1312) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb12)

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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  (Twenty-first day)

O Holy Spirit of God, come into this soul of mine and abide within it.  Inspire all my thoughts.  Fill all my imaginations.  Suggest all my decisions.  Dwell within my will and order all my doings.  Be with me in my silence and in my speech, in my haste and in my leisure, in company and in solitude, in the freshness of the morning and in the weariness of the evening; and give me grace at all times to rejoice in your companionship.

Accompany me today, O Spirit invisible, in all my goings, but stay with me also when I am in my own home and among my kindred.  Forbid that I should fail to show to those nearest to me the consideration and understanding that I show to others with whom I have to do.  Forbid that I should refuse to my own household the courtesy and politeness which I think proper to show to strangers.  Let the love that you command I have for my neighbor begin at home.

Leave me not, O gracious Presence, in such hours as I may today devote to the reading of books or of newspapers.  Guide my mind to choose the right books and, having chosen them, to read them in the right way.  When I read for profit, grant that all I read may lead me nearer to you.  When I read for recreation, grant that what I read may not lead me away from Thee.  Let all my reading so refresh my mind that I may the more eagerly seek after whatsoever things are pure and fair and true.

And let me have a special sense of your presence, O God, in those times that I devote to prayer and worship.

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge…  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices and my body also will rest secure…  You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, and with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:1,9, 11).   Amen.

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EVENING PRAYER  (Second day)

O Father in heaven, who created me to serve and to follow you, with sorrow and contrition of heart I acknowledge before you the faults and failures of the day that is now past.  For too long, O Father, have I tried your patience; too often have I betrayed the sacred trust you have given me to keep.  Yet you are still willing that I should come to you in lowliness of heart, as now I do, asking you again to drown my transgressions in the sea of your infinite love.

O Lord forgive:

My failure to be true even to my own accepted standards;

My self-deception in the face of temptation;

My choosing of the worse when I know the better;

My failure to apply to myself the standards of conduct I demand of others;

My blindness to the suffering of others and my slowness to be taught by my own;

My complacence towards wrongs that do not touch my own life and my over-sensitiveness to those that do;

My slowness to see the good in others and to see the evil in myself;

My hardness of heart towards my neighbors’ faults and my readiness to make allowance for my own;

My unwillingness to believe that Thou hast called me to a small work and my brother or sister to a great one;

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy spirit (Psalm 51:10-12).  Amen.