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)


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.


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.

1310) A Prayer for an Unbelieving Husband

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A story told by Tom Housholder, pastor/evangelist in the former American Lutheran Church.  The story took place in the 1950’s in  Housholder’s first congregation.  I heard him tell this story when I was on internship in Sisseton, South Dakota in 1979.


     Elmer lived the life of a hermit in a remote cabin in a valley in the mountains of Idaho.  Elmer had no friends, and no one knew anything about him.  His cabin was far from any main road, so people knew of him only because of his occasional trips into town to buy a few things.  Elmer did not go to church anywhere and never talked to anyone about anything.

     One day Elmer parked his old truck in front of the Lutheran church and went in to talk to Pastor Tom.  The pastor was surprised to see Elmer, and invited him to come into his office.  Elmer introduced himself and said, “Pastor, I would like to be baptized.  Would you do that for me?”

     Without hesitating, Pastor Tom said, “Sure, Elmer.  But can I ask you what made you decided you wanted to be baptized?”

     “Well, pastor,” Elmer said, “it was my wife that got me thinking.”

     “Your wife!” said a surprised Pastor Tom.  “I didn’t know you had a wife.”

     “I don’t anymore,” Elmer said looking down.  “She’s been dead for about sixty years.”

     The pastor shook his head and said, “I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

     “It’s a long story,” Elmer replied, and then went on to tell the pastor the story of his life, a story no one in town had ever heard.

     Elmer was originally from Minnesota.  He got married, and he and his wife moved to North Dakota where they homesteaded a farm.  There, they had a child, and with tears in his eyes Elmer talked about how happy the three of them were.

     One afternoon in their second winter on the farm, Elmer’s wife and baby were visiting at a neighbor’s house.  Early in the evening it started to snow, so Elmer’s wife and child left for home.  On their way, the gentle snow suddenly turned into a blizzard, with the intense prairie winds blowing the heavy snow so hard that the mother could not see where she was going.  They lost their way, and both froze to death that night in the rapidly falling temperature.

     Elmer was devastated by the tragedy.  He could not get over it.  In the long and lonely nights that followed, he came to a decision.  He would never love anyone like that again.  In fact, for the rest of his life he would not even try to get to know anyone.  He did not want to leave himself open to being hurt like that ever again.

     The next Spring Elmer packed up a few belongings and headed farther west.  He bought a small place in this mountain valley, built a cabin on it, and stayed there.  And he kept that promise he made to himself, and never got to know a single person.

     One of the few things Elmer brought along from his home in North Dakota was his wife’s Bible.  It was important to her, and he had fond memories of her reading it every day.  Elmer said he was never interested in religion.  His wife would occasionally bring it up to him, but he paid no attention, and she never forced it.

     Many thousands of times over the last sixty years, Elmer would sit in his rocking chair and hold that Bible in his hands, thinking of his wife and how happy they were together.  He never opened the Bible.  He still was not interested in what it had to say.  Elmer just held that Bible because it reminded him of his wife.

     “Well,” Elmer said as he neared the end of his story, “I have arthritis in my hands now and I have been dropping things.  Last night when I reached over to pick up the Bible, it slipped out of my hands.  It fell open on the floor, and inside I could see a small piece of paper.  I put on my glasses to take a closer look, and I saw it was my wife’s handwriting.  It was a prayer.  It said, ‘Lord, get a hold of Elmer—he doesn’t know you yet.’  That isn’t much, but it was enough to make me want to do something about it.”

     Over the next few weeks Pastor Tom met with Elmer to help him ‘get to know the Lord.’  When baptism day came, everyone in the small congregation gathered around the font to serve as his sponsors.  When the baptism was complete, Elmer, who had never again wanted to get close to anyone, looked up and said to everyone, “Hi, family.”


I Corinthians 7:13-14a…15b-16  —  If a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband…  God has called us to live in peace.  How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?  Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

James 5:16b  —   The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


Lord, get a hold of _______.  He/she doesn’t know you yet.  Amen.

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).


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.


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.


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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1298) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb10)

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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).


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!


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1291) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb9)

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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).


