Him in all His offices — as . . .
my Prophet, my Priest, my King,
my Kinsman-Redeemer within the veil,
my Refuge in trouble,
my Guide in perplexity,
my Support in death,
my Portion through eternity!
I rejoice, blessed Jesus, at the hidden springs of life resident in You! You are suited to all the varied needs and circumstances, and trials of Your people — for every moment of need, for every diversity of situation.
O, better than the best of earthly friends, who, though
enthroned amid the hosannas of angels — have still Your human sympathy
unaltered and unchanged, draw near to me this night, and breathe upon me,
and say, "Peace be unto you." Let me know the melting energy of Your love,
and the attractive power of Your cross. May I keep the unwavering
eye of faith steadily directed to Your all-glorious sacrifice. Be . . .
the habitual object of my contemplation,
the source of holiest joy,
the animating principle of obedience.
May all creature-love be subordinated to Yours. May my temper, my walk, my conversation — be regulated in accordance with Your blessed will and holy example. May this be the lofty aim and ambition of life — to act so as to please Jesus.
Bless my dear friends, may they too be led to count all but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord, whom to know is life eternal. Pity the careless; reclaim the backsliding; comfort the sorrowful; sustain the dying. May the Lord arise and have mercy on His spiritual Zion; may He show that the time to favor her, yes, the set time, is come!
Before I lay my head on my nightly pillow, I would lay anew my guilt on the head of the Divine Surety; may I fall asleep under the blessed sense of sin forgiven — and look forward to that blessed day when earth's night-shadows shall have vanished forever, and when I shall be enabled more fully "to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge." And all I ask or hope for, is for His sake. Amen.
Prayer for Guidance in Perplexity
"Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto You." Psalm 143:8
O my Father, Your favor is life, Your loving-kindness is better than life. Your mercies have been new to me every morning, and Your faithfulness every night. You have watched over me from the earliest years of infancy, with more than a Father's care. The kindness of the kindest on earth, has been coldness itself — when compared with Yours. I rejoice that I can thus trace in a wondrous past — the visible footsteps of Your love, and fearlessly trust and repose in You for the future.
You are a rich provider. None so able, none so
willing . . .
to guide me in every perplexity,
to extricate me from every difficulty, and
to befriend me amid the fitful changes of life.
What a safe anchorage is this, amid the world's restless surges of vicissitude, "The Lord reigns!" Enable me wholly to follow the Lord my God; to follow You not only in smooth places — but even when the path is rough, and the way thorny. May I confide in the wisdom of all Your allotments. I rejoice that all the changes You order for Your covenant people — are changes for the better, and not for the worse.
O blessed Jesus! You who are the true pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night — precede me ever in all my wilderness wanderings. May I encamp only where You lead me. May I strike my tent only when You speak that I "go forward." Let me experience the conscious happiness of knowing no will but Yours, and of being solicitous in all things to follow the guiding voice and footsteps of the Great Shepherd of the flock. If there is anything in Your providence perplexing me now, I would say in child-like simplicity, "I am oppressed, undertake for me!" "My heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Hide me in the crevices of that smitten Rock; let me know the safety and joy of being shielded there, until earth's calamities be over and past.
Graciously forgive all the sins of this past day — the sins of thought, word and deed; all my selfishness and uncharitableness; all my pride and vain-glory; all my censoriousness and inconsideration of the wishes and feelings of others. Blessed Jesus! let me follow Your holy footsteps more closely, and drink of Your heavenly spirit more deeply.
Bless all Your people in sorrow, sanctify their trials to them — may they see and own a "needs be" in them all. Prepare the dying for death, and spare useful lives.
Take all belonging to me this night under the shield of Your protecting providence, let them ever commit their way unto You, and bring it to pass. Hold up their goings in Your word, that their footsteps may not stumble.
Watch over me during the unconscious hours of sleep; and when all my days and nights on earth are finished, may it be mine to enjoy Your presence in a cloudless, nightless Heaven! Through Jesus Christ, my blessed Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Victory over Sin
"Sin shall not have dominion over you." Romans 6:14
O my Father, You are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. Evil cannot dwell with You, fools cannot stand in Your presence. You have solemnly declared, "You will by no means clear the guilty," and that "though hand join in hand — the wicked shall not escape unpunished."
O my Father, I rejoice that I can draw near to You in the name of Him by whom the guilty have been cleared; and through whom it is that a holy and righteous and sin-hating God — can yet be holy and just, in the very act of justifying the ungodly!
I desire to adore You for all Your creative and providential goodness. You have loaded me with Your benefits. The past is paved with love. I see in the retrospect of life — nothing but amazing, unmerited kindness, mercy upon mercy! Amid manifold changes there has been no change in You, no altered looks, no fainting or weariness or estrangement. Amid the wanderings of my own fitful spirit, I can write over every remembrance of the past — but "You are the same!"
I desire with penitence of soul, to mourn . . .
my own ingratitude and sin,
the desperate wickedness and deceitfulness of my own evil heart,
the power of corruption,
the mastery of self,
the alienation of my affections from You, their rightful Sovereign and Lord.
What an easy prey have I often fallen in the hour of temptation — by thought and word and deed — dishonoring Your name and basely requiting Your love!
Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before You, and am no more worthy to be called Your child!
