1277) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb7)

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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).

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MORNING PRAYER  (Twelfth day)

O Eternal God, though I cannot see you with my eyes or touch you with my hands, yet grant me this day a clear conviction of your reality and power.  Let me not go forth to my work believing only in the world of sense and time, but give me grace to understand that the world I cannot see or touch is the most real world of all.  My life today will be lived in time, but eternal issues will be of concern in all I say and do.  The needs of my body will appear to be most compelling, but it is for the needs of my soul that I must care most.  My business will be with things material, but behind them let me be aware of things spiritual.  Let me keep steadily in mind that the things that matter are not money or possessions, not houses or lands, not bodily comfort or pleasure; but truth and honor and meekness and helpfulness and a pure love of you, my Lord.

For the power you have given me to lay hold of things unseen;

For the strong sense I have that this is not my home;

For my restless heart which nothing on this earth can satisfy;

I give you thanks, O God.

For the presence in my soul of your Holy Spirit;

For all human love and goodness that speak to me of you;

For the fullness of your glory poured out in Jesus Christ;

I give you thanks, O God.

I, a pilgrim of eternity, stand before you, O eternal One.  Let me not seek to deaden or destroy the desire for you that disturbs my heart.  Let me rather yield myself to its constraint and go where it leads me.  Make me wise to see all things today under the form of eternity, and make me brave to face all the changes in my life which such a vision may entail; though the grace of Christ my Savior.  Amen.

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EVENING PRAYER  (First day)

O God of all eternity, I turn my thoughts to you as the hours of darkness and of sleep begin.  I rejoice to know that all night I shall be under your unsleeping eye.  Unto your care, O Father, I now commend my body and my soul.  All day you have watched over me, and your companionship has given me peace.  Let me not go through any part of this night without your continued presence.

Give me sound and refreshing sleep.

Give me safety from all perils.

Give me in my sleep freedom from restless dreams.

Give me control of my thoughts, if I should lie awake.

Give me wisdom to remember that the night was made for sleeping, and not for the harboring of anxious or fretful or shameful thoughts.

Give me grace, if I must lie awake and think at all, to think about you.

To your care also, O Father, I would commend my family and friends, asking you to keep them safe in soul and body, and to be present in their hearts tonight as a Spirit of joy and restfulness.  In particular, I pray for  ___________ and ___________ and ___________.  I pray also for the wider circle of all my associates, my fellow workers, my fellow townspeople, and all strangers within our gates; and for all people, to me foreign and unknown, but dear to you; through Jesus Christ, the Lord of all.  Amen.

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PSALM 63:1, 3-8:

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water…

Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied… (and I) will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help..., I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

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