Merciful Lord God, Your ear is never weary to hear, Your hand is never shortened to bless. Visit us with all Your blessings this day, we meekly beseech You. Needy and helpless—we cast ourselves on Your unfailing grace. From our inmost souls we profess that we count all things but loss—for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is our all-constraining desire to live growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our precious Savior. Give us then the help of Your Holy Spirit. May He fulfill in us His loving office, and take of the things of Christ and show them in all their fullness, power, and beauty unto us.
Especially may the eyes of our understanding be enlightened to adore Him as the anointed High Priest of Your Church forever. We are exhorted to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession Christ Jesus. Enable us to fix our meditations on this glorious object, to ponder the wonder of wonders, the priestly work in our behalf. May we behold Him, bringing Himself the victim—to Himself the Altar. Deeply engrave on our minds the everlasting truth: that He spared not Himself—but willingly laid down His life, and shed His most precious blood—that we may be spared, that we may live, that our souls and bodies should not perish, that all our boundless debt should be completely paid, that our every iniquity should be purged away, that the mountains upon mountains of our grievous sins should disappear, that the crimson dye of evil in us, should be whiter than the whitest snow.
May we now and ever adore our Jesus thus sacrificing Himself. Oh! that our adoration might be warm as His heart towards us! Open our eyes to see our great High Priest passed into the heavens, entering within the veil with His own most precious blood, and sprinkling the true mercy-seat. Open our ears to hear the eloquence of that prevailing plea. It tells that redemption’s work is gloriously finished, that every holy attribute is satisfied to the uttermost, and that all Divine wrath is quenched.
“Christ has died” is our answer to every charge. All of His blood-bought people must be saved. Increase in us the faith which is intelligent to hear Christ’s never-ceasing intercession. We bewail our cold, our listless and our heartless prayers. Their poverty adds sin to sin. They justly provoke Your anger. If our hope was in them our cry must be, “Woe unto us, for we are undone!” But show us our great High Priest, waving His golden censer, and filling all heaven with its fragrance. Then we shall delight ourselves in prayer, knowing that the worth of Jesus perfumes our feeble breathings, and wins acceptance for them!
We shall require blessings at every moment of this opening day. Great High Priest fulfill Your office, and cease not to pour down streams upon streams of needful grace. Bless us—and we shall be blessed indeed. Bless us in all our employ; when we go out and when we come in; in every thought of our minds, in every word of our lips, in every step, in every deed. Bless us when we ponder Your sacred Word, when we confess our sins, when we seek Your face, when we wrestle with You in prayer, when we uplift the voice of praise.
Blessed by You—may we be blessings to all around. May we be lowly followers of Your bright example. You lived to bless. You died to bless. Blessings fell from Your ascending lips. Blessings ever descend from Your outstretched hands. Imbued with Your mind, may our whole course contribute to earth’s welfare.
Heavenly Father, look down on each thus bowing before Your throne. Give sweet sincerity to our desires, intense earnestness to our supplications, burning fervor to our love. Let no unbelief deaden our approaches. May we feel truly that You do hear. May Your Spirit bear witness with our spirits—that we are Yours. May strong faith persuade us that answers, according to Your will, will surely come. Amen, Amen. Through Jesus Christ.
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, let our evening worship ascend as incense to the heaven of heavens. The name of Jesus is access to Your throne, and in that name we bow the knee. We know that You resist the proud; let, then, no lofty thought find resting-place in our contrite hearts. May there be no hindrance to the uprising of our lowly breathings. May there be no barrier to the outpourings of Your mercy.
Who are we, that pride should swell within us! Our original is the mire beneath our feet. Dust we are—and unto dust we soon return. In material, we do not surpass the most detestable reptile. Whatever difference of form and intellect is ours—is freely granted by Your goodness. Our every faculty of mind and body is Your undeserved gift.
Thus low as creatures—we are far lower as sinners. We have times without number trampled on Your righteous law. Sin’s deformity is stamped upon us; its hideousness darkens on our brow; its loathsome touch has fixed corruption on us. Shall we, then, flaunt proudly in Your sight? The lowest depths of self-abasement is our due place. We are far less than nothing in Your all-seeing eye. Help us to see ourselves—as we are seen by You. Then pride must wither, and vanish, and decay, and die.
Your Word assures us that You give grace to the lowly. Humble our hearts before You—and then replenish them with Your choicest gifts. We know that nature’s refreshing streams rest not on the barren summits of the high hills—but flow down to fertilize the lowness of the valleys. May our position ever be the lowliest of the lowly; so may our spiritual riches exceedingly abound.
Enable us to walk on earth even as Your beloved Son walked. He is our only Savior and most perfect model. Let His mind be ever our inward guest. He was meek and lowly in heart. Let His meekness be our all-covering garb. Clothe us entirely with humility. In all our fellowship with others, let no strife or vainglory show a hateful head.
Conscious of our sins against much light, and inward strivings of conscience, and teachings from above, may we always esteem others better than ourselves. Help us thus to manifest that we are born again. Thus may we exhibit conformity to the image of the blessed Jesus, the first-born among many brethren.
Grant the grace which we thus earnestly implore to all Your children throughout all the world. “This is what the Lord says—Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” Jeremiah 9:23-24.
May our happy place be among the poor in spirit, to whom the kingdom of God belongs. Set us in the gentle ranks of the meek, whose is the inheritance of earth. Thus may we taste and find, that true humility is the heirdom of two worlds. And thus may we fit for the day of glory, when we hope to cast our crowns before Your throne, and sing with prostrate spirits: “You alone are holy, You alone are the Lord!”
Confessing our need, supplicating Your grace, we cannot arise without intermingling most fervent thanks. Unless Your merciful protection had kept us this day under the shelter of Your wings, our lips would have been sealed in silence. Many who saw the morning sun—as strong or stronger than we are—have fallen as a withered leaf. We live to praise You, and praise we fervently bring. If we see the morrow’s light, may we more worthily renew our song. If we go hence this night, may we through grace commence the endless hymn of the redeemed. Grant this for the merits of our Lord Christ. Amen.