MORNING PRAYER  (Thirtieth day)

Creator God, who rules over the lands and waters of earth, endowing them with forms and colors which no human skill can copy, give me today, I pray, the mind and heart to rejoice in your creation.
Forbid that I should walk through your beautiful world with unseeing eyes:
Forbid that the lure of the market-place should ever entirely steal my heart away from the love of the open acres and the green trees:
Forbid that under the low roof of workshop or office or study I should ever forget your great overarching sky.
Forbid that when all your creatures are greeting the morning with songs and shouts of joy, I alone should wear a dull and sullen face:
Let the energy and vigor, which in your wisdom you have infused into every living thing, also stir within my being, so that I may not be among your creatures as a sluggard and a drone:
And above all give me grace to use these beauties of earth all around me, and this eager stirring of life within me, as means whereby my soul may rise from creature to Creator, and from nature to nature’s God.
O Lord, grant me a kind and gentle heart towards all things that live.  Let me not ruthlessly hurt any of your creatures.  Let me take thought also for the welfare of little children, and of those who are sick, and of the poor; remembering that what I do unto the least of these His brethren I do unto Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen.


Matthew 25:40:

(Jesus said), “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

I Thessalonians 5:10:

He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.


EVENING PRAYER  (Twenty-fifth  day)

Holy God, to whose service I long ago dedicated my soul and life, I grieve and lament before you that I am still so prone to sin and so little inclined to obedience:
So much attached to the pleasures of my senses, so negligent of things spiritual;
So prompt to gratify my body, so slow to nourish my soul;
So greedy for present delight, so indifferent to lasting blessedness;
So fond of idleness, so indisposed for labor;
So soon at play, so late at prayer;
So brisk in the service of self, so slack in the service of others;
So eager to get, so reluctant to give;
So lofty in my professions, so low in my practice;
So full of good intentions, so backward to fulfill them;

So severe with my neighbors, so indulgent with myself;
So eager to find fault, so resentful at being found fault with;
So little able for great tasks, so discontented with small ones;
So weak in adversity, so swollen and self-satisfied in prosperity;
So helpless apart from you, and yet so little willing to be bound to you.
O merciful God, grant me yet again your forgiveness.  Hear my pitiful confession, and in your great mercy remember my sins no more.  Give me faith to rejoice in the righteousness of Christ my Savior so that, resting on His merits rather than on my own, I may more and more become conformed to him in my obedience to you.  All this I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Psalm 4:4, 8:

Tremble and do not sin.
    When you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent…

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

1284) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb8)

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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).


MORNING PRAYER  (Twenty-ninth day)

Almighty and most merciful Father, whose power and love eternally work together for the protection of your children, give me grace this day to put my trust in you.

O Father, I pray—
for faith to believe that you rule the world in truth and righteousness;
for faith to believe that if I seek first your Kingdom and righteousness, you will provide for all my lesser needs;
for faith to take no anxious thought for the morrow, but to believe in the continuance of your past mercies;
for faith to see your loving purposes unfolding in the happenings of this time;
for faith to be calm and brave in the face of such dangers as may meet me in the doing of my duty;
for faith to believe in the power of your love to melt my hard heart and forgive my sins;
for faith to put my trust in love rather than in force, even when others harden their hearts against me;
for faith to believe in your ultimate victory over disease and death and all the powers of darkness;
for faith to profit by such sufferings as you call upon me to endure;
for faith to leave in your hands the welfare of all my dear ones, especially ____, ____, and ____.
O Lord, in whom all my fathers trusted, rid my heart now of all confusion and vain anxieties and paralyzing fears.  Give me a cheerful and buoyant spirit, and peace in doing your will for Christ’s sake.  Amen.


Psalm 25:1  —  In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.

Psalm 13:5  —   I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 84:12  —  Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3  —  You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.


EVENING PRAYER  (Twenty-third day)

O Everlasting God, let the light of eternity now fall upon my passing days; let
the light of your righteousness fall upon my sinful ways; and let the light of your love pierce to the most secret corners of my heart and overcome the darkness of sin within me.

Am I living as my conscience approves?
Am I demanding of others a higher standard of conduct than I demand of myself?
Am I taking a less charitable view of the failings of my neighbors than I am of my own?
Am I standing in public for principles which I do not practice in private?
Let my answer before Thee be truthful, O God.

Do I ever allow bodily appetites to take precedence over spiritual interests?
To which do I give the benefit of the doubt, when my course is not clear?
Do I ever allow the thought of my own gain to take precedence over the interests of the community?
To which do I give the benefit of the doubt, when my course is not clear?
Let my answer before Thee be truthful, O God.

