Almighty and eternal God, maker of all things, judge of all—Your covenant, that day and night shall not fail, abides unbroken. May we be thus reminded that Your better covenant of eternal love in Jesus Christ is unchangeableness and truth. In this glad confidence we come as a family this morning to commit ourselves to Your faithful care. We have no power of ourselves to help ourselves. There is no safety for us—but under the shelter of Your protecting wings. Spread their covert around us—so no evil can approach to hurt.
We shall be exposed this day to Satan’s malice and attacks—may You by Your outstretched arm repel him. He will desire to have us, that he may sift us as wheat. Hear the prayer of Jesus in our behalf—that our faith fail not. Upheld by You—may we strengthen others.
We confess the treachery of our sin-sick hearts. They are ready to dally with our many foes—and are quick to give admittance. May You be pleased to bar fast the portals, and may Your blessed Spirit fortify their every inlet.
Our feet are set in slippery places. Hold up our goings in the everlasting way. May no fall, soil the white robes of our purity. May no backslidings cause dishonor to Your name. This day will bring us nearer to our heavenly home. May each moment witness our ripening for it.
We now go forth, ignorant of the circumstances which may demand attention. Grant that in every transaction our holy consistency may shine before men, and lead them to glorify our Father who is in heaven. May we be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves. May our peace flow as a river, and our righteousness as the waves of the sea. Let that mind be in us—which was in Christ Jesus. Preserve us holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. Especially solemnize our hearts. May we live circumspectly, abounding in holy meditation. Give us the skill to convert each circumstance into prayer. Thus may we be shielded against the surprise of unexpected evil.
We know not who may have interchange of thought with us. Grant that those who address us, may be channels of good. May we too minister good to them. Set a guard upon our mouths. Keep the door of our lips. May we bear in mind that eternal interests hang on life’s little moments. Let our speech be always with grace. May others have cause to rejoice that they have been brought into contact with us. If we should have interaction with any who are thoughtless and ungodly, so bless our converse that it may win them to the paths of peace. Grant that they may see in us—that religion is a real treasure, enriching with most sacred joy, and ennobling with true nobility.
Especially make us kind and tenderhearted one towards another, bearing one another’s burdens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ. Let gentleness and love be the halo round our path. Smooth every asperity of temper. May we never forget how easy it is to occasion grief, and to inflict rankling vexation. May we rather strive to bind up every wound, to pour oil into every bleeding heart, and to cause the sons of sorrow to change their mourning into gladness.
Thus may the world be the happier and the better, because we live. May our communications sow the good seed of grace all around. Send down the dew of Your blessing and the rays of Your Spirit, that every seed may yield fruit to Your glory. May our tents be always pitched beside the Redeemer’s cross. Fix our loving gaze intently on His death and passion. Knowing the iniquity which cleaves to our best efforts and our holiest walk—may we be ever plunging into the fountain which is opened in His side. There may we wash and be clean. May our constant prayer be, “Purge us with hyssop—and we shall be clean! Wash us—and we shall be whiter than snow!” Help and defend us, until from praying ground—we pass to the realms of unceasing praise. We thus beseech You for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Blessed Lord God, urged by our need, invited by Your promises, called by Your grace—as a family we enter in spirit into Your immediate presence. We worship You in humble reverence and godly fear. We are filled with awe when we contemplate Your majesty, Your greatness, Your holiness, Your glory. But we take courage, when we remember Your boundless love, Your immeasurable goodness. Each hour of the day now fled, brought tender mercies to our hearts and home. For known deliverances—we bless Your holy name. For unnumbered and unknown benefits—we bring the tribute of our fervent praise.
We feel that every moment records our deep debt in Your book of reckoning. We are all poverty—as well as guilt. We have nothing of our own with which to pay. But we are rich—for Jesus is ours, and we are His. We bring Him in the arms of our faith. We present Him as more than counterpoising all our iniquities. We rejoice in believing that the scales in our behalf weigh down, and that Your justice is more than satisfied.
May we this night and evermore be found in Him, not having our own righteousness, which we utterly abhor—but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of You, O God, by faith.
We humble ourselves for faculties misused, and many opportunities neglected. Grant, we beg You, that no harm may spring up from our unadvised words. Wherever our example has been amiss, may Your grace erase all mischievous impression. Let not any worthless seed, sowed inadvertently by our careless hands—take root, and bring forth bitter fruit. Pardon our vanity, our levity, our lack of watchfulness, our foolish walking, our inconsiderate ways.
May no evil result from fretful temper, unloving walk, or provoking pettishness in us. If by unkindness we have wounded any heart—may You pour in the balm of heavenly consolation. If we have turned coldly from need, and misery, and grief—do not in righteous anger turn from us. If we have withheld relief from poverty and pain, do not withhold Your gracious bounty from us. But by Your Spirit cause our hearts to be an overflowing ocean of tender love and godly compassion.
Give us without measure—that most excellent gift of love which suffers long and is kind, which envies not, which does not boast, which is not puffed up, which does not behave itself rudely, which seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity—but rejoices in the truth; which bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails.
Thus may we be imitators of You, our ever-loving God, whose name is Love. Thus may we shine as disciples of our adored Lord, who has left us His especial commandment, that we love one another. May the robe of love be our clothing, the reign of love be established in our hearts, and the law of love constrain our words and works.
Good Lord, many of Your servants are laboring to promote Your glory. Bless every word which has fallen from godly lips. Sanctify every visit to the cells of misery, and huts of poverty, and chambers of sickness, and abodes of suffering. Give power to those who are taking counsel to devise more extended schemes of benevolence. Fructify all efforts to send Your glorious gospel to the dark, the ignorant, the perishing, at home and abroad. Visit with mercy the heathen, the Jew, the infidel, the heretic, the formalist, and the idolater. If You but speak the word—what wondrous conversions will ensue! Earth waits for Your blessing. Bless it, O heavenly Father. Bless it, O gracious Jesus. Bless it, O Holy Spirit. Amen.