1305) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb11)

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  (Fifteenth day)

O Eternal God, who is Lord and King for all time and over all creation, I seek to understand what it means to be your child.  Here I stand, weak and mortal, amid the immensities of nature; but you have made me in your own likeness and you have breathed into me the breath of your own life.  Within this poor body you have set a spirit that is akin to your own Spirit.  Within this corruptible nature you have planted incorruption, and within this mortal body you have planted the hope of immortality.  So from this little room and in these few minutes I can lift up my mind beyond all time and space to you, the uncreated One, until the light of your countenance fills my life.

Let me keep in mind that my mortal body is but the servant of my immortal soul;

Let me keep in mind how uncertain is my hold upon my bodily life;

Let me remember that here on earth I have no continuing city, but only a place of sojourn and a time of testing and of training;

Let me be in this world but not of it;

Let me be as having nothing yet possessing all things;

Let me understand the vanity of the temporal and the glory of the eternal;

Let my world be centered not in myself but in you.

Almighty God, who raised from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ and set Him at your right hand in glory everlasting, I thank you for this hope of immortality with which through many ages you have cheered and enlightened the souls of your people.  Amen.

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EVENING PRAYER  (Thirteenth day)

O heavenly Father, give me a heart like the heart of Jesus Christ, a heart more ready to serve than to be served, a heart moved by compassion towards the weak and the oppressed, a heart set upon the coming of your kingdom.

I would pray tonight, O God, for all those sorts and conditions of people to whom Jesus Christ would give special thought and care:

For those lacking food or drink or clothing;

For the sick and all who are wasted by disease:

For the blind and the deaf;

For the maimed and lame;

For prisoners;

For those oppressed by any injustice;

For the lost sheep of our human society;

For the lonely;

For the worried and anxious;

For those who are living faithful lives in obscurity;

For those who are fighting bravely in unpopular causes;

For all who are laboring diligently in your vineyard.

Grant, O Father, that the many blessings  you have bestowed upon me may not make me less sensitive to the needs of others less privileged, but rather more incline me to lay their burdens upon my own heart.  And if any adversity should befall myself, then let me not brood upon my own sorrows, as if I alone in the world were suffering, but rather let me busy myself in the compassionate service of all who need my help.  Thus let the power of my Lord Christ be strong within me and His peace invade my spirit.  Amen.

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I Timothy 6:6-8  —  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Hebrews 13:14  —  For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

I Timothy 2:1  —  I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers,intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people.

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