Am I, in my daily life, facing the stress of circumstance with faith and courage?
Am I grateful for my many blessings?
Am I allowing my happiness to be too much dependent on money?  On business success?  Or on the good opinion of others?
Is the help I give to others who are in trouble equal to the help I would hope for, if the same things happened to me?

Let my answer be truthful, O God.  Through Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Psalm 51:10  —  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Amen.

1277) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb7)

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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).


MORNING PRAYER  (Twelfth day)

O Eternal God, though I cannot see you with my eyes or touch you with my hands, yet grant me this day a clear conviction of your reality and power.  Let me not go forth to my work believing only in the world of sense and time, but give me grace to understand that the world I cannot see or touch is the most real world of all.  My life today will be lived in time, but eternal issues will be of concern in all I say and do.  The needs of my body will appear to be most compelling, but it is for the needs of my soul that I must care most.  My business will be with things material, but behind them let me be aware of things spiritual.  Let me keep steadily in mind that the things that matter are not money or possessions, not houses or lands, not bodily comfort or pleasure; but truth and honor and meekness and helpfulness and a pure love of you, my Lord.

For the power you have given me to lay hold of things unseen;

For the strong sense I have that this is not my home;

For my restless heart which nothing on this earth can satisfy;

I give you thanks, O God.

For the presence in my soul of your Holy Spirit;

For all human love and goodness that speak to me of you;

For the fullness of your glory poured out in Jesus Christ;

I give you thanks, O God.

I, a pilgrim of eternity, stand before you, O eternal One.  Let me not seek to deaden or destroy the desire for you that disturbs my heart.  Let me rather yield myself to its constraint and go where it leads me.  Make me wise to see all things today under the form of eternity, and make me brave to face all the changes in my life which such a vision may entail; though the grace of Christ my Savior.  Amen.



O God of all eternity, I turn my thoughts to you as the hours of darkness and of sleep begin.  I rejoice to know that all night I shall be under your unsleeping eye.  Unto your care, O Father, I now commend my body and my soul.  All day you have watched over me, and your companionship has given me peace.  Let me not go through any part of this night without your continued presence.

Give me sound and refreshing sleep.

Give me safety from all perils.

Give me in my sleep freedom from restless dreams.

Give me control of my thoughts, if I should lie awake.

Give me wisdom to remember that the night was made for sleeping, and not for the harboring of anxious or fretful or shameful thoughts.

Give me grace, if I must lie awake and think at all, to think about you.

To your care also, O Father, I would commend my family and friends, asking you to keep them safe in soul and body, and to be present in their hearts tonight as a Spirit of joy and restfulness.  In particular, I pray for  ___________ and ___________ and ___________.  I pray also for the wider circle of all my associates, my fellow workers, my fellow townspeople, and all strangers within our gates; and for all people, to me foreign and unknown, but dear to you; through Jesus Christ, the Lord of all.  Amen.


PSALM 63:1, 3-8:

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water…

Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied… (and I) will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help..., I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

1270) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb6)

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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).


MORNING PRAYER  (Twenty-fourth day)

O God, ever blessed, who has given me the night for rest and the day for labor and service, grant that the refreshing sleep of the night now past may be turned to Thy greater glory in the day now before me.  Let there be no slothfulness within me, and send me to diligent action and willing obedience.

Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.

Let me use disappointment as an opportunity for patience;

Let me use each blessing as an opportunity for gratitude;

Let me use uncertainty as an opportunity for perseverance;

Let me use danger as an opportunity for courage;

Let me use reproach as an opportunity for long-suffering;

Let me use praise as an opportunity for humility;

Let me use pleasures as opportunities for temperance;

Let me use pains as opportunities for endurance.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who for the joy set before Thee endured the Cross, despising its shame; let me consider Thee who endured such hostility against Thyself, lest I be wearied and faint in my own afflictions.

Holy God, I would remember before Thee all my friends and all those of my family, especially ______ and ______, asking that in Thy great love Thou would keep them also free from sin, controlling all their deeds this day in accordance with Thy most perfect will.  Amen.


EVENING PRAYER  (Twenty-sixth day)

Gracious God, I seek Thy presence at the close of another day, imploring Thee to create a little pool of heavenly peace within my heart as I lie down to sleep.  Let all the day’s excitements and anxieties now give way to a time of inward recollection, as I wait upon Thee and meditate upon Thy love.

