We lift up our eyes and our souls unto You who dwells in the heavens. Blessed be Your holy name that we, weighed down by countless sins, may fly in spirit to the presence of our Father and our God. Through the multitude of Your unfailing mercies, we see the returning dawn of day. To the light of nature add, we meekly beg You—the light of Your heavenly grace. O You commanded the light to shine out of darkness, be pleased to shine more and more into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of Your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
Vain will be the gift of another day, unless we grow in grace, increase in knowledge, add to our stores of faith, and ripen for the ingathering into Your garner. Help us, then, most mighty God—most mightily from on high. Is it not Your blessed will that we should know You as You are, and love You supremely, and serve You wholly, and adore You in every moment of our time, in every movement of our minds, in every pulse of our affections, in every faculty with which we are endowed? Through grace, our will responds to Yours.
But the power to obey is not in us. You in Your free love must work in us to do. Here, then, We present our empty hearts to You. Be pleased to fill them to overflowing with Your choicest gifts. We bring our blinded understanding; chase away all the mists of ignorance and superstition by bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness. We would take our seat beneath the great Redeemer’s cross; may healing streams continuously descend, cleansing us from all our filth, pouring sweet balm into every grievous wound, and purging our consciences from dead works to serve You, the living God.
Help us too, to gain strength in the rich pastures of Your heavenly Word. We bless You for the treasure beyond treasures, the open page of Your Holy Scriptures. May we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, until our inner man is wholly molded into gospel-form. From our replenished hearts may there flow forth rivers of living water. Let us minister to others as You have given to us the measure of faith. From all vain words, good Lord, deliver us. We earnestly desire in all things to imitate Christ, who has left us an example that we should follow His steps. Grace ever dwelt on His lips. He did no sin, neither was any deceit found in His mouth. May we be like-minded.
While we thus pray, we remember the unprofitableness and the iniquity of our past words. They arise before us, black in guilt, testifying against us, calling for our condemnation. We would silence their accusing voice, by burying them all in the deep grave of the Redeemer’s wounds.
We again praise You and adore You for the gift of Jesus. We feel that without Him we would be utterly undone. We believe that in Him we are eternally delivered from deserved wrath, and saved with everlasting salvation.
We now go forth to the vocations of this day. May we studiously cultivate love to our brethren. Precious is the communion of saints. Those who fear the Lord should speak often one to another. We know that Your ears delight to hear, and that You are writing a book of remembrance. May that book record that holy converse is our chosen pleasure-ground. How rapidly might the spiritual temple rear its head, how brightly might the living stones reflect the rays of heaven—if we gave ourselves to the sweet employ of comforting one another, and edifying one another, and provoking one another to love and to good works!
We restrict not our prayers to our own needs. We look around on the whole family of man. O Lord, add multitudes this day to Your Church even such as shall be saved. Compel Satan to release his groaning captives. Hurl him from his wrongful throne. Enlarge the joyful song of the redeemed. Translate many into the kingdom of Your dear Son. So shall Your glory be increased, and earth sing aloud of Your praise. We add our hallelujah, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Merciful Father, O God of hope and consolation, visit us now with the abundance of Your heavenly grace. May we realize Your life-giving presence. Holy Spirit, help us to come boldly to the mercy-seat. How great, how inestimable, are our privileges in Christ Jesus. Without Him, we must have stood afar off, as strangers and outcasts. In Him, we draw near, and touch the outstretched scepter of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the sovereign Creator of heaven and earth. Without Him, how could we dare to lift up our guilty eyes. In Him, we gaze with open face on God, as our Father and most loving friend. Without Him, we must hide our lips in the lowest dust of trembling shame. In Him, we open our mouths loudly in petition and in praise. Without Him, all above us is wrath and consuming fire. In Him, heaven is all love towards us, and the home of our adoring souls forever. Without Him, below us is a gaping hell, and bitterness of anguish without end. In Him, those gates are barred by His most precious blood, so that no redeemed one can be imprisoned there. Without Him, blackness of darkness spreads its horrors in our faces. In Him, an eternity of bright glory is our boundless horizon. Without Him, mountains upon mountains of iniquity fill up our account. In Him, the stream of His blood follows us, leveling all hindrances, and cleansing every vile blot. Without Him, all within us is terror, consternation, and dismay. In Him, every internal accusation is charmed into joy and peace. Without Him, all things external—the earth which we have soiled—its creatures used as instruments of evil—call for our condemnation. In Him, they all minister to our comfort, and are ours to enjoy with thanksgiving. Therefore it is very fitting, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at this time, and at this place, and at all times and in all places, adore You for the unspeakable gift of Jesus, O Lord, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God.
We loathe ourselves that we do not love You with more intense fervor. We abhor our cold, and dead, and contracted feelings. Take away, we beseech You, the chilly heart of stone—and give us hearts of flesh. Reveal to us to the very full, Your saving love in Jesus, the glories of His cross, and the infinite merits of His finished work. May we gaze on Him until we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Blessed Jesus, when we thus sing Your praise, poor and feeble as we are—we can find no measure, and no end. We long for Your abodes above, where no thoughts shall ever wander, and no weary flesh rebels. But while earth is our home, we beg You to grant that we may live striving with all our power to testify our grateful love.
It is our true desire that others now afar off should know You, and be made partakers of our joy. You have put it into the minds of men to establish many societies to labor in this cause. We commend them to Your special grace. Give wisdom to their counsels. Suggest expansive means. May those who direct their work wax strong in faith, in zeal, in hope. May no seeming difficulties deter them. May no disappointments quench their ardor. What are the greatest mountains of difficulties before the might of Jehovah Jesus? They shall be as plains. Go forth with all their toiling missionaries. The fields are white for ingathering, send forth laborers into Your harvest. By their means glean multitudes from the wilderness of the world. Blessed, great, and glorious Trinity, three Persons, one God, hear Your poor servants’ cry. Amen.