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 (Twenty-seventh day):
Grant, O most gracious God, that I may carry through this day the remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus Christ my Lord:
For the love that filled his heart;
For his readiness to suffer for my sake;
For the power of his cross and the promise of the resurrection;
I praise and bless your holy name.
For the light of his life in the history of the world;
For all who have taken up their cross and followed him;
For the noble army of martyrs, and for all who are willing to die to this life so that others may live eternally;
For all suffering freely chosen for noble ends, for pain bravely endured, and for temporary sorrows that have been used for the building up of eternal joys;
I praise and bless your holy name.
O Lord my God, you dwell in pure serenity beyond the reach of mortal pain, yet you look down in love and tenderness upon the sorrows of this earth. Give me grace, I pray, to understand the meanings of the afflictions and disappointments that I am called upon to endure, and grant me the wisdom to learn from them what you have to teach me.
Deliver me from all fretfulness.
Give me a stout heart to bear my burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all my burdens upon you.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
EVENING PRAYER (Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth day)
O Perfect Light, how can I fold these guilty hands before you? How can I pray to you with lips that have spoken false and rude words?
I confess to you, O Lord;
A heart hardened with vindictive feelings;
An unruly tongue;
A fretful disposition;
An unwillingness to bear the burdens of others;
An undue willingness to let others bear my burdens;
High professions but low attainments;
Fine words hiding shabby thoughts;
A friendly face masking a cold heart;
Many neglected opportunities and many uncultivated talents;
Much love and beauty unappreciated and many blessings unacknowledged.
Forgive me, Lord.
I give you thanks that in the Gospel of Jesus Christ you have given me grace, for I have no other reason to plead for mercy. Let me now find peace of heart by fleeing from myself and taking refuge in Jesus. Let my despair over my miserable sins give way to the joy found in your goodness. So let me lie down tonight thinking not of my own self and my own affairs, or of my own hopes and fears, or even of my own sins in your sight; but only of how I might serve you.
Show your lovingkindness tonight, O Lord, to all who stand in need of your help. Be with the weak to make them strong and with the strong to make them gentle. Cheer the lonely with your company and the distracted with your solitude. Prosper your Church in the fulfillment of her mighty task, and grant your blessing to all who have toiled this day in Christ’s name. Amen.
II Corinthians 5:18a…19a…20b — All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ… God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them... We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
I Peter 5:6-7 — Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Luke 9:23 — (Jesus said), “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”