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MacDuff, J. – The Gates of Prayer

The Gates of Prayer
by John MacDuff

Gates of Prayer is a 30 day devotional on Prayer.

“Prayer is a Golden Key, which should open the
morning and lock up the evening.” We can say of
prayer, what Christian said to Hopeful in the
dungeon, “I have a KEY in my bosom that will, I[download id=”195″ format=”1″]
am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle!”

Each day contains two separate prayers—
one for the morning, and one for the evening.

CHOICE EXCERPTS

Heavenly Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, I approach Your gracious presence. In the extremity of my own weakness, may I lean on Your Almighty arm—hold me up, and I shall be safe. Preserve me from the world’s insinuating, seductive power, and from the treachery and deceitfulness of my own evil heart. Order my steps in Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.

* * * * * *

Waiting on You afresh, may I receive strength and courage for all the duties of a new day. I would confide to Your ear every need, every care, every sorrow, every cross.

* * * * * *

Inspire me with devout acquiescence in Your will, knowing that whatever You appoint must be for the best. Preserve me from peevishness and fretfulness—from petulance of temper and hastiness of speech—from covetousness and selfishness.

* * * * * *

Lord, I come, owning my great unworthiness. I come with my poverty and helplessness, my doubts and conflicts, my foes and fears, my difficulties and perplexities, my sorrows and my sins. I would lay the heavy burden of them all, at the foot of the Redeemer’s cross. In that cross alone I would glory. I look away from myself to His completed work. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

* * * * * *

I have too often sought for happiness in objects and pursuits which fail to satisfy the yearnings of the immortal spirit. Lord, have mercy upon me! Save me from the sins which most easily ensnare me. From the love of the world which alienates my affections from heavenly realities—from the love of self which interferes with the entire consecration of the heart to Christ—from the covetousness which hardens—from the impurity which debases and enslaves! From every evil lust and passion and temper—good Lord, deliver me! Conscious of my own utter weakness, I would look for the supplies of Your promised grace. By it alone I stand. If I am enabled this day to resist temptation, it is all Your doing. It is You who uphold me by Your right hand. Human power is impotent to break the chains of sin and Satan.

* * * * * *

I bless You that, as the Good Shepherd who gave Your own life for the sheep—the weakest, the weariest, the most burdened of the flock can claim Your regard. You mark out our pasture for us. You know Your sheep by name and lead them out. If at times I am unable to understand the mystery of Your dealings—if at times You lead along the thorny path—teaching by crossed purposes and baffled and thwarted expectations—may it be mine to confide in Your unerring wisdom. May I implicitly trust Your faithfulness; glorifying Your holy name by unquestioning submission, saying “Lord, here am I—do to me, and with me, as seems best in Your sight.” “Though You slay me, yet will I trust in You.” Strong in Your grace, may I strive to live under the sovereignty of that loftiest motive—that whatever pleases You shall please me; that whatever be Your holy will shall be mine.

* * * * * *

If the path of prosperity should be chequered—if human props fail—if human refuges reveal themselves to be refuges of lies—if worldly substance be impaired—if earthly love dies—may that which is perishable and corruptible only drive me nearer to the incorruptible—to seek closer and more intimate fellowship with Him in whose presence there is fullness of joy. Thus, trusting You and loving You, let me rise superior to all that is fleeting and fluctuating around.

* * * * * *

O Father, I bring all my needs and sins, my difficulties and trials and perplexities—and pour them into the loving ear of my most loving Father-God. Keep me from living as if this world were my final rest, and home, and portion. May I seek, rather, to live from day to day as one whose true home is above. May I trust a Father’s love, a Father’s hand, a Father’s heart, a Father’s rod; regarding Your dealings as needful discipline; and honoring You by simple, confiding, unreserved submission.

* * * * * *

Adorable Redeemer, give me grace that I may be more and more assimilated to Your holy image, and more and more molded in conformity to Your holy will. Impart to me Your meekness, Your humility, Your gentleness, