1256) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb4)

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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).

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MORNING PRAYER  (Thirty-first Day)

O Lord my King!  Reverently would I greet Thee at the beginning of another day!  All praise and love and loyalty be unto Thee, O Lord, most high.

Forbid, O Lord God, that my thoughts today should be wholly occupied with this world’s passing show.  Thou hast given me the power to lift my mind to the contemplation of things unseen and eternal, so forbid that I should remain content with the things of sense and time.  Grant, rather, that each day may do something to strengthen my hold upon the unseen world, to increase my sense of its reality, and to attach my heart to its holy and eternal interests.  Then, as the end of my earthly life draws ever nearer, I may not grow to be a part of these fleeting earthly surroundings, but may rather yearn more and more for the life of the world to come.

O Thou who sees and knows all things, give me grace to see and know Thee, that in knowing Thee I may know myself even as I am most perfectly known of Thee, and in seeing Thee may see myself as I verily am before Thee.  Give me today some clear vision of my life in time as it appears to Thine eternity.  Show me my own smallness and Thine infinite greatness.  Show me my own sin and Thy perfect righteousness.  Show me my own lovelessness and Thine exceeding love.  Yet in Thy mercy show me also how, small as I am, I can take refuge in Thy greatness; how, sinful as I am, I may lean upon Thy righteousness; and how, loveless as I am, I may hide myself in Thy forgiving love.  Cause my thoughts to dwell much today on the life and death of Jesus Christ my Lord, so that I may see all things in the light of the redemption which Thou hast granted to me in His name.  Amen.

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EVENING PRAYER  (Thirty-first Day)

O Thou who art the Lord of the night as of the day, in this hour of darkness I submit my will to Thine.

From the stirrings of self-will within my heart:

From cowardly avoidance of necessary duty:

From rebellious shrinking from necessary suffering:

From discontentment with my lot in life:

From jealousy of those whose lot is easier:

From thinking lightly of the one talent Thou hast given me, because Thou hast not given me five or ten:

From uncreaturely pride:

From undisciplined thought:

From unwillingness to learn and unreadiness to serve:

O God, set me free.

O God my Father, who art often closest to me when I am farthest from Thee, and who art near at hand even when I feel that Thou hast forsaken me, mercifully grant that the defeat of my self-will may be the triumph in me of Thine eternal purpose.

May I grow more sure of Thy reality and power:

May I attain a clearer mind as to the meaning of my life on earth:

May I strengthen my hold upon life eternal:

May I look more and more to things unseen:

May my desires grow less unruly and my imaginations more pure:

May my love for others grow deeper and more tender, and may I be more willing to take their burdens upon myself.

To thy care, O God, I commend my soul and the souls of all whom I love and who love me; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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I Chronicles 23:29-31  —  They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord.  They were to do the same in the evening.

Psalm 55:16-17  —  As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me.  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

John 20:19-20  —  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.  The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

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