Great and gracious God, who is the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy, and yet condescends to dwell with him that is of a humble and contrite spirit. You revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite ones; we desire to draw near to You by the new and living way of Your own appointment and to plead Your promises of mercy and grace to help in every time of need.
We thank You that You have given us Your Sabbaths, days of holy rest from earthly toil; and, above all, that You have revealed to us One who is the Lord of the Sabbath, and who has said, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest”
Heavenly Father, it is under a deep consciousness of our own unworthiness, and sinfulness, and folly; it is with shame and confusion of face, on account of our often misdoings and manifold transgressions, that we now come before You, entreating You, for Christ’s sake, to pardon all our sins, to blot out all our transgressions, to cleanse us from all impurity, and to make us glad with Your salvation. Your Word has taught us, and our own daily experience confirms its truth, that in us, that is in our flesh, dwells no good thing. The more we see of self, and the more intimately acquainted we become with our own hearts, the more convinced are we, that all our thoughts and feelings, all our desires and affections, are tainted with corruption, and that our very “righteousness’s” themselves are as “filthy rags.” Oh, look not upon us, Lord, for we are black through the defilement of sin; but look upon Him who is altogether comely, whom You have set forth to be a propitiation for sin, and in whose righteousness alone we can hope to be permitted to stand before You.
Oh, let that blood which cleanses from all sin be applied now to our needy souls; let that righteousness which justifies the ungodly be freely imputed to us by Your grace, and may we be seen of You without spot or blemish, or any such thing, because accepted in the Beloved. Holy Spirit! it is Your especial office to take of the things of Jesus, and to show them unto Your believing people. Discover more to us of the tender sympathy of His manhood; more of the mighty power of His Godhead; more of the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice; more of the stability of that foundation which He has laid in Zion; more of the perfection of His finished work. Give us to rejoicing in Christ Jesus, though we have no confidence in the flesh; and while we become daily more conscious of our own sinfulness and folly, the unholiness of our nature, and the sadness of our fall, may we realize more fully Your own gracious declaration, that Christ “of God is made to His people wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
We thank You for the many mercies of the past week. To the fountain-head of Your grace would we trace up each stream of mercy with which You have refreshed us in our weary pilgrimage. May the consciousness of Your past goodness lead us to trust You more, and to love and serve You better. May this day be a day of spiritual refreshment and of holy joy to our souls. Solemnise our minds for the services in which we are about to engage. Awaken within us feelings of warm affection to You, and to all those who are members of the household of faith. Do not let our mouths be rash, or our hearts hasty to utter anything before God; but, in the acknowledgment of our unworthiness, may we feel that we are vile; in the confession of sin, may we groan beneath its burden; and in pleading for mercy, may we count it an honor to be permitted to pick up a few scattered crumbs beneath the Master’s table. Bless all who stand up in Your name to proclaim the glad tidings of Your great salvation. Give them largely of Your grace, and water them abundantly with the dew of Your Holy Spirit. Make them wise to win souls. Shield them from the assaults of Satan, and suffer them not to be led away with the error of the wicked, or to fall from their own steadfastness; but, while holding the confidence and the rejoicing of their hope firm unto the end, enable them to set forth Your truth to others in a spirit of meekness and love, and give them many souls as their joy and crown of rejoicing in the day of the appearing of Christ.
Look down with pity on the many thousands who are about to assemble in Your name, and mingle their voices in the cry for mercy and the song of praise which shall arise to Your throne from the great congregation. Do not let them come into Your presence in cold unconcern about their spiritual welfare, or heartless indifference to those things which accompany salvation; but impress their minds with the solemn realities of an unseen world; give them the means to stand in awe of Your majesty, and to tremble for fear of Your presence apart from union to Christ by living faith; and as they cry to You for mercy, give them that faith which is of the operation of the Spirit of God, which works by love, and cleanses the heart.
Blessed Lord, may Your kingdom speedily come! You have given us to see the weakness and instability of all other kingdoms. Establish that kingdom which shall never be moved. Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth; You have promised to destroy the face of the covering which is cast over all people, and the vail spread over all nations, and to take away the rebuke of Your people from off all the earth. We plead for the fulfilment of these promises. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Come and claim this earth as Your own blood bought possession. Come and extend over it the scepter of Your own dominion. Cast out the prince of this world, who up till now has usurped its government. While You yet tarry, give us the sense to be watching and waiting for Your appearing; and when the cry is heard, “Behold the bridegroom comes, go out to meet him,” may this be the glad response of our believing hearts, “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and He will save us.” “We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” And now, Lord, we commit ourselves to Your special care and protection this day. Guide us in all our ways; defend us from all the assaults of the world, the flesh, and the devil. May all our thoughts and feelings, our affections and desires, be brought into subjection to Yourself; and while You lead us to covet earnestly the best gifts, fulfil in our experience the precious promises of Your word. You be our sun and shield. Give us grace and glory. And when our appointed race on earth is run, minister unto us an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our Father, etc.
Daily Incense A Course Of Family Prayer For Four Weeks
Contributed By Various Friends Expressly For This Volume.
London: James Nisbet & Co., 21 Berners Street.
Edited by Karrol 2016