Evening...Puritan Prayers...Rich in Truth!
Giver of all, another day is ended and I take my place beneath my great
redeemer's cross, where healing streams continually descend, where balm is poured into
every wound, where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood, assured that Thou seest in
me no spots of sin. Yet a little while and I shall go to Thy home and be no more seen;
help me to gird up the loins of my mind, to quicken my step, to speed as if each moment
were my last, that my life be joy, my death glory.
I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this world—the refreshing air, the light
of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that
shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the
flowers' sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family,
kindred, friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs
over. Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies. Thy hand bestows blessings:
Thy power averts evil. I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces, the full warmth of
faith, the cheering presence of Thy Spirit, the strength of Thy restraining will, Thy
spiking of hell's artillery. Blessed be my sovereign Lord!
O lover of Thy people, Thou hast placed my whole being in the hands of Jesus, my
redeemer, commander, husband, friend, and carest for me in Him. Keep me holy,
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; may I not know the voice of strangers, but
go to Him where He is, and follow where He leads. Thou hast bathed me once for all in
the sin-removing fountain, cleanse me now from this day's defilement, from its faults,
deficiencies of virtue, harmful extremes, that I may exhibit a perfect character in Jesus. O
Master, who didst wash the disciples' feet, be very patient with me, be very
condescending to my faults, go on with me till Thy great work in me is completed. I
desire to conquer self in every respect, to overcome the body with its affections and
lusts, to keep under my flesh, to guard my manhood from all grosser sins, to check the
refined power of my natural mind, to live entirely to Thy glory, to be deaf to unmerited
censure and the praise of men. Nothing can hurt my new-born inner man, it cannot be
smitten or die; nothing can mar the dominion of Thy Spirit within me; it is enough to
have Thy approbation and that of my conscience. Keep me humble, dependent,
supremely joyful, as calm and quiet as a sucking child, yet earnest and active. I wish not
so much to do as to be, and I long to be like Jesus; if Thou dost make me right I shall be
right; Lord, I belong to Thee, make me worthy of Thyself.
My Father, if Thy mercy had bounds, where would be my refuge from just wrath?
But thy love in Christ is without measure. Thus, I present myself to Thee with sins of
comission and omission, against Thee, my Father, against Thee, adorable redeemer,
against Thee and Thy strivings, 0 Holy Spirit, against the dictates of my conscience,
against the precepts of Thy Word, against my neighbours and myself. Enter not into
judgment with me, for I plead no righteousness of my own, and have no cloak for
iniquity. Pardon my day dark with evil.
This night I renew my penitence. Every morning I vow to love Thee more fervently,
to serve Thee more sincerely, to be more devoted in my life, to be wholly Thine; Yet I
soon stumble, backslide, and have to confess my weakness, misery and sin. But I bless
Thee that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that His oblation
is sufficient satisfaction for my sins.
If future days be mine, help me to amend my life, to hate and abhor evil, to flee
the sins I confess. Make me more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Let no evil
fruit spring from evil seeds my hands have sown; Let no neighbour be hardened in vanity
and folly by my want of circumspection. If this day I have been ashamed of Christ and His
Word, or have shown unkindness, malice, envy, lack of love, unadvised speech, hasty
temper, let it be no stumbling block to others, or dishonour to Thy name. 0 help me to
set an upright example that will ever rebuke vice, allure to goodness, and evidence that
lovely are the ways of Christ.