O Lord Jesus Christ, whom the heavens have received until the times of restitution of all things—abased in humility we look up to You as exalted to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance unto Your people, and forgiveness of all their sins. Deepen in us, we beseech You, thorough contrition of heart. Confirm in us the assurance that Your blood washes away all guilt.
We desire to walk lovingly with You as our great Redeemer; and humbly, because of our utter unworthiness. May true repentance pervade, as a flood, our souls, even repentance unto salvation not to be repented of. May our hearts be broken for sin, and broken from sin. May we be as slow to forgive ourselves—as we know that You are ready to forgive us. While we gaze on the glories of Your grace, may the sense of our iniquities cast us into the lowest depths of shame. May we walk softly with downcast heads, now that You are pacified unto us.
We bless You for the glorious Word: “Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity—I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Destroy then, we beseech You, within us every lofty thought. Beat pride to pieces, and scatter it to the winds. Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness. Implant in us true lowliness of spirit. Debase us in self-loathing and self-abhorrence. Open the fount of penitential tears. Thus may our hearts be fitted for the indwelling of our majestic God.
God the Father, take up Your abode within us. Blessed Jesus, come with healing on Your wings. Holy Spirit, descend with all Your sanctifying grace. Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons and one God—inhabit us as temples consecrated to Your glory.
When You are present—evil cannot enter. In Your fellowship, there is fullness of joy. Beneath Your smile, there is peace of conscience. By Your side—no fears disturb, and no apprehensions banish ease. With You our hearts shall be fragrant as the garden of the Lord, in which all graces bloom. With You we shall bear fruit unto holiness, as the trees which the Lord has planted. Again then we pray, fit us through repentance, for Your indwelling.
Blessed Jesus, the Lord has anointed You to bind up the broken-hearted, to comfort all that mourn, to give unto them beauty—for ashes, the oil of joy—for mourning, the garment of praise—for the spirit of heaviness. The entire work must be Yours. Break us—and then bind us up. Fulfill in us Your gracious purpose. Perform in us all portions of Your office. Lead us through the valley of godly sorrow—to the heights of heavenly joy.
Hearken to our cry, O great Intercessor, while for others we now intercede. We look around—and heart-rending is the sight which meets our eyes. This sin-sick world is full of levity and carnal mirth. Men laugh and sport, unmindful of the guilty hearts within them, and of the woeful end ahead of them. They do not think how Your wrath burns against their ungodliness. The day of judgment has no terrors for them. We know that such laughter will soon end in wailing. Gnashing of teeth for ever will be their eternal doom. Oh! that it might please You to convince them by Your Spirit before it be too late; that, feeling their misery, they may flee to their only Help. Today, while it is called today, may they repent and live. May this day witness their awakening, for this day may be their last.
Most gracious Lord, whose name is Love—in love receive our evening prayer. You have called us with a high and heavenly calling. Pardon us that our walk has been so unworthy of all Your tender mercies. Day testifies unto day, and night unto night—how good You are—and how vile we are. Blot out all the transgressions which have soiled our souls since last we humbled ourselves together in Your sight. Our sins are more than the wide sea’s sands. But where sin thus frightfully abounds—grace most infinitely exceeds.
Look to the cross of Your beloved Son. Remember the preciousness of His atoning blood. Listen to His never-failing intercession. By Your Spirit whisper to our contrite hearts, “Be of good cheer, lie down in peace, your sins are all forgiven!” We thank You, we bless You, we adore You, we laud and magnify Your boundless grace. It truly reaches unto the heavens! It truly endures forever.
We pray for the world lying in wickedness. Your mercy never wearies in strewing benefits around. How thanklessly are they received! How base is the neglect of senseless ingratitude! The iniquities of earth are loud to awaken Divine vengeance. How justly might the decree go forth, “Cut down the guilty inhabitants; why do they so long cumber the ground!” Hear our cry for the vast multitudes who cry not for themselves. “Spare them, good Lord, spare them. Do not shut up Your loving-kindness in justice. Remember how short their time is, and while space continues, oh! be pleased to give grace!”
They are the creatures of Your hand. You have been pleased to breathe into them the breath of life. Oh! speak but the word, and these dry bones shall live! “Old things shall pass away—all things shall become new. The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will bring great honor to Your name; it will be an everlasting sign of Your power and love!” You have endowed them with wondrous faculties of intellect, of mind, of body. How capable are they to do You service, and to magnify Your name! Let not their powers wither like a blighted tree. Let nothing be misused in the service of the power of the evil one—the wrongful tyrant of this enslaved world.
But especially do we implore especial favors on our own beloved land. You have exalted us in loving-kindnesses above all the nations of the earth. You have placed us on the highest pinnacle of privilege. The sun never sets on the dominion of our influence. We are blessed with the knowledge of Your great and mighty name. We are instructed in the glorious revelations of Your gospel-truth. We possess the inestimable treasure of the open Bible. We read in the sacred pages, how You have loved us, and sent Your Son to bear our sins on the accursed tree, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seek and to save the lost, and to open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. We are therein taught that it is Your will that none should perish—but that all should come to the knowledge of Your truth, and that Your dear Son never casts out sinners who seek Him in faith and love.
Help us as a nation deeply and duly to ponder our solemn responsibilities. Impress on us that we are gifted with our blessings—to trade with them to Your glory. Show us that if we slothfully hide and bury them, the day will come when abused privileges will burst their graves and call for vengeance on us as unprofitable servants.
Deliver us, good Lord, deliver us, we beg You, from the woe of Chorazin, from the woe of Bethsaida, from the woe of Capernaum! Today, while it is called today, let us tremble lest it be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, and for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for us. Let us give diligence to devote ourselves, and all our opportunities, and all our privileges, to the untiring, undivided work of making Christ Jesus known to all the family of man. Hear us, pity us, pardon us, arise to our help, and quicken us to Your work. These prayers are offered in the name of Christ our Lord, Amen.