(by Henry Law)
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16
We humbly pray that all the occurrences of this departing day may work together for our good. A little stage of life is passed. Its end should find us riper in grace—and more fit to see Your face. But we have left many duties undone—may this condemning thought strip us more and more of all self-righteousness; and deepen in us the resolve, that, if other days are ours, they shall, Your Spirit helping us—be more devoted to Your gracious service.
Past opportunities can never be recalled. They once were ours to use, and their misuse adds to our overwhelming guilt. While we plead Your dear Son’s atonement as our hope of pardon—may we be quickened to more constant and watchful care. Help us to redeem the time, knowing that to us it is very short— a little speck, a breath, a vanishing shadow, a fading flower. And seeing that we have no merit of our own, may we prize more intensely the inestimable merits of Christ Jesus our Lord, whom we rejoicingly receive as our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption.
“Teach us to number our days aright—that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Many temptations have beset our path. Grant that in each we may see the deceit, the subtlety, the bitter enmity, and the wily power of our deadly adversaries. May the experience of this day lead us to stand with a more wary eye on the watch-tower of faith, and to cling with more determined grasp to the almighty arm of our protecting Lord. Wherever we have fallen, may we smite upon our breasts and hide our sins beneath the Redeemer’s sheltering righteousness. Wherever we have escaped, may we ascribe deliverance wholly to Your sustaining grace, and may our grateful songs exalt the Lord our Strength. If we have been permitted to do anything to the glory of Your great name, whether in word or work—be pleased to add Your effectual blessing, and multiply a thousand–fold, the seed so scantily sown.