Give me tonight, dear Father, a deeper sense of gratitude to Thee for all Thy mercies.  Thy goodness to me has been wonderful.  At no moment of the day have I lacked Thy gracious care.  At no moment have I been called upon to stand in my own strength alone.  When I was too busy with my petty concerns to remember Thee, Thou, with a universe to govern, was not too busy to remember me.

I am bitterly ashamed, O God, that I must always be confessing to Thee my forgetfulness of Thee, the feebleness of my love for Thee, the fitfulness and listlessness of my desire.  How many plain commandments of Thine have I this day disobeyed!  How many little services of love have I withheld from Thee, O Christ, by withholding them from the least of these Thy brethren with whom I have had contact!

Dear Lord, if at this evening hour I think only of myself and my own condition and my own day’s doings and my day’s record of service, then I can find no peace before I go to sleep, but only bitterness of spirit and miserable despair.  Therefore, O Father, let me think rather of Thee and rejoice that Thy love is great enough to blot out all my sins.  O Jesus Christ, let me think of Thee, and lean upon Thy heavenly righteousness, taking no pleasure in what I am before Thee but only in what Thou art for me and in my stead.  O Holy Spirit, move within my mind and will that as the days go by I may be more and more conformed to the righteousness of Jesus Christ my Lord; to whom be glory for ever.  Amen.


Romans 8:28  —  We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Colossians 3:17  —  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Galatians 5:22-23a  —  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

1266) Miscellaneous Prayers

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Praying Hands, 1508 by Albrecht Durer  (1471-1528)


O Merciful God, in your presence we confess our sinfulness, our shortcomings, and our offenses against you.  You alone know how often we have sinned in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, and in forgetting your love.  Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have done to displease you.  Forgive our sins, and help us to live in your light and walk in your ways, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Amen.
–Henry van Dyke, in Presbyterian Book of Common Worship, 1906.


I confess, O Righteous God, that I have sinned against Thee in thought, word, and deed.  I have not loved Thee above all else nor my neighbor as myself.  Through my sins I am guilty of more than I understand and contribute to the world’s negligence of Thee.  I beseech Thee, help me to cease my sins. Forgive me, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
–From a Swedish Lutheran Church liturgy


O Almighty God, grant that we may ever be found watching and ready for the coming of Thy Son.  Save us from undue love of the world, that we may wait with patient hope for the day of the Lord, and so abide in him, that when he shall appear we may not be ashamed; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–Methodist hymnal


Lord God, I give you thanks that you have not left me to my sins, but have bruised me with bitter blows, inflicting sorrows, sending distress without and within.  You know all things without exception, and nothing in man’s conscience is hidden from you.  You know what will promote my progress, and how much tribulation will serve to scour off the rust of my sins.  Deal with me according to your good pleasure; I am in your hands.  I commit myself to you to be corrected, for it is better to be punished here than hereafter.  There is no one to console me except you, my Lord God, the heavenly physician of souls, who wounds and heals, who cast down and raises up again.  Your discipline is upon me and shall instruct me.  Make of me a pious and humble follower, so that I may walk in your way.  Amen.  

–Thomas a Kempis  (1380-1471)


Dig out of us, O Lord, the venomous roots of covetousness; or else so repress them with your grace, that we may be contented with your provision of necessaries, and not labor, as we do, with all toil, sleight, guile, wrong, and oppression, to pamper ourselves with vain superfluities.   Amen.

–Edmund Grindal (1519-1583), Bishop of London


Dear God, give us peaceful hearts, and a right courage in our strife against the devil, so that we may not only endure and finally triumph, but also have peace in the midst of the struggle, praising you and giving you thanks without complaining against your divine will.  Let peace rule in our hearts, so that we may never, through impatience, undertake anything against you, our God, or against our fellowman.  Rather, may we remain both inwardly and outwardly quiet and peaceable toward you, our Lord, and toward all people, until the final and eternal peace shall come.  Amen.

–Martin Luther


Lord, grant that while I live I may do what service I am able to do in this frail body.  May I never forget Thy great love for me, and always be ready to lie down in death and bequeath my soul unto Thee.  Let me ever look up to Thee, so that my dying will not seem so terrible; and thus I shall not be unwilling to come to you, even though by so rough a deliverer.  Amen.  

