Henry Law

Family Prayers

Section 1

“Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13

May God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep us. May the Lord look upon us mercifully with His favor; and so fill us with all spiritual blessings and grace, that we may so live in this life, that, in the world to come, we may have life everlasting. Amen.

FIRST WEEK

SUNDAY MORNING.

Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, heaven and earth are full of Your glory! Glory be to You, O Lord most high. At the commencement of this blessed day, we desire to unite with all the company of heaven and all the saints on earth in uplifting the voice of adoration and praise. Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto You, O Father of mercies, God of all grace and love.

We thank You that, in the multitude of Your tender mercies, in the riches of Your pitiful compassion, You have been pleased to erect this throne of grace, before which we now most humbly bow. We bless You that here free grace reigns. We bless You that at all times and in all places, we have open access to it through the blood of Your dear Son. We bless You that the veil is open, and that in His great name we may ever approach, and find You ready to hear, waiting to be gracious, arrayed in smiles of love, bidding us touch the scepter of Your sovereign mercy, inviting us to pour out every need and desire of our hearts, and promising to give more than we can ask or think. “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” Hebrews 4:16

But while we thus look up and praise You, shame and confusion overwhelm our hearts. You are worthy of all praise. We are unworthy to bring any. Your throne is holiness. Our lips are all impure. While we adore You for Your saving grace, we remember the past iniquity of our holiest things. What irreverence in Your worship, what cold formality in prayer and praise, what utterance of lip, with absence of heart—convict us as most miserable sinners! We confess that with seeming reverence we have added provocation to impiety. We bewail the aggravations of our guilt. We acknowledge that unless Your compassions failed not, we would have been cast away from Your presence, and left abandoned by Your Holy Spirit. But for Your dear Son’s sake, hearken to our petition, and sprinkle all the hours of all our past worship with the atoning merits of His all-precious blood. May the pleadings of the cross, outcry the accusations of misused service.

Grant, oh grant, we earnestly implore You, that this day may witness deep improvement in us. Grant to us the wondrous blessings in rich abundance which this day was designed to impart. May it be wholly consecrated to You. May we, in spirit, soar far from earth. May our hearts be fast barred against admission of worldly thoughts or cares. May our souls be hid in Christ with You. Send Your peace, passing all understanding, as a flood into our tranquil minds. In public and in private draw us nearer unto You. May our meditations of You be sweet. May our outward exercises be life and liberty and joy. May we drink deeply of the refreshing streams proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. May we feast on the heaven-sent manna of Your precious Word, and thus gather strength for the upward race. Anoint afresh the shield of faith, that we may be able to quench all Satan’s fiery darts.

Hear our cry for all the ministers of Your everlasting gospel. May Christ so richly fill their hearts, that all their ministrations may be a sweet savor of His grace. May He be uplifted in all pulpits as the only hope and strength and wisdom and redemption of His people. May we learn in the sanctuary new lessons of His perfect salvation. May our hearts be more and more knit to Him. May this be the Spirit’s wonder-working day to us and all the congregations of the living God. Hear us, answer us, bless us. All we ask is in Jesus’ name, and for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

SUNDAY EVENING.

O God the Father, our great Creator, our gracious preserver, who is ever loading us with loving-kindness and tender mercies—we bless You, we praise You. O God the Son, who by the shedding of Your most precious blood, has made us Your purchased possession, and has redeemed us from all iniquity—we bless You, we praise You. O God the Holy Spirit, who has taught us our need as sinners, and has revealed the finished salvation to us, and has enriched us with spiritual consolations in heavenly places—we bless You, we praise You. O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons, one God, what more could have been done for our souls and for our salvation, which You have not freely and mightily accomplished!

The heavens are high above the earth—but greater far are Your mercies to us! We cannot count the stars which bespangle the canopy of the skies, or the sands which begird the seas, or the drops which compose the ocean’s boundlessness—but all these are finite, while infinity is the only measure of Your grace.

Fresh proof has encircled us this day. We have been called to sacred rest. Earthly work has ceased, respite has been ours from worldly care and toil. Your courts have opened their doors, admitting us to the holy fellowship of united worship. Your ministers have come forth to teach and to admonish, to warn us of the perils of our pilgrimage, to proclaim Jesus in the glories of His work, and to assure us of completeness in Him.

The sacred hours now reach their close. Grant that we may be thus reminded that earthly Sabbaths will soon all cease. O quicken our spirits that we may use each as if the last. Enable us to regard Your courts, as the gate of heaven, and the threshold of the eternal world. May we use our privileges with solemn thought, that the Judge stands at the door. Animate us with the precious joy, that within the veil congregations never disperse, and adorations never cease, and no flesh grows weary, and no affections flag, and no thoughts wander, and praise never droops—but the whole atmosphere is adoring love. Blessed Jesus, hasten the time! When, when will this once be?

While we thus magnify You, O God, our God, for all the precious opportunities of our Sabbath days, we beseech You to guard our minds from making any ordinances our stay or our trust. We confess the treacherous proneness of our hearts to hew out broken cisterns, and to rest on outward helps. Give wings to our faith, that we may rise through earthly forms and services—to Your immediate presence. May our poor enfeebled prayers show us more and more of our emptiness and vanity and sin. Deepen in us the conviction that our most fervent praises, and most lowly confessions, need to be repented of, and our bitterest tears of penitence need the washing of the only cleansing blood. Thus may our best services bring us nearer to the cross, and prompt the hearty cry, “None but Jesus, none but Jesus!”

Pour down Your Holy Spirit largely into our hearts, to give abiding life to the lessons of this day. May the seed take deep root, and yield abundant fruits of heavenly-mindedness to the praise of the glory of Your grace. May all who see us take knowledge of us that we have been with our God this day. May we reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, and by holy example, dispel the mists of surrounding ignorance and unbelief.

We cannot leave Your glorious throne without humbly presenting the whole family of man in the arms of our faith. What need, what wretchedness, what misery, what darkness, what iniquity! Who are we that we should be made to differ? We would manifest our grace—by making supplication for the graceless! How easy for You to speak the word, and darkness shall flee, and the lifeless shall live.

Blessed Jesus, You came to seek and to save the lost; bring, we beseech You, many stray sheep into Your gospel-fold.

We commend to Your special care this night the sons and daughters of sickness and affliction. Be near to dying beds. Soothe the pillows of the suffering. Speak peace to the contrite and the brokenhearted. Sprinkle accusing consciences with the blood of Your cross.

Be with us, when we retire from family worship, to the stillness of our own chambers. Give us boldness of access to You, and may we breathe out the inmost secrets of our souls. You know all before we speak—but help us freely to speak, that we may find relief and pardon and comfort. May we lie down at peace with You, our consciences, and all mankind. Give us faith to expect full reply. We ask all, trusting in Your grace and love. Amen.