Almighty and most merciful God! who are infinitely exalted above every other being f look down in mercy upon Your needy and dependent children, who, at the close of the day, have collected around the family altar, with the sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving. The faculties, with which we worship You, are Your gift; and of You are all things. We approach You with the persuasion, that no tribute from mortals can add to Your happiness, or to Your glory. But we rejoice, that though You are too great to need our offerings, You are too good to despise or disregard them. We rejoice, that, while You are superintending the concerns of the universe, You lend an attentive ear to the voice of our supplications. We bless You for assuring us that You are our Father.
Your paternal care and goodness are conspicuous in our creation, our safety and our blessings. We would remember with gratitude that Your favors have not been limited to this world; but that You are training us up, by Your grace and care, for everlasting life. We thank You for the instructions and examples of the wise and good, and for every opportunity of cultivating knowledge and virtue. Yet most of all, we praise and magnify You, for the rich display of Your love in the manifestation of Your Son, Jesus Christ With unfeigned gratitude we acknowledge, that by Him You have given us Your heavenly truth to enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts; and that in this life You have set before us a model of the most exalted goodness to encourage and animate our endeavors to serve You. We bless You for the promises of mercy and forgiveness, and for the hopes of immortality, which are confirmed to us in his Gospel. We rejoice that after he had suffered death upon the cross for the reconciliation of us to You, he was raised by Your mighty power from the grave, becoming the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey him.
But while we bless You, O Father, for Your goodness, we would, with shame and confusion of face think of our ingratitude. We lament that we have not duly hearkened to Your word, nor been sensible of Your great clemency and love. We have neglected the government of our thoughts, and the direction of our lives. We have permitted temptation to renew its strength upon us, and have exposed ourselves to Your righteous displeasure.
Parent of mercies! will it please You to hear us through Jesus, Your well beloved Son; and through Him blot out our sins and remember them no more against us. Enable us hereafter to serve You with filial love and holy fear. May we now determine to devote to You the remainder of the lives You are sparing. O God! accept, defend, and sanctify us. What we do not know teach us. Whatever in us is evil, dispose and enable us to reform. Whatever in us is good, assist us to carry forward to perfection. Forgive our sins; pardon our ignorance. In Your great mercy, grant us such things as shall be good for us, though we may neglect to pray for them. Deny us such things as would be hurtful to us, though we should earnestly desire them. Help us to walk in Your sacred presence, and to live as those who look forward to a day of inquiry.
God of the nations! bless the land in which we live. Give success, we pray, to the lawful and virtuous labor of its inhabitants; provide the necessary supplies for all their wants; and may public happiness be established on the lasting basis of public virtue. May war forever cease through the earth, and Your kingdom come and Your will be done.
In the spirit of charity we would commend all our brethren to You; and may Your salvation visit them. God of the night, and of the day! we resign ourselves to Your watchful providence during the coming hours of rest. When we are unprotected, protect us; and to You who has created us, to You who has redeemed ns, to You who are sanctifying the hearts of Your faithful servants, be honor and glory everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Family Prayer Book by Charles Brooks