–Anne Bradstreet  (1612-1672), New England Puritan poet


O Lord God of all eternity, you give us the gift of time.  Give us also the wisdom to redeem the time, lest our day of grace be lost; for our Lord Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

–Christina Rossetti  (1830-1894), English poet


Lord Jesus, when our brief time on earth is ended, take us unto Thee, for we are Thine and Thou art ours, and we long to be with Thee.  Here on earth let our small service be a part of Thy great work in this world; and then, at the last, receive us into Thy Kingdom.  Amen.

–Philip Melancthon  (1497-1560), German reformer


Have mercy on me, O Lord, as I muddle my way through this sad world, on my way to you and your perfect home.  I make myself miserable and my life difficult by my many sins.  We have so much trouble getting along, as we are always sinning and being sinned against.  Give me the grace to forgive others as I have been forgiven by you, and may they receive the grace to forgive me as they have been forgiven by you.  I pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for the forgiveness of all our sins.  Amen.

–Source lost


Lamentations 3:40-42a  —  Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.  Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say, “We have sinned.”

Lamentations 3:55-57  —  I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit.  You heard my plea… (and) you came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

Psalm 103:1-4  —  Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.

1263) Morning and Evening Prayer (jb5)

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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).


MORNING PRAYER  (ninth day)

Here am I, O God, of little power and frail flesh, yet lifting up heart and voice to Thee before whom all created things are as dust and a vapor.  Thou art hidden behind the curtain of what we can see, incomprehensible in Thy greatness, mysterious in Thine almighty power; yet here I speak with Thee, personally and confidently as child to parent, as friend to friend.  If I could not thus speak to Thee, then I would indeed be without hope in this world.  For it is little that I have power to do or to determine.  Not of my own will am I here, not of my own will shall I soon pass away.  Of all that shall come to me this day, very little will be such as I have chosen for myself.  It is Thou, O hidden One, who dost appoint my lot and determine the bounds of my habitation.  It is Thou who hast put power in my hand to do one work and have withheld the skill to do another.  It is Thou who keeps in Thy grasp the threads of this day’s life and who alone knows what lies before me to do or to suffer.  But because Thou art my Father, I am not afraid.  Because it is Thine own Spirit that stirs within my spirit’s inmost room, I know that all is well.  What I desire for myself I cannot attain, but what Thou desires in me Thou can attain for me.  I fail to do the good that I want to do, but the good that Thou wills in me, that Thou can give me power to do.

Dear Father, take this day’s life into Thine own keeping.  Control all my thoughts and feelings.  Direct all my energies.  Instruct my mind.  Sustain my will.  Take my hands and make them skillful to serve Thee.  Take my feet and make them swift to do Thy bidding.  Take my eyes and keep them fixed upon Thee.  Take my mouth and make it eloquent in testimony to Thy love.  Make this day a day of obedience, a day of spiritual joy and peace.  Make this day’s work a little part of the work of the Kingdom of my Lord Christ, in whose name these my prayers are said.  Amen.


EVENING PRAYER  (eighth day)

     O God, the Father of all people, I bring before Thee the burden of the world’s life.  I join myself to the great scattered company of those who, in every corner of every land, are now crying out to Thee in their need.  Hear us, O God, and look in pity upon our many needs, since Thou alone art able to satisfy all our desires.  Especially do I commend to Thy holy keeping:

All who tonight are far from home and friends;

All who tonight must lie down hungry or cold;

All who suffer pain;

All who are kept awake by anxiety or suspense;

All who are facing danger;

All who must toil or keep watch while others sleep.

Give to them all, I pray, such a sense of Thy presence with them as may turn their loneliness into comfort and their trouble into peace.

O most loving God, who in the Person of Thy Son Jesus Christ manifested Thy love to us by relieving all manner of suffering and healing all manner of disease, grant Thy blessing, I pray, to all who in any corner of the world are serving in Christ’s name:

All ministers of the gospel of Christ;

All who bring food to the hungry and provide shelter for the homeless;

All missionary workers abroad;

All doctors and nurses who faithfully tend the sick.  

Accomplish though them Thy great purpose of goodwill to men, and grant them in their own hearts the joy of Christ’s most real presence.
And to me also, as I lie down, grant the joy of a life surrendered to Christ’s service and the peace of sin forgiven through the power of His Cross.  Amen.


Philippians 2:12-13  —  Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed… continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Romans 7:15, 19, 24-5  —  I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do…  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing…  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!

I Timothy 2:1-5  —  I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.


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