Give me genuine contrition for the past, inspire me with new purposes of obedience for the future. Without Your favor and reconciliation — in peace I cannot live, in peace I dare not die! My cry would be, "More grace! More grace!" Let me be gaining fresh victories over sin every day; may my soul be daily nurtured by the influence of heaven-born principles. May I know the expulsive power of the new implanted affection of love to You. Dethrone the world. Subjugate the power of sin. Give me greater tenderness of conscience; may I jealously guard every avenue to temptation, and be ready ever with the reply to the seductions of the tempter, "How can I do this great wickedness — and sin against God!"
Let me be willing to forego anything, rather than forsake Your ways. Be it my habitual purpose and desire, to cleave unto You with full purpose of heart. Let me hallow all of life's duties and engagements with Your favor, looking forward to that time when my will and Yours shall be one, and when there shall be no more sin to interrupt the interchange of love and devotedness!
Bless all my dear friends; may the blessing of Jacob's God, the God of all the families of the earth, rest upon them. Give them all needful temporal blessings. Fill their souls with peace and joy in believing. May they and I look forward with joyful anticipation to that "morning without clouds," which knows no change nor vicissitude, when there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying — because there will be no more sin. All I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for the Life of Faith
"The life which I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
O my Father, I desire to draw near unto Your blessed presence, on this evening of another day, adoring You for all the loving-kindness which You are continually making to pass before me. May I ever be enabled to look up to You as the Author and Bestower of all my mercies. May no created good ever be allowed to dispossess You of my affections. May all that I enjoy, alike temporal and spiritual — be traced to You, the Fountain of all happiness. May prosperity be hallowed, by receiving it as a pledge of Your favor; and may trial lose its bitterness, by the consciousness that every thorn in my path is permitted by You, and every bitter drop in the cup appointed by You.
May I thus seek, O my Father, from day to day, to live a life of simple faith and dependence on Your grace. With confiding love, may I commit my every care and need and perplexity to Your better direction, feeling sweetly assured that You will guide me by a right way to the city of habitation.
Above all, would I seek a renewed interest in those covenant blessings which Christ died to purchase — and which He is exalted to bestow. All my hope is in Him! Weak, helpless, perishing — I flee to Him, as the help and hope and portion of all who seek Him. Hide me, O blessed Jesus, in Your wounded side. I would overcome alone, through the blood of the Lamb. "Wash me thoroughly in Your precious blood. May I hear Your own voice of pardoning love saying, "Your sins which are many, are all forgiven."
After all You have done for me — let me harbor no guilty and unworthy suspicions of Your faithfulness. Let me feel assured that Your tender love regulates all Your allotments. You are pledged to use the dealing and discipline best suited for Your people's case, and what will best effect Your own will concerning them, even their sanctification. Carry on within me Your own work — in Your own way. Fortify me against temptation; let me not surrender myself to the base compliances of a world lying in wickedness. But, strong in the Lord and in the power of His might — may I know that He who is with me is far greater, than all who can be against me. Oh enkindle afresh my expiring, languishing love; let me live more under the influence of "eternal realities," having the eye of faith more upwards and homewards, looking for that blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of my great God my Savior.
Let Your kingdom come! Arise, O my Father, and plead Your own cause. May all the ends of the earth soon be gladdened with the Gospel's joyful sound!
Bless all Your people in sorrow, all bereaved of near and dear friends; may they see no hand in their trials, but Yours. You give us our blessings; and when You see fit — You revoke the grant. Let us see love in every threatening wave, all rolling at Your bidding.
O my Father, take the charge of me this night. Abide with me, blessed Savior, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. Oh, may it be mine to feel that each successive evening as it brings me nearer to eternity — is ripening me for its never-ending joys. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for Daily Death
"I die daily." 1 Corinthians 15:31
O God Almighty, Father of all mercies, God of all grace, I beseech You to look down upon me at this time in Your great kindness; let me feel that it to be good for me to draw near unto You.
I desire to come acknowledging my great unworthiness. Forgive, gracious Lord, my many, many sins of thought, word, and deed — wash out all the defilements of the day. If I were to be tried by the doings of any single hour — how would I stand condemned! I am a miracle of mercy — kept, sustained, upheld, moment by moment, by Your power.
Blessed Savior! where would I have been this night, but for You? You are praying for me, as for Your faltering disciple of old, that my faith fail not. I do rejoice to think that the same hand that was once outstretched for me on the cross — is now lifted up in pleading love before the Throne — and that He who is for me, is greater far than all who can be against me! Oh strengthen me with all might by Your Spirit in the inner man. Subdue my corruptions, crucify all remaining sin. Let me die to the world; let me not imbibe its false maxims, conform to its sinful tastes, or accord with its evil practices. Let self in all its manifold forms, be crucified — and You exalted.
Come, Lord! search me, try me, prove me — and see if there is any wicked way in me. Let me maintain a constant and habitual hatred of those sins which more easily beset me; may I exercise a holy jealousy over my own heart. Let no prosperity be strengthening my ties earthward, and weakening my ties heavenward. If You give me much of worldly good — may I write upon it all, "the things which are seen are temporary!" May it be my exalted ambition to use it for Your glory. If You send trial — let it issue in the peaceable fruits of righteousness, producing a child-like acquiescence in Your present dealings. Let me never forget my pilgrim attitude. Let me be ever looking forward to that joyous time when fully freed from the corruptions that are in the world, I shall stand "faultless before the Throne." Meanwhile, make me more heavenly-minded, copying the example of Him who was meek and lowly in heart.
