Holy Father, Almighty God, behold us as a little company on our knees before You. Regard us in tender love—for Jesus’ sake. Bend down Your ear—and grant Your smile. Another working week begins. We commence it, adoring You for the refreshment to mind and body of yesterday’s rest. All praise be to Your gracious care for replenishing our souls from the storehouse of Your Word.
May we now go forth to the duties of our calling strong in the might of Your truth, nourished by the sincere milk of Your gospel. Let Your Word be held fast by us, and may we feast on it, and may it be the very joy and rejoicing of our hearts. Concerning the works of men, by the words of Your lips keep us from the paths of the destroyer. Wherever our feet are set, may our thoughts be high with You—on the mount of meditation. Enable each one of us in spirit to testify, “Oh! how I love Your law, it is ray meditation all the day long!” Teach us the happy art of attending to temporal things—with minds intent on eternal things. In all our needful employ, help us to set You, our God, before us, and to walk on earth as seeing Him who is invisible. Grant that all occurrences this day may draw us nearer to our heavenly Father, and bring down more of heaven into our hearts.
We are strangers and pilgrims here. Give us the stranger’s indifference. Let our hands hold the pilgrim’s staff. Let our march be Zion-ward—watching for our dear Lord’s return—listening for the archangel’s shout, and the last trumpet’s clang—prepared to lift up our heads with joy, knowing that His coming will be the day of our consummated redemption.
O our God, we desire to give our hearts unto You, now, and for this week, without one shadow of reserve. We beseech You take full possession of them. Expel mightily every opposing foe. Crush every rebel lust. Mortify each traitorous passion. Annihilate each earth-born desire. Our hearts are Yours—for You have created them. They are Yours—for You have redeemed them by the most precious blood of Your only begotten Son. They are Yours—because in free love You have renewed them by Your Holy Spirit. They are Yours—because You have conquered them by Your grace. They are Yours—because we willingly surrender them to You. Claim them, we beseech You, as Your own heritage. Occupy them wholly by Your presence. Exclude every intruding rival. Reign supreme within them.
We would love You now, and forevermore, with all our hearts, and all our souls, and all our might, and all our strength. You are worthy of infinitude of adoration, far beyond what our dull hearts can yield. Is love among men awakened by genius, wisdom, worth, and seeming perfection? You are the very perfection of all perfections. All intellect is derived from You. Our scanty rivulets flow from Your unfathomable fountain. Compared with You—the sun is darkness, all beauty is deformity, all knowledge is folly, the best goodness is most faulty. You, the great Creator, who inhabits eternity, are high above all creatures. So invigorate our love, that it may worthily rise to You and tightly entwine itself around You.
Bless all with whom we shall have interchange of thought. May Christ in them teach us. May Christ in us give grace to them. Thus may we be fellow-helpers to each other’s faith. We know not the effect of any utterance. We humbly beg You, that Your Holy Spirit may suggest each word, and sanctify it to the use of edifying. Enable us, as the salt of the earth, to purify and check corruption. Help us, as flowers in the garden of the Lord, to diffuse holy fragrance.
If in our daily matters we shall have contact with the ungodly, worldly, or profane, may we receive no hurtful taint—but may we rather allure them to the more excellent way. If provocations should assail, may we keep our mouths, as it were, with a bridle, and overcome evil with good. We know the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of man’s heart. We fear, therefore, lest any evil should lurk undetected within our heart. We beseech You search us thoroughly by Your Spirit, and lead us in the way everlasting.
Bless with especial favor, all who pray for us. Answer their prayers, and recompense them a thousand-fold into their bosoms. Bless those who ask our prayers. Enrich them according as their need shall be. Accept this morning’s sacrifice of prayer and praise. It is our bounden duty. We worship in the great Redeemer’s name. Amen.
Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit, help us now to pray. We feel our weakness, our ignorance, our deep corruptions. Without You, no thought is good. Without You, our words cannot ascend to heaven. But trusting in Your dear Son—we come to bless and praise You, O You who are the author and giver of all good things, for Your gracious care of us throughout the hours of this departing day. We are vile earth and miserable sinners—but You have magnified Your grace in crowning us with loving-kindness and tender mercies.
We thank You for the full stream of temporal blessings which has gladdened our dwelling. We thank You for the sweet air which has refreshed our frames, for the light of Your glorious sun, for the food which has renewed our strength, for the clothing which clothes us, for the dwelling which shelters us. No extreme heat smites us. No extreme cold benumbs us. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to our comfort. Do not allow us to be insensible to these mercies, because they are our daily portion. Enable us to read in each—-a Father’s love. The withdrawal of the least of these common favors would fill us with misery and distress. If Your providential care should relax—plague and pestilence and famine and all the countless tribes of woe might settle on our land.
Gathered together this evening, free from all external troubles, secure, at ease, and in peace—we humbly desire to bring the tribute of thanksgiving. We present ourselves, our bodies, all we are, and all that is within us—as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto You, which is our reasonable service. High as is Your hand in bestowing mercies, so high is it in averting evil. In every spectacle of another’s woe, may we deeply recognize our immunity, solely through Your distinguishing love. Let every sight of sorrow deepen in us gratitude, for unmerited exemption. When tidings reach us in our sheltered homes of catastrophes and accidents abroad, may our grateful hearts respond, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall dwell under the shadow of the Almighty.”
While we thus adore You for temporal protection, help us to raise our voices higher still in recording spiritual support. We thank You that in full warmth of filial faith, we look up this evening and cry Abba, Father. If Your Holy Spirit had withdrawn His cheering presence, darkness and doubts would have obscured our hopes. We might have been sinking in deep waters, where there is no standing. The enemy might have come in like a flood. The night of despondency might have blackened around us. But through grace—we retain our confidence, which has great recompense of reward. This proceeds solely from Your goodness. We render thanks.
We know by sad experience the power, and craft, and malignity of our spiritual adversary. If this day he has not affrighted us as a roaring lion—it is solely because You have restrained him. If he has not laid wait as an adder in our path—it is because of the prevention of Your interposing arm. All the artillery of hell might have been directed against us. What wounds might we have received! Crippled and downcast—we might have gone mourning to our graves. But You have been our shield, therefore we will sing with adoring lips, “The Lord is our rock, and our fortress, and our deliverer; our God, our strength, in whom we will trust; our buckler, and the horn of our salvation, and our high tower.”
To our praises we add humble prayers. Your mercies are new at evening and at morning. Great is Your faithfulness. May Your guardian-care continue now when night’s shadows fall. Help us while we helpless lie. Around our dwelling set angelic hosts to watch. Let no alarms disturb our peace. Let no foes invade our home.
Our wearied frames require repose. Grant us sweet rest. Let grateful slumbers close our eyes. While consciousness remains, let our thoughts hold converse with our God. If this night our souls are summoned to depart, may they be swiftly borne to our eternal rest.
But if we leave our beds again, may we be renewed to love You more, and refreshed to serve You better. Extend these blessings to all our absent relatives and friends. We commend all to Your tenderest love. May they all close this day at peace with You, through the atoning death of Jesus. May they lie down happy in conscience through the blood of sprinkling. And if they rise tomorrow, may it be to walk before You in newness of life. May these prayers ascend, through the merits of Jesus Christ. Amen.