GOD, most holy and most gracious, never could we climb up to You by any ladder of our own making; therefore in pity You have sent Your Son into the world to show us the way to You. You have set the glory of Your omnipotence in Heaven and earth. And yet were You only an infinitude of might, our hearts would faint within us. But now in Jesus Christ You have veiled Your power, have come forth in the strength of Your gentleness to live our life and die our death, that You might win us as sons and give us eternal life. O God, we know not the meaning of Gethsemane and the Cross. If we seek to grasp it, too often we but darken counsel with words of ignorance. We can only praise You for Your grace, and lift up a cry of penitence and of trust.
Living Father! We thank You for our life with its unspeakable privilege and dread responsibility. You have given it to us that, through it may throb the mighty tide of Your love, that in it may be revealed some aspect of Your being and beauty. You have beset us behind and before. You make us to sorrow for our sins. You stir us with a divine discontent, and we forget the things that are behind and reach forth unto the things that are before. We rejoice that You have set our life amid gracious opportunities, whereby You would train us to truer vision and larger understanding of You and of ourselves.
We bless You for the Church as the school of virtue and godly living; for the sacred Scriptures that bring to us the story of Your redeeming will; for all the wise and saintly men of the past and of the present; for the goodly fellowship of the prophets, and the noble army of the martyrs; for the great cloud of witnesses from whose faith and hope we would take courage in our struggles and trials. We rejoice to believe that You are always overruling trouble and temptation and sin and disappointment, and out of them are making stepping- stones to bring us nearer to You. Forbid that we should know Your grace in vain. Rather may Your goodness bind us anew to loyalty and to faith, and constrain us to a life separate from evil, made consecrate to goodness.
We would not be selfish in our prayers. We cannot come into Your presence without bringing in our hearts the tears, the pain, the longing of our brothers. O God, our sympathy with them is but the broken reflection of Yours. Come to the burdened, the wretched, the grief-stricken, those who have been made sad by others, and those who have brought sadness upon themselves. May they hear, by faith, the still voice of Your sympathy! May they feel the beating of Your great heart of compassion! May they take comfort in the assurance that You suffer in and with them, and with You abides everlasting blessedness! Hear our prayers in behalf of all those who are struggling against the power of evil. Have pity upon the drunkard. Restore to him the power of self-control. Enable him to obey the behests of reason and conscience. Lay Your healing and soothing hand upon the victims of nervous tension, of sleepless nights, and fruitless days. Give them rest of soul that the body, too, may be at rest. Relieve those who are in pain. Grant them patience and courage, and let them not doubt Your goodness or love. Call the sinning and the suffering into fellowship with Christ that they may find in Him the secret of victory over the evil of the world; that He may rise in their souls, a star burning brightly through the long night unto Your perfect day. These blessings we beg, in His name, and for His sake. Amen — A Book of Prayers for Public and Personal Use By SAMUEL McCOMB, M. A., D.D..