From 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 (ninth day)
Here am I, O God, of little power and frail flesh, yet lifting up heart and voice to Thee before whom all created things are as dust and a vapor. Thou art hidden behind the curtain of what we can see, incomprehensible in Thy greatness, mysterious in Thine almighty power; yet here I speak with Thee, personally and confidently as child to parent, as friend to friend. If I could not thus speak to Thee, then I would indeed be without hope in this world. For it is little that I have power to do or to determine. Not of my own will am I here, not of my own will shall I soon pass away. Of all that shall come to me this day, very little will be such as I have chosen for myself. It is Thou, O hidden One, who dost appoint my lot and determine the bounds of my habitation. It is Thou who hast put power in my hand to do one work and have withheld the skill to do another. It is Thou who keeps in Thy grasp the threads of this day’s life and who alone knows what lies before me to do or to suffer. But because Thou art my Father, I am not afraid. Because it is Thine own Spirit that stirs within my spirit’s inmost room, I know that all is well. What I desire for myself I cannot attain, but what Thou desires in me Thou can attain for me. I fail to do the good that I want to do, but the good that Thou wills in me, that Thou can give me power to do.
Dear Father, take this day’s life into Thine own keeping. Control all my thoughts and feelings. Direct all my energies. Instruct my mind. Sustain my will. Take my hands and make them skillful to serve Thee. Take my feet and make them swift to do Thy bidding. Take my eyes and keep them fixed upon Thee. Take my mouth and make it eloquent in testimony to Thy love. Make this day a day of obedience, a day of spiritual joy and peace. Make this day’s work a little part of the work of the Kingdom of my Lord Christ, in whose name these my prayers are said. Amen.
EVENING PRAYER (eighth day)
O God, the Father of all people, I bring before Thee the burden of the world’s life. I join myself to the great scattered company of those who, in every corner of every land, are now crying out to Thee in their need. Hear us, O God, and look in pity upon our many needs, since Thou alone art able to satisfy all our desires. Especially do I commend to Thy holy keeping:
All who tonight are far from home and friends;
All who tonight must lie down hungry or cold;
All who suffer pain;
All who are kept awake by anxiety or suspense;
All who are facing danger;
All who must toil or keep watch while others sleep.
Give to them all, I pray, such a sense of Thy presence with them as may turn their loneliness into comfort and their trouble into peace.
O most loving God, who in the Person of Thy Son Jesus Christ manifested Thy love to us by relieving all manner of suffering and healing all manner of disease, grant Thy blessing, I pray, to all who in any corner of the world are serving in Christ’s name:
All ministers of the gospel of Christ;
All who bring food to the hungry and provide shelter for the homeless;
All missionary workers abroad;
All doctors and nurses who faithfully tend the sick.
Accomplish though them Thy great purpose of goodwill to men, and grant them in their own hearts the joy of Christ’s most real presence.
And to me also, as I lie down, grant the joy of a life surrendered to Christ’s service and the peace of sin forgiven through the power of His Cross. Amen.
Philippians 2:12-13 — Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed… continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Romans 7:15, 19, 24-5 — I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do… For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
I Timothy 2:1-5 — I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.