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 (Twenty-fourth day)
O God, ever blessed, who has given me the night for rest and the day for labor and service, grant that the refreshing sleep of the night now past may be turned to Thy greater glory in the day now before me. Let there be no slothfulness within me, and send me to diligent action and willing obedience.
Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.
Let me use disappointment as an opportunity for patience;
Let me use each blessing as an opportunity for gratitude;
Let me use uncertainty as an opportunity for perseverance;
Let me use danger as an opportunity for courage;
Let me use reproach as an opportunity for long-suffering;
Let me use praise as an opportunity for humility;
Let me use pleasures as opportunities for temperance;
Let me use pains as opportunities for endurance.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who for the joy set before Thee endured the Cross, despising its shame; let me consider Thee who endured such hostility against Thyself, lest I be wearied and faint in my own afflictions.
Holy God, I would remember before Thee all my friends and all those of my family, especially ______ and ______, asking that in Thy great love Thou would keep them also free from sin, controlling all their deeds this day in accordance with Thy most perfect will. Amen.
EVENING PRAYER (Twenty-sixth day)
Gracious God, I seek Thy presence at the close of another day, imploring Thee to create a little pool of heavenly peace within my heart as I lie down to sleep. Let all the day’s excitements and anxieties now give way to a time of inward recollection, as I wait upon Thee and meditate upon Thy love.
Give me tonight, dear Father, a deeper sense of gratitude to Thee for all Thy mercies. Thy goodness to me has been wonderful. At no moment of the day have I lacked Thy gracious care. At no moment have I been called upon to stand in my own strength alone. When I was too busy with my petty concerns to remember Thee, Thou, with a universe to govern, was not too busy to remember me.
I am bitterly ashamed, O God, that I must always be confessing to Thee my forgetfulness of Thee, the feebleness of my love for Thee, the fitfulness and listlessness of my desire. How many plain commandments of Thine have I this day disobeyed! How many little services of love have I withheld from Thee, O Christ, by withholding them from the least of these Thy brethren with whom I have had contact!
Dear Lord, if at this evening hour I think only of myself and my own condition and my own day’s doings and my day’s record of service, then I can find no peace before I go to sleep, but only bitterness of spirit and miserable despair. Therefore, O Father, let me think rather of Thee and rejoice that Thy love is great enough to blot out all my sins. O Jesus Christ, let me think of Thee, and lean upon Thy heavenly righteousness, taking no pleasure in what I am before Thee but only in what Thou art for me and in my stead. O Holy Spirit, move within my mind and will that as the days go by I may be more and more conformed to the righteousness of Jesus Christ my Lord; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Romans 8:28 — We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Colossians 3:17 — And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Galatians 5:22-23a — The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.