Psalm 104:22, 23. The sun arises: man goes forth to his work, and to his labor, until the evening.
Heavenly Father, On my bended knees, and with a heart truly thankful for Your great loving-kindness, I now bless You, that You have again opened my eyes to behold the light of day. Accept my sincere gratitude for health of body and peace of mind; for the watchful care that has been exercised over me during the hours of sleep; and for the prospect which is again set before me of running my Christian race during the day that is begun.
How manifold, O Lord, have been Your loving-kindnesses towards me! I bless You that You have been pleased to give me a place among Your intelligent and rational offspring; that You have endowed me with an immortal spirit; and have bid me aspire after all virtue and all praise, with the hope of reaping, if I am faithful to my trust, everlasting happiness in the life which is to come.
I bless You also, that You have cast my lot in a Christian land, and have made me see the brightness of those latter days, which many patriarchs and righteous men saw afar off and were glad. Forbid, O heavenly Father, that I should ever be insensible of so great a blessing, or that, in anything which I may do during this fleeting life, I may walk unworthy of my Christian vocation.
Accept my fervent gratitude for the many mercies by which my early years were distinguished; for the good example which I early enjoyed; for the good instructions by which my mind was formed; for the blessing of an enlightened and Christian education; and for every means in which Your providence has been employed for preparing me for the duties of this life, and for training me up to a meet You in Your heavenly kingdom.
What shall I render to You, O Lord, for all Your mercies? My goodness cannot reach to You; I feel, that, instead of having done my duty, I have wandered from the way of Your commandments, times and ways without number.
I confess my sins with a contrite and humble spirit. Forgive, O my Father, forgive, for Christ’s sake, my manifold iniquities. If my lips have ever spoken that which I knew to be false, purge my conscience from this great sin, and put a right and true heart within me. If I have ever indulged an impure or an unbecoming thought, O wash away my iniquities, and give me that clean and purified spirit, on which only You, who hates all sin, can look without abhorrence. If I have cherished any angry, or revengeful, or uncharitable thought, forgive my wickedness, and soften my heart by the operation of Your good Spirit; and grant, that as You are daily loading me with Your benefits, though I am rebelling against You, I also may be kind and charitable to all men.
In particular, O God, enable me to do my duty faithfully and tenderly, and as becomes a Christian, towards those who are connected with me in the relations of life. Enable me in all things to be an example to them; and, motivated at all times by the spirit of my Redeemer, may I exhibit in my life and conversation an instructive model of the things that are honorable, and lovely, and pure, and of good report.
Grant that I may do my duty in the sphere in which You have placed me, with ability, with zeal, with honesty, and with good intention. Enable me to be sincere and upright in all my transactions, faithful in all my promises and engagements, steadfast to those who have reposed confidence in me, and acting at all times as a person who knows that the eye of God is observing all his ways, and that he will at last call me into judgment.
Help me at all times to remember, that I have voluntarily taken upon myself the name and profession of a Christian; and that having ratified the engagements entered into when I was baptized. I have sworn over the symbols of the body and blood of my Redeemer to be his true disciple, it is my duty to keep his law and his example perpetually in my view.
May that heavenly influence, which has been promised to the faithful, rest upon my heart, and purify all my intentions. May it strengthen me for all duty, and console me under all trials; may it enable me to act at all times as I ought to act; and by its operation may I be gradually prepared in time for the fellowship of the just.
O Father of my spirit, who first breathed into me the breath of life, and by whose merciful care I am daily preserved, leave me not to the temptations either of my own heart or of this evil world, but so surround me with Your everlasting arms, that when I am called to leave this world, in which I am to sojourn for a season, it may be to enter into that better country which all the patriarchs desired and have obtained.
Be, especially, with me through all the labors and trials of this day. If prosperity is to follow me, may I be humble and thankful, always recollecting, that whatever is good or happy in life is from Your hand; and that You, who causes sunshine and gladness to brighten the path of life, can also hide Your countenance, and try sorely the heart of man for his manifold transgressions.
If I am this day to be exposed to sorrows and distresses, O help me to bear them as appointments of Your fatherly wisdom; forbid that I should ever murmur or repine at the dispensations of Your providence; but may it be my sole desire to derive good from all Your chastisements, and to meet equally the prosperous and the adverse events of time, under the belief, that, if I am properly exercised thereby, they may all be made subservient to my final welfare.
And now, O heavenly Father, I commit myself to the protection of Your providence throughout this day. I am not able to guide my own ways; and I feel, that, unless Your everlasting arms are around me, I may fall into sin, and be exposed to misery. But blessed be Your name, that You look with a sleepless eyes upon all the paths of this mortal life, and that You have promised that You will never leave nor forsake those who trust in You. Be it to me, O Lord, according to Your word. Forgive my wandering thoughts and cold affections, even during the act of imploring Your mercy; and grant that my course in the path of duty may be like that of the shining light, which shines more and more to the perfect day. I go forth in Your strength. O cover me with the shield of Your favor, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Book: The Morning and Evening Sacrifice or Prayers for Private Persons and Families (9th Edition)
Published by: Oliver & Boyd, Tweeddale Court; and Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., London 1837
Revised & Edited by: Karrol 2014