SATURDAY MORNING.

Preserved by Your tender care, we live to see, most gracious Lord, the opening hours of another day. Increase and multiply upon us, Your mercy. Your goodness to us has never failed. Past provocations have been no barrier to its constant flow. Your nature and Your name is love.

Through the helpless hours of darkness, You have kept us safe. Helpless in ourselves, we meet this dawning light. But we come to You for help in the name of Jesus. We cling to Your protecting arm. We hide ourselves in You—our fortress and our sure refuge. We take You as our shield and buckler. Fight for us—and our foes must flee. Uphold us—and we cannot fall. Strengthen us—and we shall stand unmoved, immovable. Equip us with the whole armor of God—and we shall receive no wound. Stand by us in the conflict—and we shall tread Satan beneath our feet. Save us—and we shall be saved. Put the song of salvation on our lips—and our mouths shall shout aloud Your praise.

Especially we beseech You to deepen in our hearts, the abhorrence of all evil. May we hate sin with perfect hatred. It is the vile monster which defies Your power, casts off Your yoke, treads down Your lovely law, defiles our nature, spreads misery throughout this earth, brought death into the world, and nailed the spotless Lamb of God to the accursed tree. Teach us to look to Jesus on the cross—and so to estimate its loathsome guilt in Your sight.

Could there be no pardon—but through Your dear Son’s death! Could no cleansing wash out its filth—but Jesus’ precious blood! Could no atonement expiate the evil—but the shame, the agony, the bruises of the incarnate God! We see the boundless price! May we read therein the boundless guilt! In the infinite payment—show us the infinite debt. Thus may we discern the deadly viper in its real malignity, and tear it with holy indignation from our breasts, and resolutely turn from its every snare, and refuse to hold polluting dalliance with it!

Help us, too, to learn in Your all-sufficient sacrifice—Your tender and immeasurable love. May such love kindle mightily the flame of our responding love. May it blaze in our every faculty of heart and soul. May it rule throughout our inner man. May it consecrate our every thought and word and work a whole burnt-offering to Your glory.

Blessed Jesus, at Your cross may we be taught the awful miseries from which You have redeemed us! Without Your rescuing blood we must have been lost forever! Help us to ponder what the word “lost” implies. Your warning Word ofttimes draws back the veil. Send down Your enlightening Spirit to make vivid, the appalling scene. And when we read of fire which never ceases to burn, and indignation and wrath and anguish forever raging, and blackness of darkness forever, and everlasting destruction from Your presence and glory—may we cling more closely to Your cross! May our faith adhere to You with a more resolute and more intense grasp; may our total being be devoted to You; and may our detestation of all sin be as strong as Your love towards us. Work in us, we beg You, this transforming work. Keep us from all iniquity. Purify us unto Yourself, as a holy people. May holiness be the atmosphere in which we live.

Smile too on our beloved country, from the sovereign on the throne to the lowliest cottager, with blessings from on high. Diffuse Your knowledge. Establish the reign of Your faith and fear. Send out Your Spirit to put life into all our means of grace. Let our Bibles be duly studied, and may they vivify our hearts!

Give us intelligent gratitude for the marvelous blessings of our Reformation. Increase our valor for its glorious truths. Arm us with holy resolves never to relinquish our inestimable treasure. Check every backward look to Rome’s destructive falsehoods. Hasten the time when the Lord himself shall appear to consume the mystery of iniquity with the breath of His mouth, and to destroy it with the brightness of His coming. We long for the day when truth shall be our unclouded sun, and when the deceits of idolatry shall be as a withered weed. We trust such prayer is Your Spirit’s interceding voice within us. Therefore we boldly offer it in the prevailing name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

SATURDAY EVENING.

O God of patience and consolation, grant us as a family, this night, to be like-minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus; that we may with one mind and one mouth glorify You, even the Father of our Lord and only Savior. Glory be to You, for this throne of grace. Make it ever to us—the chosen pleasure-ground of our souls. May it be the fortress to which continually we flee. Here may we obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Here may we see by faith, Your reconciled smile. Here may we rejoice to plead the name of Jesus. Here may we sharpen the sword of the Spirit, anoint the shield of faith, and put on the helmet of salvation.

By prayer too may we gather supplies of heavenly manna—even the precious nourishment of Your Word. Thus may we be strengthened for each conflict, nerved for our upward race, and empowered for more than conquest over every foe. We know that Christ is an open channel for all blessings to descend upon us. Help us to beg, until the sluices of mercy widely open, and our souls are so replenished, that there shall be no room to receive more.

We marvel at our cruel folly, that when such enriching favors are within our reach—that we are so slow to extend the hand to take them. Compassionate our deadness for Your great name’s sake. Quicken us, arouse us, stir us up, fill us with holy zeal, put strength into us that we may strive with You, and refuse to let You go. It is Your glory to be vanquished by the power of prayer. May Your Spirit within us wrest all blessings from Your yielding hands.

We bless You for Your holy Scriptures—for all their precepts—all their promises—all their light. Forgive our sad neglect of this most inestimable treasure. May we study the sacred pages with minds intent to learn more of Christ, with memories sanctified to retain, with wills resolved to follow.

We confess with shame, past hours wasted in unprofitable reading and other worldly entertainments. Counteract, we beseech You, the evil of a licentious press. Give grace to all to whom You have given the gift to write. May ready pens be consecrated to Your glory. May Your Spirit direct all talent to the grand work of making this fallen world rich in true knowledge, and wise unto salvation.

If other days are ours—guide us that no more time be squandered in vain pursuits. We desire to grow in Your faith and fear and love. We know that when we do not advance—we must backslide. Deliver us from the misery of feeling that we once ran well—but now our course is hindered.

Build us up in our most holy faith. Let us show out of a holy heart—our godly works with meekness of wisdom. May we display gentleness and humility and love to all men. May we ever esteem others better than ourselves. Help us never to be overcome by evil—but to overcome all evil with good. May we walk humbly, because of much good omitted, and much evil committed. Impress on our minds the shortness of time—the work to be done—the account to be rendered—the nearness of eternity—the misery of lamps expired, when the voice of the Bridegroom is heard.

May we never forget that Your eye always sees us, Your ear always hears us, Your recording hand always commits to a book of remembrance, and that all hidden works must be unveiled when the judgment day arrives. May it be our one effort to approve ourselves as faithful servants of the Lord Christ. Above all things—may we seek Your favor! Above all things—may we dread Your frown!

Strengthen us to give You no rest, until You shall reign supreme in our every thought and word and work. Command what is well-pleasing in Your sight, and give us power faithfully to fulfill the same.

As we shall desire to appear before Your great white throne—so may we now appear in Your sight—and before all men. Increase in us more and more the gift of that precious faith which purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, and makes us one with Christ.

May Christ be the pulse of our hearts. May He speak in every word of our lips. May He shine in every step of our earthly walk. May we be very temples of the Holy Spirit—a habitation of God through the Spirit. Grant our requests for His dear sake. Amen.