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 (Nineteenth day)
I give you thanks, most gracious God, that again you have brought light out of darkness and caused the morning to appear. And now, as you send me forth to the duties and doings of another day, I pray that you go with me through all the sunlit hours. Protect me from every evil way, so that when evening comes I need not hide my head in shame.
You call me to be your servant; I pray that I may be ready to obey your commandments. Give me the spirit to keep myself in continual training for the punctual fulfillment of your will.
Let me keep the edges of my mind keen;
Let me keep my thinking straight and true;
Let me keep my passions in control;
Let me keep my will active;
Let me keep my body fit and healthy.
O Lord, I pray your blessing upon all who truly desire to serve you. Help them to be diligent and faithful in their various callings, bearing their due share of the world’s burden, and going about their daily tasks in all simplicity and uprightness of heart.
For all who tend flocks or till the soil;
For all who work in factories or in mines;
For all who buy and sell in the marketplace;
For all who labor at their desks with pen and paper;
For all who tend to home and family;
Dear Lord, I pray.
In your great mercy, save us all from the temptations that beset us, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
EVENING PRAYER (Eighteenth day)
Heavenly Father, whose mercy ever awaits those who return to you in true lowliness and contrition of heart, hear now this prayer of one who needs your help. Bravely did I set out this morning upon the life of a new day; now I lie down ashamed and burdened with memories of things undone that ought to have been done, and things done that ought not to have been done. Bring to me afresh, O God, your healing and cleansing power, so that again I may lay hold of the salvation which you have offered to me through Jesus Christ, my Lord.
For my deceitful heart and crooked thoughts;
For harsh words spoken deliberately and thoughtless words spoken hastily:
For envious and prying eyes;
For ears that rejoice in iniquity and rejoice not in the truth;
For greedy hands;
For wandering and loitering feet;
For haughty looks;
Have mercy upon me, O God.
Almighty God, in asking your forgiveness I cannot claim a right to be forgiven, but only cast myself upon your unbounded love and grace.
I can plead no merit, nor blame the persuasions of others who led me astray;
I can plead no extenuating circumstances;
I cannot plead the frailty of my nature;
I cannot plead the force of the temptations I encountered;
I can only ask, Father, that you forgive me for the sake of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
I John 1:8-9 — If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 7:15 — I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Romans 7:24-25 — 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!