Let me be gentle and forgiving, let me not harbor unkind suspicions of others — but consider myself, lest I also be tempted. O give me the character of Heaven on this side of death — that when I come to pass through the swellings of Jordan, I may be prepared for the joyous welcome awaiting me on the shores of glory, "Enter into the joy of your Lord!"
Have mercy on a world lying in wickedness! Pity the careless; arouse the slumbering; support the weak; support the poor and those who have no helper. Bless Your Church everywhere. May Your ministering servants hide themselves, that their Lord may be exalted.
Take the charge of me and of all near and dear to me this night. Keep me, O keep me, King of kings, beneath Your own Almighty wings. Lying down in Your fear — may I awake in Your favor, fitted for all the duties of a new day; and all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for Renunciation of Self
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God." 2 Corinthians 3:5
O my Father! bend Your pitying eye upon me this night, as I venture once more into Your sacred presence. What mercy it is that, with all my great unworthiness — the throne of grace is still open, and a God of grace is still waiting to be gracious!
I come to You in deep creature-destitution, bringing nothing in my hands — but simply cleaving, blessed Jesus, to Your cross! Looking away from my guilty self and my guilty doings — to You, who has done all and suffered all for me — I rejoice to think that You have broken every chain of condemnation — that You have satisfied the requirements of a broken law; and having overcome the sharpness of death — You have opened the kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Oh let me not continue in sin, because all this wondrous grace abounds. Let me not think lightly of the accursed thing which was the cause of all Your untold and unutterable anguish. I know, Lord, that I am apt at times, to plead vain excuses for my sins. I am unwilling to think them, and to think myself — so vile as I really am, in Your pure and holy eye.
My heart is deceitful; but "You are greater than my heart." Oh bring me in self-renouncing lowliness to cry out, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Let me cling to no remnants of my own self-righteousness. Let me see that my best actions are marred with defilement, and mingled with impure and unworthy motives.
Enable me to aim more and more at the conquest of SELF. Show me the plague of my own heart. Keep me from all that is unamiable and selfish, from all that is unkind and uncharitable, and that would exalt myself at the expense of others. Keep me holy. Keep me lowly. Lead me through the valley of humiliation. May life become more — one grand effort to crucify sin and to please You. Take, gracious Savior, my whole heart, and make it Yours; occupy it without a rival. May there be no competing affection. Keep me from alienating existence from its great end, by living to myself. May this be the superscription on all my thoughts, and duties, and engagements, "I am not my own, I am bought with a price!"
May whatever be Your time, be mine. May I not murmur at deferred blessings or disappointed hopes. May my own will be resolved into the will of Him who knows best what to give and what to withhold.
May the Lord have mercy upon Your church. May showers of blessing descend on Your holy hill. Hasten the glories of the latter day, when Jesus shall take to Himself His great power and reign!
Bless all my dear friends; may those ties which may be so soon severed here be rendered indissoluble by grace. Guard their couch and mine this night; give us refreshing sleep, lying down in Your fear, and awaking in Your favor — fitted for all the duties of a new day. And all we ask or hope for is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
Prayer for a child-like spirit
"My soul is even as a weaned child." Psalm 131:2
O my Father, I rejoice that I am permitted with filial confidence to approach Your blessed presence. What a privilege it is to have such liberty of access to the Mercy-seat — to look upwards to You, the Infinite One, whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain — and call You my Father and my God! Earthly love may grow cold or changeable, or perish; but "You are the same." The mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting. Like as a father pities his children, so does the Lord pity those who fear Him.
Alas! I have to mourn too often an unthankful spirit amid all Your manifold mercies. I have been rebellious and wayward, ungrateful and selfish! You might righteously have surrendered me to my own perverse will; left me to the fruit of my own ways, and to be filled with my own devices. It is of the Lord's mercies, that I am not consumed! Infinite is my need — but infinite too is my help. I would seek to stand before You, O my God, in the nothingness of the creature, and to know the boundless resources treasured up for me in the great Redeemer. Unite me to Him by a living faith, as Your own child by adoption; may it be my great desire to glorify You, my Father in Heaven; cherishing towards You a spirit of filial love and devotedness, seeking to do only what will please You, and having a beneficial fear of offending so kind and forbearing a Parent.
Oh keep me from any sullen fretfulness, or unbelieving misgivings, under the strokes of Your chastening hand. Let me place no harsh constructions on Your dealings. May I see all Your chastisements tempered with gracious love — all to be needful discipline. Give me an unwavering trust and confidence in Your faithfulness. Nothing befalls me — but by Your direction; nothing is appointed — but what is for my good.
Let Your varied dealings conform me to the image of my adorable Lord. Let me be willing to suffer patiently for Him, who so willingly and so patiently suffered for me. Let me not so much seek to have my afflictions removed — as to have grace given me to glorify You in them, and in the spirit of a weaned child to say, "Even so, Father — for so it seems good in Your sight!" O may my heart become a living temple, my life a living sacrifice, breathing the incense of gratitude and love. Let me give myself no rest until in this soul of mine, I find a place for the Lord, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
Sanctify trial to all Your sons and daughters of sorrow. Draw near to those bereaved of beloved relatives. Compensate for every earthly loss. May they know that You are faithful who have promised, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
Have mercy on Your whole Church. Heal divisions. Bless Your preached word. Strengthen Your ministering servants, that they may be enabled to proclaim the whole counsel of God.
