From my favorite book of prayers, A Diary of Private Prayer, 1949, by John Baillie, Church of Scotland pastor and theologian, (1886-1960); containing a morning and evening prayer for thirty-one days (adapted).
MORNING PRAYER (Day Seven)
O Lord and Maker of all things, from whose creative power the first light came forth, who looked upon the world’s first morning and saw that it was good, I praise Thee for this light that now streams through my windows to rouse me to the life of another day.
I praise Thee for the life that stirs within me:
I praise Thee for the bright and beautiful world into which I go:
I praise Thee for earth and sea and sky, for scudding cloud and singing bird:
I praise Thee for the work Thou hast given me to do: I praise Thee for all that Thou hast given me to fill my leisure hours:
I praise Thee for my friends:
I praise Thee for music and books and good company and all pure pleasures.
I pray Thee, Lord, to give me a tender heart today towards all those to whom the morning light brings less joy than it brings to me:
Those in whom the pulse of life grows weak:
Those who must lie abed through all the sunny hours: The blind, who are shut off from the light of day; The overworked, who have no joy of leisure:
The unemployed, who have no joy of labor:
The bereaved, whose hearts and homes are desolate:
And grant Thy mercy on them all.
O Light that never fades, as the light of day now streams through these windows and floods this room, so let me open to Thee the windows of my heart, so that all my life may be filled by the radiance of Thy presence. Let there be nothing within me to darken the brightness of the day. Let the Spirit of Him whose life was the light of men rule within my heart till eventide. Amen.
EVENING PRAYER (Day Seven)
O eternal Being who lives in everlasting light; now, as the world’s light fails, I seek the brightness of Thy presence.
Thou knowest no weariness; now, as my limbs grow heavy and my spirit begins to flag, I commit my soul to Thee.
Thou slumberest never; now, as I lie down to sleep, I cast myself upon Thy care.
Thou keepest watch eternally; now, when I lie helpless, I rely upon Thy love.
Before I sleep, O God, I would review this day’s doings in the light of Thine eternity.
I remember with bitterness the duties I have shirked:
I remember with sorrow the hard words I have spoken:
I remember with shame the unworthy thoughts I have harbored.
Use these memories, O God, to bring me to repentance, and then forever blot out my sins.
I remember with gladness the beauties of the world today:
I remember with sweetness the deeds of kindness I have today seen done by others:
I remember with thankfulness the work Thou hast today enabled me to do and the truth Thou best enabled me to learn.
Use these memories, O God, to humble me, and let them live for ever in my soul.
Before I sleep, I would for a moment rejoice in the loves and friendships with which Thou hast blessed my life. I rejoice in the dear memory of ____ and ____ and of knowing that, though they have passed from this earth, they have not passed beyond Thy love and care. I rejoice in my continued fellowship with ____ and ____ whom I now entrust to Thy keeping. And for all who this night have not where to lay their heads, or who, though lying down, cannot sleep for pain or for anxiety, I crave Thy pity in the name of our Lord Christ. Amen.
Luke 5:16 — Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Mark 1:35 — Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Matthew 14:23 — After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone.