1319) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb13)

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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  (Second day):

O God, my Creator and Redeemer, I am not able to go forth today except that you accompany me with your blessing.  Let not the freshness of the morning, or the vigor of good health, or the prosperity of my undertakings, deceive me into a false reliance upon my own strength.  All these good gifts have come to me from you.  They were yours to give and they are yours also to take away.  They are not mine to keep; I do but hold them in trust; and only in continued dependence upon you, the Giver, can they be worthily enjoyed.

Let me then put back into your hand all that you have given me, rededicating to your service all the powers of my mind and body, all my worldly goods, and all my influence with others.  All these, O Lord, are yours to use as you will.  Speak your words through me today, guide my thoughts, and work in all my deeds.  It is your gracious will to make use even of such small and weak humans as myself, so let my life be the channel through which some little portion of your divine love and pity may reach the lives of those that are nearest to my own.

I remember before you, O God, my family and all my friends and neighbors, those with whom I work, and especially the poor in our midst, asking that you would give me the grace to serve them in your name.

O blessed Jesus, who used your own most precious life for the redemption of your human family, giving no thought to ease or pleasure or worldly enrichment, but filling all your hours and days with deeds of self-denying love; give me grace to follow you in such a life of service to others.  To your name be all glory and praise, now and forever.  Amen.

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EVENING PRAYER  (Twenty-second and Twenty-seventh day):

Now, O Lord, when the day’s work is done, I turn once more to you.  From you all comes, in you all lives, and in you all ends.  In the morning I set out with your blessing, all day you upheld me with your grace, and now I pray that you would grant me rest and peace.  I cast all my cares on you, and leave to you the results of my labor.  Prosper, I pray, all that I have done this day according to your will, and forgive all that I have done wrong.  

Grant me, O Lord, a clearer vision of your truth, a greater faith in your power, and a more confident assurance of your love:

When the way seems dark before me, give me grace to walk trustingly;

When much is obscure to me, let me be all the more faithful to the little that I can clearly see;

When the distant scene is clouded, let me be glad that at least I can see the next step;

While there is much that is hidden from my eyes, let me still hold fast to those things you have clearly commanded;

When insight falters, let obedience stand firm;

And what I lack in faith, let me fulfill in love.

O infinite God, who is beyond all understanding, I thank you that you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be my light in a dark world.  And if I still cannot find you, then let me search my heart and be aware not only of your obscurity, but also of my willful blindness; and know that you have promised that you will never leave me, but that I often flee from you.  Let me confess my sins before your and seek your pardon in Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen.

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James 1:17  —  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Psalm 145:18  —  The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Psalm 145:14  —  The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

Deuteronomy 31:16  —  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

John 9:5b  —  (Jesus said), “I am the light of the world.”

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