Take the charge of me, and of all near and dear to me, this night. Give Your angels charge over us. May no unquiet dreams disturb our rest, and when we awake — may we be still with You. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for Heavenward Progress
"The path of the just is as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18
O my Father, I bless You that You have spared me during another day, and permitted the shadows of another evening to gather around me in peace. It is You alone Lord, who make me to dwell in safety. Enable me to live from day to day as the pensioner on Your bounty; to feel my dependence; to receive every created blessing and gift as directly from Your hand, and to seek to have all of them sweetened and hallowed as the pledges of Your covenant love in Jesus.
I bless You, gracious God, for the richer tokens of Your redeeming grace in Him. I bless You that His infinite merit — has come in the place of my infinite demerit; that in Him there is "no condemnation;" that in His precious blood — I have a secure shelter from the terrors of Your righteous law and the accusations of a guilty conscience. May I know more and more the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. May my every hope of pardon center in His cross. May I be living from day to day under the constraining influence of His love, and experience now a sweet foretaste of that everlasting communion which awaits me in His presence hereafter.
O my Father, quicken me in my heavenly way; do not allow me to loiter or linger on the road. Let this be my habitual feeling and watchword, "I am journeying Home!" May I seek to mark my progressive advancement in the divine life, my increasing conformity to the image and will of You, my God. Keep me humble, cherishing a constant sense of my dependence on You. Oh in every step Zionward, may I be led to cry, "Hold me up — and I shall be safe!" Let there be no longer any halting between two opinions, any wavering or indecision. May I regard life as a great mission to please You. Let my animating wish be to be nearer to You now, before I come to be with You forever in glory everlasting. Walking Heavenwards, may I feel I am walking Homewards!
May I spend each day, as if possibly it were my last, so that should the midnight cry break upon my ears, "Prepare to meet Your God!" it might be to me no unexpected summons — but as an angel whispering, "The Master has come — and is calling for you!"
Look down in mercy on the dark places of the earth full of the habitations of horrid cruelty. How long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? Go forth with Your missionary servants in heathen lands; may they witness much of Your power; may Your word still be mighty as ever, to the pulling down of Satan's strongholds. Give your Churches at home, grace to be more faithful in the fulfillment of the great commission of their Great Head, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature!"
Take all my beloved friends this night under Your guardian care. Shield them from all danger; and if You are pleased to spare us until tomorrow — may we arise refreshed and invigorated for the duties of a new day. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for Humility of Heart
"God gives grace unto the humble." James 4:6
O my Father, You are great and greatly to be feared. Your greatness is unsearchable! You are seated on a throne that is high and lifted up; day nor night, myriads of blessed spirits cease not to celebrate Your praise in their ever-triumphant hymn, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty!"
But I rejoice to think that though Heaven is Your dwelling-place — You deign to dwell in the humble and contrite heart. No sacrifice do You so love — as that of the broken spirit. No incense so prized by You — as the incense of a grateful, believing soul, which, oppressed with its own unworthiness and sin — reposes with unwavering trust in the work and righteousness of the Great Surety.
O my Father, on this ever-living, ever-loving Savior — I desire wholly to lean! As helpless, hopeless, friendless, portionless — I cast myself on Him who is Helper of the helpless, and Friend of the friendless. There is nothing but Your sacrifice and intercession, O Lamb of God — between me and everlasting destruction. O wash every crimson and scarlet stain away in Your precious blood! Let me lie low at the foot of Your cross. Give me a humble estimate of myself — and a lofty view of Your all-glorious work and finished righteousness. I have no other hope of mercy, and, blessed be Your name, I need no other.
Give me grace to follow You as both my Savior, and as my pattern. Conscious of the supreme enthronement of Your love in my heart — may I feel superior to all the fluctuations and changes of a changing world. May I live as the chartered heir of a better inheritance; while in the world — may I seek not to be of it. May I diffuse around me the noiseless influence of a heavenly life, subordinating all that I do to Your glory. Lord, enable me to be useful in the sphere in which You have placed me, to work while it is called today — remembering that there is no work nor device nor labor in the grave where I am going.
Bless all Your people in sorrow. Sanctify their trials. Keep us ever from the guilty atheism of looking to second causes. May we ever rejoice in the elevating assurance that "the Lord God Omnipotent reigns," and that You order all things wisely and well. May the Holy Spirit the Comforter pour his own balm into every bleeding heart.
Have mercy on a world lying in wickedness. Hasten that glorious period when creation, now groaning and travailing in sin, shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption and be translated into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Let Your word everywhere have free course and be glorified. May Jesus, faithfully "lifted up" by the attractive power of his cross, draw all men unto him.
Let Your best benediction rest on my friends. Watch between them and myself when we are absent one-from another. May we experience Your guardian care this night; and if spared to awake in the morning — may it be to spend a new day in Your service, through Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Firmness in Temptation
"Resist the devil — and he will flee from you." James 4:1
O my Father, You are from everlasting to everlasting. Loving me from the beginning — You have promised to love me even unto the end. Notwithstanding all the fitful changes of my own changing heart towards You, there has been, and can be, no shadow of turning in Your covenant faithfulness towards me. I am at this hour, the monument of Your mercy — a living comment on the words, "Your ways are not as man's ways — nor Your thoughts as man's thoughts."
