Father of heaven, God of all grace and love, help us now to lie low in supplicating cries. We come humbly—because we come as wretched sinners in ourselves. We come boldly—because we come in the mighty name of Jesus. Strengthen our faith, that we may refuse to let You go—until You bless us with all blessings.
We are pained by our graceless hearts. We bewail our prayerless prayers. We know that whatever we ask in prayer believing—we shall receive. It is because of our vile sin—that we are so poor in grace. We are sluggards in the heavenly race, we are grovelers in the mire, when we should be soaring to the heights of heaven, on the eagle-wings of faith! What great things have we lost, because we have not drawn near to take them! What blessings we might have won for our homes, our parishes, our country, and the world, if pleading intercessions had refused to give You rest. Pardon the deadness of our poor hearts. Let future hours witness our importunities at Your throne. On our knees may we be incessant in telling You our needs and our desires. We ask for the very spirit of Your dear Son. His abode on earth was one unbroken communion with heaven. Grant that our life too may be one sweet savor of devotion!
In our prayerful hours may we be frequent in asking that Your way may be known upon earth, Your saving health among all nations. Did Your dear Son wept when He saw Jerusalem in the gall of bitterness and unbelief—and shall our eyes be dry when we contemplate the perishing multitudes of this sin-sick world! Our spirits should be stirred within us, when we reflect that the devil reigns as a tyrant over his enslaved dupes! What present misery! What future anguish! What desolation now! What weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth forever!
Arise, O gracious Lord God, and turn this darkness into light, these regions of impurity and vice, into fresh pastures of peace and joy. You have been pleased to organise societies to diffuse the wonders of redeeming love—may You by Your Spirit preside in all their councils, revealing to them Your gracious purposes, guiding their plans as shall most promote Your glory. May You go forth with all their messengers of truth. May the feet of the gospel-heralds be beautiful upon the mountains of the east, amid the snows of ice-bound tribes, and under the burning heat of torrid plains. May multitudes at their voice arise, and cast their idols to the moles and to the bats. Cause the name of Jesus to be as ointment poured forth, and may distant lands glory in the saving cross, and swell the melody of heaven by ascribing salvation to the Lamb. Open our hearts to pour liberal supplies into their coffers. Far be from us the hypocrisy of crying, “May Your kingdom come,” and withholding the aid which, by self-denial, we might supply. Deliver us from all covetousness of filthy lucre—but make us avaricious of the praise which comes from You. May we weigh all things in the scales of eternity, and regard all possessions as less than nothing, which have no value in Your sight.
Blessed Jesus, we know that Your glorious return will change the whole aspect of this groaning world. The earnest expectation of the creature, waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. When will You take to Yourself Your great power—and reign? When will the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ? Precious promises have come forth as heralds of Your advent. Why does the fulfilling glory tarry? Hasten to remove all that impedes the descent of Your chariot of triumph. By Your Spirit make the mountains a straight way, and the rough places plain. Fit us for that day of gladness. Then may we lift up our heads with joy, and shout exultingly, “This is our God, we have waited for Him. We will be glad, and rejoice in His salvation!” May our life now be life for You—that Your glory may be our glory forever. Take our humble prayers, and present them with acceptance, O Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and our all. Amen.
O Lord our God, we thank You that we are called to the blessing of united prayer. Grant that Your Spirit may so animate our common cry, that it may abundantly prevail. May it fly upwards strong in adoring faith, fervent in expecting hope, fragrant in the Redeemer’s merits.
Common need impels us. Common mercies prompt our evening song. In Your kind providence, You have made us inhabitants of one home, and sheltered us beneath one roof. We thank You that You have knit us together in this fellowship of mutual help, so that one renders service, while another is the directing head. May we in all good conscience minister to each other’s comfort and real good. Let those who rule—rule wisely in Your fear, remembering their heavenly Master. Let us not forget the day of final reckoning, and do all as unto You, and under the power of that sure word, “You O God, see me!”
Especially make us helpers to each other’s faith. In every domestic arrangement let reference to eternity prevail. Let a wise use of time provide our needs—that due time may invite to Scripture-study, calm reflection, and retired prayer. Considering the power of speaking and of silence, set a watch upon our mouths that no word may be unadvised, and let silence reprove—when rash utterance might injure. Blessed Jesus, You have set us an example that we should follow Your steps. Be so perspicuously our life, that for others to follow us—may truly be to follow You.
While thus we pray, conscience trembles at remembrance of our incessant failures. We would do good—but evil is present with us. The good that we would fo—we do not do; the evil that we would not do—that we do! We have no power of ourselves to help ourselves. We cannot come unto You—unless You shall draw us. But draw us individually, then collectively we shall run after You. Sprinkle each one of us this night anew with the blood of sprinkling, and may it be our shield against all evil.
Ofttimes have our longing thoughts gone forth to the eternal day—when we shall see You as You are, without one cloud of unbelief, without the interruption of one straying thought, without the downcast look of shame—but when there shall be one bright blaze of glory forever! We thank You that the lapse of another day—has brought us one day nearer to our glorious eternal home! Ofttimes have we panted for fuller knowledge of You, our God. But we have only seen You through a glass darkly. Our besotted faculties are dull to comprehend You; but then we shall see You face to face, and know even as we are known!
This evening teaches us that the separating interval grows rapidly less; that the night is far spent; that the day is at hand. To many this night will be the last. It may be so to one or more of us. If such should be Your will—may our entrance be very abundant into our heavenly home.
We look forward to that day when we take our last breath—we shall knock at heaven’s gate in the name of Jesus. We shall present ourselves washed from earth’s every stain, in His all-cleansing blood. We shall draw near to Your majestic throne, screened entirely in Jesus—the Lord our righteousness.
We come now to You, in the full assurance of faith, that You have redeemed us, O Lord, O God of truth; that Your every promise is very faithfulness; and that You will do for us more than we can ask, or think, or hope. But if a longer pilgrimage is our appointed lot, may refreshing sleep render us apt and active for the duties of tomorrow. If it is not heaven, may it witness our fitting more and more for it.
Prepare all pastors for their more than angelic work; and all worshipers for their service in the sanctuary. May heaven on the morrow be opened wider, and more wide, to receive the upward stream of prayer and praise—and to pour down floods of enlightening and sanctifying grace. How merciful are You to permit us thus to pray. Multiply Your mercy by most gracious answer. And to Your great name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—be eternal praise. Amen.