O Eternal and most glorious Lord God, we bless You that You have given us by the eye of faith to see You as our Father on Your mercy-seat, and to believe that as we thus draw near to You—that You will draw near to us. Help us to crave more and more of Your presence, until Your fullness fills us wholly. We would not have one portion of our hearts unoccupied by You. In You we live, and move, and have our being. Do be pleased to live and move within us, breathing in our prayers, inhabiting our praises, speaking in our words, moving in our every movement.
It is our especial prayer this morning that You will be pleased to come, and by Your Spirit to cause our faith to grow exceedingly. Holy Father, mightily increase this grace within us. It is of Your bounteous goodness that we believe—but still, how weak and wavering is our faith, how dim is its light, how tottering is its step, how tremulously it stands, how slow is its growth, how frequent are its backslidings! When by this time it should be mighty to scale the heaven of heavens, it often lies groveling in the dust. How much of distrust mingles with its strongest efforts! Pity our manifold infirmities. Help our vile unbelief. You have been pleased of Your free love—to kindle within us this heaven-sent spark. How easy for You to fan it into glowing flame! O Lord, hearken—for Your mercy’s sake. While we mourn over our many maladies—we see that increase of faith would be the grand remedy! Our hearts are often the cage of every unclean bird, the fount of every loathsome desire, the poisonous tree of every deadly fruit, the open wayside of every earthly lust and passion. It is because our faith sleeps. Awaken it, good Lord. Bid it put forth more strength, until it brings all heaven into the soul, and all impurity is cast out.
We now go forth to intermingle with the world. This foe is artful to entrap us. It will approach in fascinating guise. It will extend many a gilded bait, and will present many a poisoned cup. Lord, increase our faith, and we shall scorn every painted bauble, and trample down every bewitching snare. We shall then be more than conquerors, for this is the victory which overcomes the world—even our faith.
Many duties are before us. Our callings demand firmness, energy, and zeal. We desire to work in Your vineyard this day, not slothful in any business—but as Your servants, devoted to Your cause, valiant for Your truth. We know that love is the working grace, and that our love will be commensurate with our faith. Let but our faith stride forth in giant-power, and love will respond and put energy into every act, and then at the close of this day, Your Spirit will bear witness with our spirit: well done, good and faithful servant. Oh! receive the cry of our hearts—increase our faith.
Often do we mourn the absence of our beloved Lord. His smile makes earth a paradise. His voice is the sweetest music to our ears. Without Him, life is a dreary blank. Apart from Him, we stumble and fall. With Him we are strong to do all things. Why is He ever absent? He stands at the door—but it is barred by unbelief. If faith gives entrance, Jesus enters in, and takes up His abode. It is a true word, “Christ dwells in the heart by faith.” Longing for this indwelling, we cry, Good Lord, increase our faith.
Our joys are at their fullest tide, when we realize that we are members of Your family. Your household is the household of faith. Without it we are strangers and aliens. We know that it is by faith in Jesus Christ that we are Your children. Increase then our faith that we may rejoice in our high relationship, and glory in our glorious inheritance.
You have strewn many precious promises up and down the Bible pages. They are flowers of sweet fragrance, when culled by faith. They are fruit of refreshing flavor, when gathered by this grace. But without it, they are empty husks. Do not allow this treasure—to be no treasure to us. May we be rich in its richness, imbibe its sweetness, feast on its preciousness, draw vigor from its manna, be strong in its strength, and happy in its joy. This cannot be without much faith. Good Lord, hear the cry of our anxious hearts, and increase our faith, through the merits and for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
O Lord God, our Father in heaven, preserved by Your kind providence through another brief stage of our earthly pilgrimage, we assemble around Your mercy-seat. We cannot bless You, as You deserve, for this inestimable privilege of united access to You. We thank You, that, vile and sin-soiled as we are, we may come into Your immediate presence, and hold this converse with You, and commune with You concerning all our matters, all our sins, and fears and hopes and desires.
Grant us more and more by Your Holy Spirit to prize the privilege of prayer. We are astonished that we poor sinners on earth may speak directly to You—the great the glorious God, on Your throne in the heaven of heavens! How wondrous the thought that our poor breathings may fly on the wings of faith, and have instant access to the ears of Your grace! We bless You that prayer moves Your right hand, by which all things were made and are upheld.
It is of Your tender compassion that we are commanded in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, to make our requests known unto You. May we yield humble obedience, and so may the peace of God which passes all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We thank You, and we clasp the wondrous promise; we feel the high privilege to which it raises us: Ask and you shall have—seek and you shall find—knock and it shall be opened unto you. So grant now to us who ask. May we who seek find; open the door to us who knock; and in answer to our wrestling cry—fill us with the spirit of grace and supplication. May we pray always and not faint. May prayer be the mold in which our minds are framed, the channel in which our thoughts shall flow, the path in which our feet shall tread, the watch upon the door of our lips. May prayer be with us when we leave our morning chamber, when we move throughout the day, when we retire to our evening rest.
Give us undoubting faith that our supplications never are in vain. May we know assuredly that if we do not obtain our exact petitions—that we shall have larger, richer answers; that it is Your property to do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we canaskor think. Unasked, You have given the greatest of all gifts, the unspeakable gift of Your dear Son. We hence feel confident that in answer to our incessant cries, You will give us all things needful for life and godliness.
May the manner of our prayers be always wise and humble and submissive. When we seek nothing but the glory of Your name, the advance of the Redeemer’s kingdom—may we ask boldly and expect fully. When we bring temporal matters before Your throne, may we in humble submission spread out our need, and from our inmost souls breathe out the cry, “Not as we will—but as You will.”
Hear too our united supplication for the pardon of all sins which Your omniscient eye has seen in us this day. We are deeply conscious that evil cleaves to our holiest walk. We see and bewail our many transgressions and shortcomings. How many more are in the light of Your countenance. How exceeding is their magnitude before You. Enter not into judgment with us. Behold us only in Your dear Son. Regard us as sheltered from wrath—in the covert of His cleansing wounds. Accept His sacrifice on the cross as our full atonement, and as the perfect payment of our every debt.
We would mention before You all our kindred, family, and friends. May we all be bound together in the bundle of life, which is in Christ Jesus. Sanctify us all, body, soul, and spirit. May we be one now in the bonds of the everlasting gospel—and one forever in the eternal mansions of glory.
We thank You for all who have departed this life in Your faith and fear, beseeching You to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that, this life ended, we may joy with them in Your eternal kingdom. We present these prayers, trusting only in the name of Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.