If I have been enabled in any degree to resist the assaults of temptation — it is all Your doing. I am "kept by the power of God." Unless the Lord had been my help — my soul must long before now have dwelt in eternal burnings. By the grace of God — I am what I am!
O my Father, indulged and cherished sin unfits me for the enjoyment of Your service and favor. I have to lament my proneness to evil, the natural bias of my heart to that which is opposed to Your pure and holy will. When I would do good — sin is too often present with me. I feel the power of my spiritual adversaries. If left to myself and my own unaided resources — I must hopelessly resign the conflict.
But I rejoice to think that there is help and hope and strength at hand. I would look to Him, who is now bending an eye of unchanging love upon me from the eternal throne. All Your ascension glories, blessed Redeemer, have not obliterated the tenderness of Your humanity. You are "that same Jesus." You, the abiding Friend, are still left changeless, among the changeable. And when Satan often desires to have me, that he might sift me as wheat, it is Your intercessory prayer that saves me from utter ruin. You are pleading for me, that my faith will not fail! Oh may I be found invincible in the hour of temptation, being made more than conqueror — through Him that loved me. Sheltered in You, the true Refuge — the wicked one will cannot touch me.
Let me not trifle with my own soul — or with the momentous interests of eternity. Let me every day, be living under the realizing consciousness that Your pure eye is upon me. Keep me from all that is at variance with Your gracious mind. Keep me from unchristian tempers, from an unholy or inconsistent or uneven walk. By a Christ-like demeanor, may I exhibit the sanctifying and transforming influence of the Gospel on my own soul — that others may take knowledge of me that I have been with Jesus.
God of Bethel! take under Your protecting providence all related to me by endearing ties. However far we may be separated from one another, let us never be separated from You. Let us often rejoice in this, our common meeting-place; that around Your mercy-seat in spirit we can assemble — and lay our evening incense in the one Golden Censer of our gracious High Priest!
Take charge of me this night, defend me from all danger; whether I wake or sleep, may I live together with You. All that I ask or hope for — is in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Composure in Trial
"Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Your sight." Matthew 11:26
O my Father, I come into Your presence this night, rejoicing that amid all earth's vicissitudes, I have in You — a Rock that can never be shaken. You do according to Your will in the armies of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth! You do all things well — and nothing but what is well. There is no finite wisdom in Your dealings — all is the result of combined faithfulness, power, and love. Let me repose in the righteous ordinations of Your will. If You withhold from me earthly blessings — let me feel that the very denial is precious, because it is Your sovereign pleasure. Covenant love and wisdom cannot lead or teach me wrong; every burden and affliction is imposed by You. The lot may be thrown into the lap — but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.
O You who turn the shadow of death into the morning — may every wilderness-storm only drive me nearer Yourself, my true shelter. You take the sting from every cross — and the bitterness from every cup. Let me recognize in all that befalls me — the tokens of my Heavenly Father's love! And if sense and sight should at times fail to spot "the bright light in the cloud," may I see written over every dark trial — Your own unanswerable challenge, "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"
Lord! the end of all Your sovereign dealings — is to subjugate my wayward will, and to unfold more of the preciousness of Jesus. Blessed Spirit of all grace! Take of the things that are Christ's — and show them unto my soul. Let me not stagger at the promises through unbelief. Let me see nothing but love in the past, love in the present, and love looming through the mists of a cloudy future. You, O my Father, are seated by my every furnace — all is meted out, all is provided for; all has a "need be" in it! Magnify the power of Your grace in me, by a sweet spirit of patient submission to Your righteous ordinations. May I seek to have no other prayer than this, "Father, glorify Your name." Impart that inner sunshine which no outward darkness or trial can obscure. May the peace of God, which passes understanding, keep my heart.
May Your Holy Spirit shed abroad His blessed influences over the whole Church. Revive Your work, O my God, in the midst of the years. In wrath, remember mercy. May Your ministers be more faithful. May Your people be more holy and consistent in their walk with You. May the young be growing up in Your fear and favor; may the aged find in You the staff of their declining years. May the sick and afflicted pillow their head on Your promises. May the dying fall asleep in Jesus.
I commend myself, my friends, and all belonging to me — to Your paternal care and keeping. And when earth's long night-watches of trial and sorrow are ended, may I wake up in the sorrowless morning of glory, to enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with Yourself. Through Jesus Christ, my only Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Activity in Duty
"Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." Romans 12:11
O my Father, I come to You this night rejoicing in the thought that You never faint, neither are weary. You are ever good — and doing me good. Your arm is never shortened — Your ear is never heavy. The gates of prayer are ever open. The Throne of the Heavenly Grace is ever accessible — none of Your children need perish with hunger!
May the darkness now gathering around me, be as the shadow of Your infinite presence. I take comfort in the thought that the Shepherd of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps; that He is ever bending over me his watchful, untiring eye — compassing my path and my lying down, and holding up my goings, that my footsteps do not stumble.
O my Father, how sad is the contrast of Your unwearied and unwearying watchfulness — with my negligence and inactivity in Your service. How little have I sought to promote Your glory. How little have I felt the solemnity and responsibility of being a steward in Your household! Let me be more zealous for Your honor in the future. Let me seek more than I have ever yet done — to ask in the midst of life's duties and engagements, its perplexities and trials, in simple faith, "Lord! what would you have me to do?" Let me feel that duty is a delight — when done for You. Keep me from further relaxing my diligence. Let me not mock You any longer with the wrecks of a worn-out affection. Let there be no half-surrender of the heart and life to You — but may soul and body be consecrated as living sacrifices. May I have the growing experience that hearty obedience in Your service, is self-rewarding.
