Holy Father, Almighty Lord God, listen to the cry of Your humble servants. The return of this morning calls us to return to our week-day work. We see the world before us. We know our weakness, and we are prone to fear; but we look up to You—and we fear no more. If we venture to go forth alone—we stumble and fall; but leaning on our Beloved—we are firm as the everlasting hills. If left to the treachery of our own hearts—we shall bring shame to Your holy name; but enlightened, guided, and upheld by Your Spirit—we shall adorn Your heavenly doctrine.
Hear, then, our prayer, and be our arm to support, our light that we may see, our strength that we may stand, our feet that we may run, our shield that we may receive no wound, our sword that we may repel each foe. Descend on us as refreshing dew. Be our sun to ripen each grace. Thus may this day exceed all past days in fruitfulness, and fit us largely to see Your face in glory. To enrich us unto all fullness—would not diminish Your riches. To supply all our needs—would not detract from Your boundless stores.
We remember the services of yesterday—and are humbled; but still we remember them—and take courage. Our defilements prove that we are miserable sinners. Your forbearance proves that Your mercy reaches above the heavens. We still live to cling to the cross of Your dear Son. We still live to plead Your promises. We know that they are all yes and amen in Him.
Do not allow us to add to all our sins, the sin of being forgetful hearers of Your blessed truth. May it be mingled with faith in our hearts. May it thoroughly leaven the corrupt mass. Give life to the incorruptible seed, that it may take deep root and fructify to Your glory. Help us by Your teaching Spirit, that the Word of Christ may dwell in us richly in all wisdom. May it mold and form and shape our whole inner man. Thus may Your presence always abash vice, check worldly-mindedness—and diffuse through us the fragrance of pure godliness.
Assist us, by the lamp of Your Word and the piercing rays of Your Spirit—to search every corner of our hearts. Let no Achan escape detection! Let every Agag be hewed to pieces! Let every idol be stomped to powder! Let every rebel lust be nailed to the Savior’s cross! Let “holiness to the Lord” be the language of our lips, the sandals of our feet, and the clear engraving on our brows.
We would be holy, as You, O our God, are holy; and perfect, as You, O our Father, are perfect. And, having all hope in Jesus, we would purify ourselves even as He is pure. But Your power must accomplish this. You have worked in us to will; we beseech You work in us to do. Do not disappoint our craving expectations. Do not shake off our wrestling grasp of You. Give as a gracious God. You are the deep fountain of all goodness—may Your gifts without measure flow. Thus may our walk shine as a heaven-kindled lamp—and ascend as grateful incense to the courts above. May it be seen in heaven and on earth that we are a people made willing in the day of Your power and consecrated to Your great glory.
While thus holding filial communion with You, we think of multitudes strangers to our joy. They are entering on this week ignorant of themselves—and unacquainted with You. We compassionate their wretchedness. You alone, have made us to differ. Be pitiful to them, as You have been pitiful to us. Then happiness on earth would swell as a river; and glory in the highest would shine more gloriously. Good Lord, hasten the time. Your Word teaches us to make prayers for kings and for all who are in authority. In obedience to Your will, we commend to Your especial favor our sovereign Queen—and all the royal progeny. May righteousness be the stability of the throne. When the earthly crown shall fade—may a heavenly crown be won. May the palace be a school of piety and the gate of heaven. With undoubting faith we place these our poor prayers in the hands of Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Intercessor. Amen.
Lord God Almighty, Father of mercies, screened from all evil by Your gracious providence, we come to encircle You with grateful praise. The past hours have brought fresh tokens of Your goodness on their wings. Some who went forth as strong as ourselves, in accustomed health and strength, have been snatched suddenly from this earthly scene. Others lie languishing, sorely touched by the hand of malady. Others groan in torturing pains, from unforeseen calamity. Others are weeping bitter tears, because of family disaster. The shadows of this evening, drop a curtain on world-wide woe. But in our hands there is a cup of unmingled blessedness. No evil accident has darkened our path. No evil tidings have harassed our breasts. We live to bless You—and blessings we now devoutly offer. Above all, we bless You that at every moment the throne of grace has been open—and that the scepter of Your love has been extended to us. Pardon us that our prayers have been so few, so poor, so feeble. While You are always ready to hear, and inviting us to close communion—our souls abide amid trifles, and dally with vain follies. We grovel on earth, when we might ascend to heaven and You. Pity us, good Lord. You know of what we are made. You remember that we are dust. O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.
We come not in our own name, seeking Your compassionate grace. We bring Your dear Son before You, in the arms of our faith. In whatever we have robbed You of obedience—we offer His blood to pay the debt. Impute to our account:
His worthiness—for our unworthiness;
His sinlessness—for our sinfulness;
His purity—for our impurity;
His sincerity—for our deceit;
His truth—for our deceits;
His meekness—for our pride;
His steadfastness—for our backslidings;
His love—for our enmity;
His fullness—for our emptiness;
His glory—for our shame;
His perfect obedience—for our incessant disobedience;
His beauty—for our deformity;
His devotedness to Your will—for our waywardness;
His holy life—for our unholy ways;
His perfect righteousness—for our manifold unrighteousnesses.
We hide ourselves in Him. We flee unto Him as our sure city of refuge. We know that in Him—we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of all our sins. We rejoice that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Thus we cry, “Abba, Father!” in the name of Jesus, and retire to rest in peace.
While we delight in prayer and praise, we would not forget the multitudes who are now going prayerless to their beds. We would indeed be hard of heart, if we failed to feel for them. You have not been unmindful of them, though they have lived far off from You. They have robbed You of service and of thanks. Let us plead for them, and adore Your patience towards them. Oh! that it might please You to all Your goodness to add converting grace. All instruments obey Your sovereign will. Command means to open their blind eyes, and to bring them as contrite penitents to their Father’s house. Show to them Your love in Jesus. Reveal to them the bleeding Lamb. Thus by Your Spirit melt the rock, and snatch the prey from Satan.
We pray for all Your afflicted children. In You there is cordial for every grief, and balm for every wound. Wipe their weeping eyes, and help them from their hearts to say, “It is my Father’s hand—may His will be done!”
We remember too those whose lot on earth is hard. Poverty sits grimly at their table, and they lie down on hard pallets of distress. Give them grace to think of Him, who, though He was Lord of all—had not a pillow for His head. Let faith illumine their cheerless path. May it make them, though poor in earth’s lucre—yet rich in saving grace, and heirs of the eternal kingdom. Hear our earnest petitions. Claim earth as Your own, and so banish woe. We ask all the blessings which the everlasting covenant contains. Our trust is in Your love in Christ our Lord. Amen.