O Lord, my God, You are ever merciful and gracious. You cause the outgoings of the morning, and of the evening, to rejoice over me. I desire at this time, with a grateful sense of the numberless favors You have conferred upon me, and are continually renewing day by day, to offer You my evening sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving. Let the words of mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight; O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
I adore You as the author of my life and being, as the former of my body, and the father of my spirit. I bless You that You have made me a rational creature; have designed me for immortality; and have placed me here, in a state of discipline, in order to train me up, by a variety of exercises and trials, experiences and improvements, for the business and blessedness of another and better state.
And though I have, in many instances, acted in a manner unbecoming the dignity of my rational nature, and been far from answering, as I ought, the great ends of my creation; yet, blessed be Your name, You have not dealt with me according to my desserts; but hitherto have You upheld my Soul in life, and Your visitation has preserved my spirit. I thank You, O Lord, for the watchful care and kind supplies of Your providence; for my health and strength; for my food and raiment; for my relatives and friends; and for all my social advantages and enjoyments.
But more especially would I praise You for the advantages and opportunities You have afforded me, for improving in the knowledge and practice of true religion; for obtaining the pardon of my sins,, and an interest in Your forfeited favor, through Your beloved Son; and for securing a title to that glorious inheritance, to the lively hope of which You have begotten us again, by his resurrection from the dead —an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Suffer me not, I beseech You, to receive Your grace in vain; but teach me so highly to value, and so diligently to improve, all my present privileges and advantages, as that I may be prepared and qualified for those still greater blessings which You wilt hereafter bestow on them that love and serve You.
Forgive me, O You Father of mercies, that I have hitherto made You such unsuitable returns for Your great love and goodness; that I have been so negligent in the discharge of my social and relative duties; and so careless even about my own highest concerns, my spiritual and everlasting interests. Pardon all the innumerable transgressions and provocations of my past life; and particularly whatever You have seen amiss in my temper or conduct this day. Give me that godly sorrow for sin which worketh repentance unto salvation, needing not to be repented of; and enable me to act a wiser and a better part in all respects for the time to come.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. May I give all possible diligence to add to my faith fortitude, and to fortitude knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness universal charity; that so these things being in me and abounding, I may neither he inactive nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord. Thus let me make my calling and election to the privileges and hopes of the gospel, sure and’ steadfast; and obtain admission into the everlasting kingdom of my beloved Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Make me particularly mindful of the duties I owe to those with whom I am especially connected by the ties of relation or friendship; and help me to take the most prudent and effectual means to promote their comfort and welfare. I commend them, gracious God, US well as myself, to Your blessing and favor. Direct us, O Lord, by Your unerring wisdom; defend us by Your almighty power; and provide for us by Your never-failing good- ness; through the various scenes and changes of this transitory state: be our support and comfort in the awful hour of death, and our everlasting portion and felicity beyond the grave.
You have brought me to the close of this day in safety, and I implore the continuance of Your care and protection this night. Watch over me, O You Preserver of men, in my defenseless moments; and after quiet and refreshing sleep, raise me up in the morning fitted for the duties and events of another day. And when this succession of days and nights shall be no more, receive me into that state where I shall serve You without intermission, and yet without weariness, through a long, a happy, and an endless day.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Book: Devotions for the Closet
Author: Samuel Merivale