Lord! I have indeed a vast work to do — and a brief time to do it in! May opportunities and talents, while I have them, be cheerfully given to You. May the warning words often sound in my ear, "Work while it is called today — for the night comes when no man can work." Oh prepare me for my Savior's coming. Forbid that I should be found among the slothful servants or the faithless stewards who are squandering their Lord's money — and are living, forgetful that a time of reckoning is at hand! May I be so waiting and so watching, and so working — that the cry may never break too soon or too suddenly on my ears, "Behold, the Judge stands before the door!"
Send forth your gracious Spirit into a world lying in wickedness. Scatter the darkness which is now brooding over the nations. Bless all your ministering servants; may they be valiant for the truth; may the Lord send His own angel to stand by them, and to shut the mouths of every adversary.
Bless all my friends; may they too be working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and so be found at last prepared for the appearing and kingdom of Jesus.
Take me under Your protecting care this night; grant me a season of refreshing repose; spare me to awake in Your favor. May every returning morning find me better prepared for the glorious noon-day of immortality; through Jesus Christ, my ever-living Savior. Amen.
Prayer for the Spirit's Teaching
"As many as are led by the Spirit of God — they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14
O my Father, You are the God of my life and the length of my days. There is no real happiness independent of You. Your favor is life. In vain can I seek for any satisfying portion — in an unsatisfying world. If bereft of You — I am bereaved indeed. But with Your countenance shining upon me — I must be safe, I must be happy.
Pour down upon me, the gifts and graces of Your Holy Spirit. May he "garrison" my heart. May He write on its blood-besprinkled lintels the superscription, "Holiness to the Lord." Oh may this soul of mine become a living temple, a "habitation of God through the Spirit." Let me not trifle with convictions. Let me not grieve that gracious Agent by my hardness and impenitency, whereby I am sealed unto the day of redemption; but may all my affections be willingly surrendered to His service. By His omnipotent energy, may every high thought and lofty imagination be brought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus. May I be enabled to lean upon Him, in the extremity of my weakness. Fill me with all joy and peace in believing that I may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit; fitted for Your service here, and for the enjoyment of You forever hereafter.
I pray for the outpouring of the same blessed Spirit on the whole Church. May He descend like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers which water the earth. Come from the four winds, O Breath — and breathe upon the slain in the valley! Hasten that glorious period when the year of Your redeemed shall come, when the earth shall be full of the tabernacles of the righteous, in which the voice of joy and melody will be continually heard!
Oh that there were more in me of the mind of my gracious Savior — on whom the Spirit was poured without measure. May I, like Him, be more meek and gentle, more amiable and forgiving, overcoming evil with good. Transform me into His image from glory to glory, by the Lord the Spirit.
Hide all my friends under the shadow of Your wings. Put Your good Spirit also into their hearts. May He guide them into all the truth — and reveal to them more and more of the preciousness of Jesus.
Let all Your poor afflicted ones rejoice in the presence and consolations of the promised Comforter; may He pour oil and wine into their wounds; may He strengthen them in the midst of all their tribulations, and enable them in lowly resignation to say, "May the Lord's will be done." Teach us all to repose in Your will as the best; and to make it day by day — our aim and ambition to attain a greater conformity to it.
O my Father, take the charge of me through the watches of the night. Under the blessed sense of Your presence and favor, I would compose myself to rest — and when I awake, may I be still with You. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Prayer for the World's Conversion
"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:9
O my Father, I desire to draw near into Your blessed presence, beseeching You to lift upon me the light of Your countenance, and grant me a Father's blessing. I am utterly unworthy of Your mercies. And it is only in Jesus, the Son of Your love — that I dare venture to cast myself at Your footstool.
I rejoice to think that in Him, there is an open door of welcome; that He has by His doing and dying, satisfied the demands of Your righteous law, and magnified all Your glorious attributes. I would bury all my sins in the ocean-depths of His redeeming love. Oh let me now know the blessedness of living, and at last the blessedness of dying — at peace with You, in the sure and certain hope of a resurrection to eternal life.
Darkness is still covering the lands, and gross darkness the people. Lord, have mercy on a world lying in wickedness. I rejoice to think of all Your glorious promises concerning the latter day. That this creation of ours, now groaning and travailing in bondage under sin — is yet to be delivered from the yoke of corruption, and to be translated into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Glorify Your great name in the salvation of sinners! Hasten the period of predicted glory, when all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God; when from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised. May Your own omnipotent Spirit brood over the darkness, as He did over chaos of old, and say, "Let there be light — and there will be light." May gladsome voices soon be heard proclaiming, "Arise, shine, for your light has come — and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you."
Oh may I know personally something of that compassionate yearning over ruined souls and a ruined world, which my Savior had. Let me be lavish in devising means for the extension of His kingdom and the good of my fellow-men. I would pray the Lord of the harvest — that He would send forth laborers to the harvest. Stand by Your missionary servants. May they have many souls for their hire. May mountains of difficulty be leveled before them; may crooked things be made straight, and rough places plain — and may the glory of the Lord be revealed. Let them exercise simple faith in the power of Your word and the efficacy of Your grace. May they feel that these are as mighty as they ever were, to the pulling down of strong-holds.
