Father of all mercies—be all mercy unto us. The light returns—but without Your light within, no profit can outward light afford. Give us the saving light of Your Holy Spirit, that we may see You as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of our salvation, the delight of our souls, rejoicing over us with joy, resting in Your love.
The gift of this day will bring us, we trust—nearer to heaven. May it raise us higher in heaven. May our eternity be happier, our hallelujahs louder, because of the grace now given and rightly used. We especially commend our wicked and deceitful hearts to Your watchful care. We know their treachery. We cannot keep them. Guard their every portal, lest the wily serpent should sneak in. Give us quick discernment of his deadly arts. If he approaches us as an angel of light—may we detect the bold disguise, and bid him, “Be gone!”
Help us to realize that opportunities quickly fly away—never more to return. May all our words and works allure others to the highest walks of faith and love. May the loiterers be quickened by our example, to an increase of diligence. May worldlings be won to the pure delight of spiritual acquaintedness with You. May our zeal for Jesus and His truth warn the timid and irresolute of the fearful doom of those who are ashamed of Him. Cause us to be such mirrors of Your grace that all may see in us how good and joyful a thing it is to live in the service of our God.
May we rejoice to remember that You, O God, see us! Come, Holy Spirit, our souls inspire, and so uncloak the empty vanity of all earthly things, that no conformity to its baubles may bespatter us with mire. Utterly transform us by the renewing of our minds. May our lips be as well tuned cymbals, sweetly sounding Your praise. May a halo of heavenly-mindedness sparkle around us. We are invited to precious delights. The banqueting-house of Your Word is wide open. The voice of the heavenly spouse calls us: “Eat, O friends; drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved. Eat that which is good, and let your souls delight themselves in fatness!” Quicken us to arise and come apart, and regale ourselves amid the rich refreshment of gospel-promises. May we sit down under our Lord’s shadow with great delight, and may we find His fruit sweet to our taste.
Help us to have compassion on the ignorant, and on those who are out of the holy way, remembering the misery of past days, when darkness blinded our eyes. Enable us tenderly to warn, and with yearning hearts—to draw them from destruction’s crowded way.
We thank You for Your heart-stirring Word, which converts the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.
Time is very short. Soon our last grain will fall through the hour-glass! Grant that we may gather up the fragments which remain, that no more may be lost!
Be with those who through sickness, age, infirmity, or other disability—cannot labor in Your vineyard. Remind us that our activities may soon similarly fade. Give them the calm joy of holy meditation, and by their prayers may they call down blessings on the warfaring camp and the wayfaring pilgrims. Thus may every member of the Church in his vocation and ministry, joyfully and truly serve You.
Regard with Your especial favor, those connected with us by the ties of kindred and Christian love. Bless all whose friendship cheers us, and whose kindness is a sunbeam to our path. Supply all their needs according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. If there are any who have ill-will towards us, take it out of their hearts, and turn their enmity to love. Never allow us to be overcome of evil—but to overcome all evil with good. If any curse us—may we bless them, knowing that we are thereunto called, that we should inherit a blessing.
O King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be glorified in us and by us this day and forever, through Jesus Christ our Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
O Eternal God, who alone has immortality, ever living in glory, unchanged, unchangeable, bend down Your ear to hear. Hearken and bless us. Grant that the morning light and the evening shade may alike write lessons of wisdom on our hearts. May the close of another day teach us the rapid flight of time. Truly our life is but a vapor. How soon will our sojourn on earth be done. As the spilled water cannot be gathered up, so lost opportunities no more return.
Pardon us that we have so poorly used the hours which have just fled. Pardon us that we have so failed to do Your work and to advance Your glory. We humble ourselves as most unprofitable servants. Our best doings are but filthy rags. Our worst doings, how hateful they must be to You, in whose sight the very heavens are not clean. In shame we now hide ourselves in our great Redeemer’s wounds. Clinging to His cross, we supplicate forgiveness of every committed sin and of every omitted duty.
All glory to Your holy name, that Jesus is revealed to us as the Lord our Righteousness. Accept His obedience—for our disobedience, to the praise of the glory of Your grace. Grant that the beds which we now approach may remind us that graves will soon open for us. As our eyes are now about to close in sleep—so they will soon close on this earthly scene. May our frequent lying down make us familiar with the image of death. May we alvvay be ready, waiting for admittance to Your immediate presence.
Grant that the love of heavenly things may so engross our minds, that attachment to earthly things may utterly become extinct. Our treasure is not here in this poor world. Where our treasure is, surely our affections should be placed. Enable us to reflect that our life is in Your hands. May we then hold it loosely in our hand, prepared for Your recall. We willingly endure pain and suffering to recruit for a moment our transitory health, shall we shrink from the pains of death, which introduce us to the freshness of eternal youth?
Send down Your Holy Spirit to reveal to us all the fullness of the truth, that the blessed Jesus has abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light. Gracious Savior, proclaim to the ears of our faith, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever”. We desire to retire this night in full assurance, that yet a little while, and He who shall come will come and will not tarry; and that when Christ who is our life shall appear—then we also shall appear with Him in glory!
All glory be to You for these precious hopes. All honor be to You for the gospel of the glory of Your grace. All praise be to You for Your unspeakable gift of Jesus Christ. All thanks for the love of the Spirit, who has translated us from darkness into this marvelous light. For truly our fellowship is with the Father said with His Son Jesus Christ.
O You who have showered so many blessings upon earth this day, withhold not Your mercies in the night season. Darkness is not darkness to You—but day and night are both alike. Your gracious hand never wearies. Your power needs no repose. Refresh, we beg You, the multitudes who now lie down wearied and worn out. Keep feverish unrest from those whom sleepless pillows now await. Be their song when all around is silent. Strengthen those who are called to watch by the beds of the sick and suffering and dying. Make them the happy ministers of comfort and peace.
Throughout this night many prayers will be poured forth. Hear them, answer them, send in response the comforts of Your Spirit. Some are constrained to travel—be by their side. Some are tossed on the billows of the sea; if the stormy wind shall arise, may their souls find sweet calm in You. Thus we commend to You all the needs of all Your redeemed people. We bless You that we may thus plead for them. Show Yourself, we beg You, the God of all grace and love and power for the glory of Your name in Jesus Christ. Amen.