O God, who hears prayer! We acknowledge You, the only proper object of religious worship. You are God in heaven above; and upon the earth beneath there is none else. You are the first, and You the last. You are God alone. We would think of Your attributes, with profound veneration and with cheerful trust. Your, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory. In every place we are surrounded, supported, inspected by You. If we ascend into heaven, You are there;—if we make our bed in the grave, lo! You are there;—if we take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead us, and Your right hand shall hold us. You knows our down sitting and our uprising, and are acquainted with all our ways.
Power also belongs unto You, O God. In You is everlasting strength; and none can stay, Your hand, or say unto You,—What do You do? Your wisdom is equal to Your power. Your understanding is infinite. You. are light, and in You is no darkness.
O the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Holy are You, O Lord, in all Your works. Just and true are Your ways, You King of saints! We would give thanks at the remembrance of Your holiness. Though clouds and darkness are round about You, justice and judgment are the habitation of Your throne.
Good are You, O Lord, and Your tender mercies are over all Your works. You are love, and as a father pities his children, so You host compassion on those who fear’ You. We will give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, and his mercy endures forever. Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vine, the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall; yet will we rejoice in the Lord; we will joy in the God of our salvation.
‘Heavenly Father, when we bow before You, may we remember the solemn duties of prayer, —and when we take Your name upon our lips, may we have serious and collected minds, knowing that while man looks upon the outward appearance, You the Lord looks upon the heart.
O God, most high and holy, we come, sensible of the presence in which we stand; and though it is weakness which addresses omnipotence; and though it is ignorance which supplicates perfect wisdom; and though it is the voice of imperfection, to a being of spotless purity; yet we come with childlike confidence, in that new and living way, which You has appointed to the sinful children of men; believing You wilt hear our prayers and pardon our transgressions.
We beseech You to accept our most grateful acknowledgments, for the unspeakable blessings of the Gospel. Never can we sufficiently thank You for that exalted Saviour, whom You didst raise up to bless mankind, by turning them away from their iniquities. We bless You, that for this end he was born, and for this cause came he into the world, that he might bear wit-ness to the truth; and we believe he is the Christ the Son of the living God. We thank You for the disclosures he made of Your paternal character, and of our duties and destination. We bless You for his doctrines and his example; and when he was delivered up for our offences, we devoutly thank God, that he was raised again for our justification, and became the first fruits of them that slept. Praised be God who bath begotten us to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through him we look to Your mercy for the forgiveness of our sins; and for grace to help in future times of need. With Jesus Christ before us, may we have that godly sorrow, which works repentance unto salvation. May we in prayer and penitence have the renewing influences of Christianity effectual in our souls; so that forgetting the things that are behind, we may press forward to the mark for the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus. In future may we suffer no iniquity to have the dominion over us; but may we be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Holy Father! with true gratitude for Your sustaining care, would we ever welcome the return of a day devoted to the sacred interests of religion. We thank You for the many advantages and pleasures of public worship, which we have this day enjoyed. May this be among the Sabbaths in which we have so meditated upon Your character, as to have elevated our piety and purified our hearts. O may we not abuse the means of grace, by resting in them, but carefully keep in view the end they are designed to answer, Whenever we go to the house of worship with our brethren, to present our prayers to You with a lively faith in Your Son, may we have a firm trust in Your love, and perfect charity for all mankind. May we have the mind that was in Christ Jesus; and thus may religion prepare us for the changing scenes of life, for the solemn hour of death, and for the day of judgment.
Grant Your presence and blessing, O God, to Your faithful ministers of all denominations. While they dispense the word of truth with sincerity, may they be successful in reforming the wicked, instructing the ignorant, and in having Christianity acknowledged in all its worth, and felt in all its power. Help the good in every land to diffuse light and true religion. Bless all our churches; and hasten, we pray You, the time when Your name shall be honored and adored throughout the earth; when all nations shall acknowledge You alone, their common Father, and Jesus Christ their common Savior. In his name we offer our prayers; and at the close of this day, consecrated to the memory of his resurrection, we humbly ask Your favor, protection, and blessing; while we ascribe to You, the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen. — A Book of Family Prayer by Charles Brooks