Arouse Your churches to greater zeal. May Jesus, faithfully lifted up by His servants — by the attractive power of His cross, draw all men unto Him. May they be the honored instruments of preparing many gems for Immanuel's crown, who will be found unto praise and honor and glory at His second appearing.
O my Father, guard me through the silent watches of the night; be the defense and protection of my friends and relatives; may they too dwell under the shadow of Your wings, and experience the sleep of Your beloved; and when the night of earth's ignorance shall vanish away, may we all wake up in glory everlasting, through Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Savior. Amen.
Prayer for the Church's Revival
"Revive Your work in the midst of the years." Habakkuk 3:2
O my Father, You have permitted me in Your great mercy to see another evening. How many of my fellow-men have this day slept the sleep of death, and are now beyond the reach of grace and privilege! I am still spared, all unworthy though I am — a monument of Your forbearance and love!
I desire to make acknowledgment of my many and grievous offences. They are more in number than the sand of the sea — sins against light, and mercy, and warning; sins committed against the kindest of Benefactors, the most indulgent of Parents.
I would seek anew to take refuge in the offered shelter of the Gospel, and to rejoice anew in the faithful saying that Jesus Christ came into the world to save the chief of sinners. Oh may I be enabled confidingly to repose in His matchless sacrifice, and with lively appropriating faith to say, "He loved me — and gave Himself for me!"
O my Father, carry on Your own work within me. Quicken my languid and languishing affections — by the omnipotent agency of Your Holy Spirit. Let me not live at a guilty distance from Your favor; but may I covet a close and habitual walk with You, and feel the sustaining power of Your grace in my heart.
Revive Your work in Your own Church universal, O great High Priest, who walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Feed every lamp with the oil of Your grace. Let them burn with a clearer, holier, more steady and consistent flame. As lights set in the world, may they diffuse Your glory; and feel the honor of being instrumental in shedding abroad the Savior's love.
Oh may the Lord arise and have mercy upon His church. May the time to favor her, yes, the set time, soon come. As there is but one Shepherd, so may there soon be but one sheep-fold. Let Your churches no longer continue apart from one another in unholy estrangement — but live in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace; holding fast that which they have — that no man take their crown. Spirit of all grace, come in all the plenitude of Your love and mercy. Breathe upon every portion of Your visible Church, and say, "Awake, O north wind! come, you south wind! blow upon our garden, that the spices thereof may flow out." May Your gracious influences descend like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth.
Bless all Your faithful ministers. May peace be upon them and upon the whole Israel of God. Direct their hearts and the hearts of all Your faithful people — into Your love, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
Comfort all Your people in sorrow. May they see a "need be" written on all their trials. May they look beyond the long night-watch of earth — to the glories of that eternal morning, when clouds and darkness shall forever flee away.
Take charge of me while I sleep, and as evening after evening comes around — may I feel that a day has been spent for You. Hear me, gracious Lord, for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.
Prayer for Support in Death
"Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4
O my Father, I come to You this night through Jesus Christ, the Son of Your love — beseeching You to have mercy upon me, and to impart unto me that Peace of Yours which passes all understanding. Blessed be Your great and glorious name, for those hopes full of immortality which have been opened up to me in the Gospel. I rejoice in Christ as the great Abolisher of death. I rejoice that the rainbow of covenant faithfulness spans the entrance to the dark valley; that all that is terrible in the last enemy is in Him taken away, and that I can regard these closing hours of existence — as the introduction and doorway into everlasting bliss!
Give me grace, O my Father, to be living in constant preparation for death. Let me not unprofitably squander my present golden moments. Let me live while I live — let me live a dying life. Let me feel that life is a trust given me by You. O You Great Proprietor of my being, may this all important talent of time be more consecrated to Your glory. Let it not be mine, when the hour of death arrives — to bewail lost and forfeited opportunities, when it is too late. Let me not leave until then, what best can be done and what only may be done now. May it be my earnest endeavor while it is called today to secure a saving interest in the everlasting covenant, and then I need not fear how soon the silver cord may be loosed, and the golden bowl broken. Through Jesus the darkness has been taken from death; and to His own true people — its shadows will melt and merge into the brightness of eternal day.
You are ever giving me impressive remembrances that "at such an hour as I think not," the summons may come, "Prepare to meet Your God!" The race is not to the swift — nor the battle to the strong. Truly every moment there may be but a step between me and death. Let me be so living a life of habitual faith in the Son of God — that this step may be changed into a step between me and glory.
O my Father, prepare all who may now be laid on dying couches for their great change. May their eyes be directed to Jesus. Pillowing their heads on his exceeding great and precious promises — may they fall asleep in the glorious hope of a joyful resurrection.
Bless all Your people in sorrow — those who have recently been bereaved of near and dear friends, who may have been called recently to the brink of the tomb, consigning their loved ones to the narrow house appointed for all living. May they be enabled to fix their sorrowing gaze on the brighter prospects beyond death and the grave, and anticipate that glorious hour when, reunited to death-divided friends, they will be able to exult together in the song, "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory!"
