An Evening Prayer

S. E. Pierce, 1820

We come again into Your immediate presence, and present our persons, our souls and bodies, before Your Divine Majesty, to record Your name, and celebrate Your praise for all the blessings You have bestowed on us the past day. You have fed us. You have been with us. You have been our helper and defense. O Most High God, we praise You, we worship You, we glorify You. Help us to pour out our souls before You in an acceptable manner. O Lord, it is with You to hear the desire of the humble, it is You who prepares the heart, it is You who inclines Your ear to hear. Surely O God, it is great condescension in You to look on such as we are. If one of Your children said before You, "I am but dust and ashes," what, O Lord, can we say concerning ourselves. O that we had the same low and mean views of ourselves as is expressed in such an acknowledgment.

If another of Your children cried out, "Behold, I am vile," how shall we order our speech before You by reason of our darkness? If a prophet, when favored with a visionary sight of the ever-blessed God-man, cried out "Woe is me, for my eyes have seen the King, Lord Almighty!" What shall we say, or how shall we open our mouths? Blessed be Your name, You delight in mercy. We come as sinners into Your presence. We present ourselves before Your Majesty, to magnify Your name, because Your mercy endures forever.

O for Your presence with our souls at this time. O for a real sense of Your goodness on our minds. Lord, help us to pour out our hearts before You. We are full of sin; O lead us to the fountain opened for sin and impurity. We are in ourselves all unrighteousness. O direct our minds to Jesus as the Lord our righteousness, and help us to receive Him afresh into our minds as such. We are all emptiness in ourselves. Lord, lead us to the fullness of Jesus for the supply of all our needs.

You have bestowed innumerable mercies upon us throughout the past day. Lord, help us with gratitude and praise to glorify You for the same. You have said, he who offers praise glorifies You. Help us so to do. It being what is our duty, and most reasonable service. We might each of us, under proper views of the personal mercies we have this single past day received and enjoyed from You, confess that it is wholly out of our power to praise You for these mercies. We thank You, O Lord, that Your name endures forever, and Your memorial throughout all generations. We pray, O Lord Jesus Christ, that You would look down most graciously on us. Lord, visit us. O Lord, refresh us. O Lord, revive us. O Lord, be unto us as dew unto Israel, let us grow as the vine—let us cast forth our roots as the cedars of Lebanon; let us grow as the lily. It is with You, O blessed Jesus, to fulfill Your holy promise unto Your saints.

You are pleased to suit Your Word to all the cases of Your beloved ones. You are pleased to view and review all their needs and circumstances, and Your eye and Your heart is upon them perpetually. Blessed be Your name, You are ever mindful of your covenant.

You have Your people in continual remembrance. Lord, we beseech You, to be pleased to bring home to our minds, and fulfill in us—Your holy will and Word concerning us. Let us give up ourselves unto You, to be cast into the very mold of Your Gospel. Let us renounce all which is ours by nature. Let us know ourselves for what we are in ourselves, for what we see, feel, and experience in ourselves. O blessed Jesus, realize in each of our minds afresh—the virtue and efficacy of Your sacrifice and most precious blood. Let us fully believe the record given concerning it. Let us rest on the everlasting perfection of Your one offering. Shed Your Holy Spirit in His Divine influences on us. O let us rejoice in You.

Lord, be with us the remainder of this night. Lord, lay under us, Your everlasting arms.

O let us be found in You without spot and blameless. We beseech You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the eternal Three in the self-existing and incomprehensible Godhead, to be with us this night, to bless us this night, to defend us from all evil, and to bring us to behold and enter on the coming day in health and peace—and Yours shall be all the praise, Amen.