Psalm cxxx. 6. My soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning; I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
I thank You, O heavenly Father, that You have been pleased to awaken me to the light and happiness of another day. It is in You that I live, and move, and have my being; and even during the unconscious hours of sleep, Your watchful eye is ever upon me, and Your parental care is exerted for my welfare.
In the beginning You didst lay the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. When the earth was without form and void, and darkness rested upon the face of the deep, Your Spirit moved upon the waters, and this beautiful dwelling-place of man arose under Your creating influence. You also said, Let there be light, and there was light. You divided the dry land from the waters, and replenished the earth with all living things. You didst set the sun in heaven to enlighten the day, and the moon and stars to beautify the night; and, at last, You made man in Your own image, and gave him dominion over all Your works. You made him but a little lower than the angels, and crowned him with glory and with honour.
Your supporting and protecting care still continues to be exerted in behalf of Your works; and this morning, in which the shades of night have again departed before the returning light, is a fresh instance of that continued love with which You regarded us, and called me to join all Your obedient children in uttering Your praise, and renewing my vow of obedience to Your service.
O grant, most merciful Father, that the gratitude which I thus express with my lips may arise from the bottom of my heart; and, as all my comforts proceed from You, may I be enabled to transform them all into a sacrifice of thankfulness to Your loving-kindness, by receiving them as from Your hand, and viewing them as obligations to be wholly devoted to Your will.
Help me, O my God, to fulfil well the duty assigned to me. To every man that lives You have given his own talent and his own sphere, and with these gifts You have also joined an obligation to employ them for Your glory and the good of Your creatures.
Enable me, therefore, at all times to remember, that though You have indeed apparently withdrawn thyself from the view of man, this apparent removal is only to try the spirit by which he is actuated; for You are about our bed and about our path, and spys out all our ways: there is not even a thought in my heart that is not perfectly known unto You; and for all my actions and words, and even for my most secret thoughts, You wilt at last call me into judgment.
Unto You, therefore, O Lord, who alone can assist and support me, I now look up for Your directing grace during the duties of this day. Enable me to fulfil my duties in the sphere assigned me with ability,—with zeal,—with good intention,— with kind affection towards all who are connected with me;—and, if it be Your will, may I also be honored to be successful in that which You have committed to my charge. May honour and high feelings of duty guide all my conduct; and, acting at all times under the belief that You see me, and that as obedient a spirit may be shown in that which is little as in that which is great, may I think nothing insignificant by which I may express my devotion to Your will, or in any degree be useful to my brethren of mankind.
You also, O Lord, have seen fit, in Your perfect wisdom, to try the heart of man with many temptations; and during this, as during every other day, I must expect to be solicited by my own evil inclinations, by the bad example of the world, or by the unfavorable circumstances of my situation, to do those things which are contrary to Your perfect and pure law.
O lead me not into any temptation with which my imperfect nature is not able to contend. Forbid, O my God, that any thing should occur which may tempt me to violate that kindness, or justice, or purity, or temperance, which Your law and my own happiness require me to observe. I feel, O my Father, that if left unaided by Your strength, I must wander from the good way; and my own experience, and the example of others, convince me, that I am only secure, by putting myself, at all moments, under the protection of Your everlasting arms. Be You ever unto me as a shield and a defense, and so guide my path through life, that in all things I may honour my high vocation, and enjoy that peace which You have granted only to those who do that which is right.
It is also the purpose of Your wise Providence, that the heart of man shall be tried by manifold sorrows; and this day I also must expect to feel my own share of the heaviness of that burden by which the steps of all that tread this earth are borne down. You only, O God, You only who formed the heart of man, and who are acquainted with all its secrets, You only know by what pangs my heart is to be wounded, or by what strength I may be able to support my grief’s.
Grant, I beseech You, O God, that, amidst all my sufferings, I may look with perfect faith to Your fatherly hand; and, receiving every thing that befalls me as from the counsel of a wise, and good, and
gracious God, may I possess my spirit in perfect patience, and bow with becoming devotion to Your righteous dispensations.
And grant, O most merciful Father, that, even in the agony of my sorrows, I may subdue my spirit by resignation and good hope. Let not a fretful, or hasty, or impatient temper, ever induce me to violate the duty which I owe to You as my Creator and Redeemer; but may I bear all things, and hope all things, in a firm belief, that You who sends sorrow can also remove it; and that You never afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of man.
Grant, in particular, O Lord, that if I am this day, or in any day of my life, to suffer injustice or malice from any of my brethren, I may always bear in mind, that this also is part of the lot ordained for man under the sun. Forbid, therefore, that I should ever curse my neighbor in my heart; but, remembering always that I also have deeply offended against God, may I extend to others that forgiveness, which, for Christ’s sake, I expect from You.
O send down Your good Spirit into my heart, to strengthen me in these good resolutions, and to enable me to carry them into effect. Let me not forget, when I mingle with the world, the solemn lessons and thoughts which this hour of prayer has inspired; but may I encounter all my duties, and temptations, and sorrows, with mine eye set upon Your law; and do You, O God, from Your throne in heaven, incline me always to do that only which is well-pleasing in Your sight.
I go forward in Your strength and in Your promised aid. Deny me not Your grace; but grant that this day may be distinguished above all those which have preceded it, by a more faithful discharge of my duty, and by a more perfect preparation for Your heavenly kingdom.
Hear these my humble prayers, and grant me an answer in mercy, for my Redeemer’s sake. Amen.
Book: The Morning and Evening Sacrifice or Prayers for Private Persons and Families 9th Edition)
Author: Edinburgh Published by: Oliver & Boyd, Tweeddale Court; and Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., London 1837
Revised & Edited by: Karrol 2014