Psalm xcii. 1, 2. It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High: To show forth Your loving-kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all my iniquities, who heals all my diseases, who redeems my life from destruction, who crowns me with loving-kindness and with tender mercy.
What shall I render to You, O Lord, for all Your goodness! You at first called me into the light of life, and gave me my place among Your rational offspring. You have furnished my mind with those varied and wonderful powers by which I am made a son of God and a fellow-servant of those ministering spirits who forever surround Your throne. You have given me all those opportunities of improvement and advantages of education, by which these great powers may accomplish the end for which they were bestowed. As the highest and best of all Your gifts, I am permitted to look forward, when this life shall close, to an eternal inheritance in Your heavenly kingdom.
Grant, O heavenly Father, that I may be duly sensible of the unspeakable value of these great blessings. Do not let the thoughtlessness that is too incident to my nature, nor the ceaseless pursuit of worldly advantages, nor the still more degrading influence of vicious habits, ever make me forget how highly I have been favored in having been made one of that great family, on whom You have stamped Your own image, and whom You have called to the honor of being Your sons. But, seeing at all times Your perfections displayed in Your works, and my own great hopes made manifest by the powers which You have given me, may I live under a habitual admiration of Your wisdom, and goodness, and power, and under a grateful sense of the rich blessings I have received from Your mercy.
Another day is now about to close, and it becomes me, O heavenly Father, to look back with unfeigned thankfulness on the continued loving-kindness with which I have this day been favored. You have continued, as You have ever done, to make the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice over me. During the progress of this day You have shielded me from innumerable dangers, which have beset me on the right hand and on the left. Your willingness to give freely has supplied me with the food that has sustained life, with the health that has enjoyed it, with the alacrity and vigor of mind that have rendered all objects and occurrences a delight to me, and with the good hope, that has more than doubled every source of present enjoyment. Now having brought me in peace and comfort through all the vicissitudes and perils of this day, You have at last permitted me, in this hour of devout supplication, to renew my allegiance to You, and to feel, in this act of prayer, how high is the privilege of devout communion with the Eternal Father and bountiful Preserver of my spirit.
Grant, O God, that the thankfulness which I thus express in words may be the genuine feeling of my heart; and may this, my evening sacrifice, ascend in sweet memorial to Your throne of grace, being offered, through Christ, from that truly grateful heart, which You require in all them that draw near to You. But, in the midst of my rejoicings, grant also, O heavenly Father, that I may mingle trembling with my mirth. Let me never forget, while I review Your loving-kindness, how unworthy have been the returns which I have made to You for all Your mercies. Having brought with me into this world, like all the rest of mankind, a frail and fallible nature, I have not been careful to secure myself against the innumerable temptations that have constantly beset me; but from the first hour of conscious existence, to that in which I now make confession of my sins, I have need, O Father, of Your forgiving mercy and tender compassion.
Grant me, I humbly earnestly request You, that sincerely-contrite heart, in which You delight to dwell; and forgive, especially, I entreat You, the manifold failures in duty, which have marked my course during the day that is past. If I have been misled, by the force of temptation, into any of those sins to which all men are liable, but which are fearful indications of Your coming displeasure to those who continue in them, O, for my Redeemer’s sake, who died to take away sin, blot out my presumptuous offences. Let them never rise in judgment against me, but may I be warned, by the failures that have already befallen me, to be more solicitous against all such sins, during the days that are to come.
If in any instance, during this day, I have spoken unadvisedly with my lips, or have uttered an uncharitable or a malicious thought respecting any of my brethren, take away from me also, O God, the sin of this unchristian conduct, and grant that the consciousness of my own liability to go astray may make me more forbearing and gentle towards all the offences of those who may have injured me.
If I have thought during this day the thing which I ought not, and in the folly and wickedness of my heart have rolled iniquity like a sweet morsel under my tongue, O purge my conscience from this secret fault, and let the influence of Your good Spirit descend like a refining fire upon my heart to take away all its impurities, and to render it a temple fit for the habitation of the Holy Ghost.
I am not worthy, O Lord, to ask these blessings on my own account; for I feel, that if You were strict to enter into judgment with me, You might justly cut me off from the land of the living, and assign me my portion with those who have rebelled against You. But blessed be Your name, that it is not thus that You deal with the children of men. Blessed be Your name, that You have proclaimed Yourself, in Your word, to be the Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to You and live. Blessed still farther be Your name, that, to show yet more conspicuously Your love to mankind, You have sent Your beloved Son into the world, that whosoever believes in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.
For his sake, O heavenly Father, look in mercy on my sins, and blot out all my transgressions. On Your mercy, manifested through him, I humbly, but firmly, rely. Deny me not Your grace, and to Your name shall be ascribed everlasting praise. Now, O heavenly Father, let Your merciful and fatherly care be with me during the hours of sleep. You watch, with an unslumbering eye, over all the interests of all Your creatures; and even when I am unconscious of Your care, You do not cease to befriend and support me. Keep me through this night, and through all the days and nights of my appointed time upon the earth; may angels of mercy watch around my pillow, and secure me from all ill; and falling asleep, at peace with You and with all mankind, may this cessation from all the cares and sins of this world prepare me for awakening to new obedience, and to a life of more perfect and of more strenuous duty.
Hear, O Father, for Christ’s sake, these my humble but earnest prayers, and do to me above what I can ask or think, for Your great mercy’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