THURSDAY MORNING.

O God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us miserable sinners. When the earth was without form and void, You moved upon the face of the waters. Then lovely order smiled, and beauty robed the world. Move, we beseech You, in our disordered hearts. Remove the deformities of unruly desire and hateful lusts. Chase away the mists and darkness of unbelief. Brighten our inner man with the pure light of truth. Sow abundantly the seeds of righteousness. Make our souls fragrant as the garden of the Lord. Enrich them with every godly fruit. Beautify them with heavenly grace. Cause them to reflect the rays of the Sun of righteousness.

We humbly put You in remembrance of Your gracious offices. Fulfill them all in us to Your great glory and our great joy. Be our comforter, our guide, our light, our sanctification. May we come behind in no grace, being filled with Your presence.

Especially take of the things of Christ, and show them with enlarged power to our longing souls. May we daily learn more of His love, His grace, His tender compassion, His faithfulness, His beauty. May we delight ourselves in Him with increased delight. Lead us to the cross, and show us in His wounds—the hateful character of sin. May we see our sins—as the nails which transfixed Him, the cords which bound Him, the sword which pierced Him, the thorns which tore Him, the taunts which stung Him. Help us to read in His cruel death—the reality and immensity of His love. Open to us the wondrous volumes of glorious truth in the cry, “It is finished!”

Increase our faith in the clear knowledge that atonement is forever achieved, and expiation completed, and our debt fully paid, and satisfaction infinitely made, and all our guilt washed away, and all our sins most righteously forgiven. Show us that our persons are redeemed, our souls saved, hell vanquished, the devil crushed, heaven won, and eternity of glory our rightful home.

Holy Spirit, deepen in us these saving lessons. Write them with Your finger on the tablets of our hearts. Thus may our profiting advance. May our walk be sin-loathing, sin-fleeing, Christ-loving, God-fearing. Enlighten our consciences to discern all latent evil. Allow no devices of the devil to beguile or to deceive.

Implant the most tender sensitiveness of conscience. May we shrink from all approach and contact of ungodliness. Store our minds with the texts and doctrines of our blessed Bibles. May we ably wield Your all-conquering sword. Then temptations shall assault in vain.

Especially we beg You to look upon a world lying in the wicked one. He is mighty—but You are almighty. Shatter his scepter. Scatter to the winds his usurped dominion. Speak Your resistless word—and he is cast into outer darkness forever!

It is Your will, by the foolishness of preaching, to save those who believe. Raise up then a noble army of devoted preachers. Let their hearts be all zeal, and their words all fire. Arm them with the panoply of truth.

Arise, and let God’s enemies be scattered. Let those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away. As wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

Shine forth, good Lord, in every dark place of this groaning world. Let Your light shine, and darkness shall no more be dark. Let the prayers of Your faithful people give You no rest, until You arise to turn away ungodliness, and to establish the sweet reign of purity and peace. Hasten the time. Do it for Your tender mercy’s sake. And to Your name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be honor and dominion, praise and power, now, henceforth, and forever. Amen.

THURSDAY EVENING.

Holy Lord God, give us grace to draw near to You acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. Grant that our frequent approach and constant welcome may not induce forgetfulness of Your infinite majesty. Deepen in our hearts—due awe of Your unsearchable greatness. By Your word all things were made. By Your power they are sustained. By Your providence they are ordered.

In Your sight, we are less than nothing. Before You, we lie low in dust and ashes as rebellious sinners. Give us, then, the meekest spirit of self-abasement. But raise our devotions from the deadening level of formality. May our prayers be ever the warm outpouring of our hearts. Appear before us as a Spirit, requiring those who worship You—to worship You in spirit and in truth. Fill us, too, with filial confidence. May we fear with love. May we love with fear.

May the Spirit of grace and supplication ever breathe in our earnest breathings. Strengthen us with lively assurance, that faithful prayer in Jesus’ name grasps the arm of Your omnipotence, achieves wonders, obtains blessings, and never fails. Thus we believe that this our evening importunity will draw down streams of the most tender mercy. In this full hope, we beseech You to forgive us all the trespasses of the past day. We ask Your pardon; for without it we perish. We ask it with shame; for we are truly without excuse. We fail to watch. We restrain prayer. So iniquities, like the wind, carry us away.

Do not allow Your just displeasure to arise. Dash us not to pieces like a potter’s vessel. Spare us, good Lord, for Your mercy is great. Spare us, for we are Your own children by the faith of Jesus. Spare us, for the atoning blood sprinkles us. Spare us, for Jesus’ cross is our shelter, our refuge, and our plea! Spare us, for we close this day clinging to the horns of our sheltering altar.

Accept our adoring praises for Your precious mercies throughout the past hours. Unworthy as we are, we find that goodness and mercy always precede and follow us. In these gracious dealings we find a pledge that we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Strong in that blessed hope we now lie down to sleep. In night’s dark hours—may You abide with us. We fear no perils if You are near.

We ask such renovating rest as You shall think most fitting for us. Above all, we earnestly implore that every power of mind and body, which You are pleased to give, may be a thank-offering to Your praise. We know it to be the misery of miseries, when faculties are misused as the instruments of sin. Save us by Your indwelling Spirit from such degrading sin.

May our beds ever remind us of our graves. May our uprising foreshadow the joys of resurrection. We glory in the truth, that Jesus died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we shall live together with Him.

Hear us for ourselves. Hear us for others also. It is our privilege that we may spread all need before Your throne. How multiform is the need of earth this night! We have knowledge of some suffering. We commend it to Your alleviating love. There is much unknown to us. But Your eye sees. Oh! may Your pity yearn pitifully over all distress!

We feel for those who are now retiring without prayer and praise. They are not pricked to the heart by sense of sin. They dread not the coming wrath. They are unmoved by the marvels of Your forbearance. May Your goodness lead them to repentance. May Your long-suffering be their salvation.

Some perhaps are this night meditating evil things. Hedge up their devious ways with thorns. Defeat their plots. Cause the tears of penitence to flow.

The devil is busy scattering temptations. Turn his foul weapons against himself. May the tempted escape as birds from the fowler’s snare. Soothe the sufferings of the sick. Assuage their pains. Give them the comfort of Your presence—then all sorrow will be joy. Surround Your dying servants with the glories of heavenly light. May they depart in peace, rejoicing in Your salvation. Hear us for His sake who died and rose again for us, and ever lives at Your right hand—Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.