O You who hears prayer—unto You we now come. Grant that by the eye of faith we may behold You bending down Your ear of love to receive our feeble breathings. May our cries ascend perfumed with the incense of Jesus’ atoning blood, and so be welcomed with acceptance.
We shall prevail, for You have promised. Smiles await us, for Your Spirit intercedes within us. We shall be heard, for Your dear Son pleads for us.
May we now be filled to the full with the Spirit of grace and supplication. In public and in private, in the sanctuary and in the closet, may our life be steeped in prayer. We thank You that through Your distinguishing favor our birth has placed us in a land in which Your worship has external reverence, and congregations throng Your courts. We thank You that in the village and the town church-bell sounds proclaim the return of this holy day, and invite to glad solemnities.
Rejoicing in our precious privileges, we think of the multitudes to whom this day brings neither repose nor peace. From the eminence of our hallowed position, we cast our eyes over the wide expanse of heathendom, and we mourn. We feel our duty towards them, and we bring their desolation before Your pitying-eye. Fervent thanks we render—that we have not been left in their cold darkness. We forget not, that the mercy which befriended us—can befriend them. We know that the power which rescued us—can rescue them. There is nothing too hard for You to do! We beseech You, then, to bless them—as You have blessed us. Send out Your light and Your truth to the regions which enjoy not the calm delight and sanctifying mercies of the Lord’s day. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.
We pray with more earnest wrestling for those around us, who, in the midst of all Christian privileges, willfully choose darkness rather than light. Gracious Lord, forget them not, while they thus slight You. Manifest the freeness of Your grace by subduing their obdurate rebellion. Reign in the midst of these enemies. Compel them to come in. We tremble, lest the heathen should rise up in the judgment and condemn them for so despising Your proffered mercies.
Grant that the mind of Christ may pervade us. He never wearied in pouring out His heart to You. In the days of His flesh, He offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears. May we thus take heaven by storm.
Open Your hands wide to pour down streams of blessing on all who shall publicly teach in Your name. May they stand between the living and the dead, and may the destroying plague be checked. Give them to feel deeply—that eternal interests hang on their lips. May their every word be everlasting truth. May they so labor, that at last they may be welcomed as good and faithful servants.
May we not be forgetful that this day may close our Sundays upon earth. The next return, may see our places vacant. May it then be our best. May it find us ready, in Your dear Son, to join the ever-hymning choir.
May our devotions in Your house stimulate many. May the thoughtless see in us how good it is to draw near to You, our God. May the formalist be taught by our sincerity, that You are a Spirit, and those who worship You, must worship You in spirit and in truth.
Remember, O Lord, with tender love—the sufferers on whom You have been pleased to lay the hand of detaining sickness. Their feet may not tread Your courts—may You come down and visit them. Let the light of Your countenance shine sweetly in their chambers of languishing. Let Your voice whisper through their souls, “Peace be unto you! It is I, do no be afraid!” May their joyful experience testify that Your presence is not confined to any place.
But while our hearts drink deeply of the streams which make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High, multitudes will make this a day of especial sin. Your eye will behold trespasses crying up unto the heavens. Merciful Lord, do not let Your righteous wrath to go forth. Spare these captives of Satan. Extend to them longer space for repentance. Above all, touch them with Your converting grace. Magnify the riches of Your loving-kindness. Receive glory—by giving life to the dead, and light to the blind. Thus we present our earnest cries in the all-prevailing name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Lord of all power and might, You that are the author and giver of all good things—help us by Your grace to close this day in close fellowship with You. It was the early desire of our hearts to be wholly in the Spirit throughout this day. The review of its hallowed hours causes us to hide our faces in the dust of shame. Our best work is vile and hateful in our own sight! What, then, must it be in Yours! If our purest service is unclean—how must our open transgressions rise in condemnation! Have mercy, have mercy upon us, for Your dear Son’s sake. Have mercy, have mercy upon us, according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. Have mercy, have mercy upon us, for the great glory of Your great name.
We are heartily sorry for the misdoings of this day. Forgive us all that is past. O Lord, the only begotten Son Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takes away the sin of the world—take away all our guilt. You who sit at the right hand of God the Father, receive our prayer. Great Intercessor, plead in our behalf.
May we retire to our rest this night, O blessed Savior, in the happy assurance that Your blood cleanses from all sin. We know that You will never cast out the people or the prayers of those who flee to You. To You—we now come. We clasp by faith Your precious promises. We cling to Your saving cross. We desire to wrestle with You in the might of faith, not letting You go, until You bless us.
Bless us by revealing to us more and more of the saving merits of Your passion. Bless us by causing all Your goodness to pass before us. Bless us by lifting up the light of Your countenance upon us. Bless us by speaking peace to our contrite hearts. Help us to bless and praise You now, even as we hope to bless and praise throughout the endless age.
Give us more of the joy of Your salvation. We would be fruitful, as trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Enable us to keep ourselves pure from all the corrupting stains of this world. May we appear among men as the Lamb’s bride, clothed with the garments of salvation, covered with the robe of righteousness.
This day, the silver trumpet of Your truth has sweetly sounded in countless assemblies. Oh! that Your Spirit may have worked triumphantly. May no word have been unprofitable, because of lack of faith in the hearer’s heart. May no grain of precious seed have failed to take deep root. Speak but the word, “Let there be light!” and there shall be light. Say, “Let there be sight!” and opening eyes shall see, and awakened souls shall live.
If in any pulpits this day, darkness has been put for light, and noxious poison for the bread of life, we beg You, of Your sovereign grace, to counteract the evil. “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; let those who hate Him flee before Him.”
Dissipate all the dark clouds of prejudice and pride and self-conceit. Cast to the winds, the empty husks of formality. Expose to shame, all the flimsy refuges of self-righteousness. Humble the conceit of every proud heart. Let the desperate wickedness of the natural heart be seen, and felt, and hated, and renounced. Let Jesus Christ alone be exalted in the majesty of His person, the perfection of His work, the beauties of His grace, the triumphs of His power, the unchangeableness of His will, the infinitude of His love, the boundlessness of His salvation.
Thus may Your glorious kingdom come. Thus may all Your enemies be crushed. We mourn that Your dear Son should still be the despised and rejected by men, and that His truth should be slighted and trampled under foot. We mourn that many who profess to value Him as the pearl of great price—should so often be ashamed of His saving name. Deliver us from such awful guilt. As with our hearts we believe unto righteousness, so with our mouths may we openly confess unto salvation.
Gracious Father, now go with us to our bedside worship. Draw nearer to us. May we not leave You, until slumber seals our eyes, and forgetfulness lulls our senses. If we should have sleepless hours, give us tranquillizing thoughts of You. May we feel that You are very near, and may Your faithful love be the pillow of our weary minds. If dreams are ours—may they be hallowed and serene. Thus may we arise refreshed to run our upward race. Let our prayers prevail for Your love’s sake in Jesus Christ. Amen.