Take the charge of me this night. Watch over me during the unconscious hours of sleep, and when I too come to the long night and slumber of death — may it be the gentle rest of Your beloved, a falling asleep in the arms of everlasting love, looking forward to the joyful waking time of immortality, through Jesus Christ my only Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Preparation for Judgment
"It is appointed unto all once to die — and after death, the judgment!" Hebrews 9:27"Prepare to meet your God!" Amos 4:12
O my Father, You are daily loading me with Your
benefits — giving me unnumbered causes for gratitude and
thankfulness. No earthly friend could have loved and
cared for me like You. Oh may the life You are thus preserving
by Your unceasing bounty — be unreservedly dedicated to Your
O my Father, keep me mindful that I am soon to be done with this fleeting world — that I am fast borne along the 'stream of time' — to the ocean of endless futurity!
May I be living in a constant state of preparedness for that solemn hour when small and great shall stand before You, and the books shall be opened. Train me for eternity! Let me not be frittering away these fleeting, but precious moments. Impress on me the solemn conviction that "as men live — so do men die;" that as death leaves me — so judgment will find me; and as judgment finds me — so eternity will keep me.
Oh let death leave me falling asleep in Jesus, united to Him by a living faith — so that judgment may find me seated at His right hand, listening to the joyous welcome, "Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!"
Blessed Jesus, all my hope of a glorious resurrection centers in You. I look to You as the strong tower which cannot be shaken. I flee anew to the holy sanctuary of Your covenant love. Sheltered there, amid a dissolving earth, and burning worlds — I shall be able joyfully to utter the challenge, "Who shall separate me from the love of Christ?"
Keep me from all negligence and unwatchfulness. Trim my flickering lamp. Let me live with Your Judgment-throne in view. May I ever remember — that I must soon give an account of myself to You, the infallible searcher of all hearts. May I feel that all the talents and means which You have given me, are trusts to be laid out for You. When you come to demand a reckoning, may I not be among the number of those who have hidden their talent in the earth, and have the cheerless retrospect of a misspent life.
May every providential voice sound loud in my ears, "Arise and depart — for this is not your rest, because it is defiled — it is ruined, beyond all remedy!"
Make me more heavenly-minded. Give me more of a pilgrim attitude — and a pilgrim spirit. May I ever feel that my true home is above — and that I am here on earth, but a wayfarer and sojourner, as all my fathers were. May I attain, as I advance nearer to Heaven, the blessed habit of a holy life, declaring plainly that I am seeking "a better country."
Lord! bless my friends, reward my benefactors, forgive my enemies. Sanctify sorrow to all Your sons and daughters of trial. May the torch of Your love light up their gloomy prospects. May every providential voice sound loud in their ears, "Arise and depart — for this is not your rest, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy!"
Gracious God, watch over me during the night, and grant that at last, when all earth's evenings and mornings shall have passed away, I may, on the great day-break of glory, wake up in Your likeness, through Him in whom is all my hope, and to whom, with You, O Father, and You, ever blessed Spirit, one God, be everlasting praise, honor, and glory, world without end. Amen.
Prayer for Fitness for Heaven
"Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Colossians 1:12
O my Father, I come into Your gracious presence on this, the close of another day, beseeching You to accept of my evening sacrifice. May this my unworthy prayer come up before You — perfumed with the fragrant incense of the Savior's adorable merits. It is my comfort to know, O blessed Intercessor within the veil, that You are even now appearing in the presence of God for me! The names of Your covenant people are engraved on Your breastplate, and, all unworthy in themselves — they are accepted in the Beloved.
My special prayer to You this night is, that by Your grace I may be made fit for Your blood-bought inheritance in Glory. Transform me by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit; may I be dying daily unto sin, and living daily unto righteousness. Make me more heavenly-minded. Give me more of a pilgrim attitude — and a pilgrim spirit. May I ever feel that my true home is above, that I am here but a wayfarer and sojourner, as all my fathers were. May I attain, as I advance nearer to Heaven, the blessed habit of a holy life, bearing about with me the lofty impress of one who is born from above and for above, declaring plainly that I seek "a better country."
Let me not arraign the appointments of Your infinite wisdom — but patiently await the disclosures of the great day. Keep me from a hasty spirit under dark dispensations. I am no judge as to what imagined mercies are best withheld. Let me look to every trial as an appointed messenger from the Throne whispering in my ears, "Be ready!" May I delight often to anticipate that happy time when I shall suffer no more — and sin no more; when You shall no longer teach me by mysterious dispensations and a crossed will; when all shall be "a sea of glass" without one disturbing ripple, and I shall trace with joyous heart the long line of Your unbroken love and unchanging faithfulness! Anew I would wash in the atoning fountain. Anew I would take refuge "in the faithful saying." O blot out all the sins of the bygone day. Let them not rise up in the Judgment to condemn me. Let me close my eyes this night listening to the Savior's own voice, "Your sins which are many — are all forgiven you."
May the Lord arise and have mercy upon His spiritual Zion. May the streams of Your grace make glad the city of God. Build up her broken walls; restore her ruined towers; may her watchmen be men of faith and men of prayer.
O my Father, bless my friends. Let us exult in those ties which survive the uncertain ones of earth, and look forward to the hour when we shall come to stand at last faultless before Your Throne. Oh, prepare us all for the breaking of that eternal day — that "morning without clouds" — when the love of Christ shall be enthroned supremely in every heart, when the glory of Christ will form the animating motive and principle of life that shall never end. All I ask, is for His sake. Amen.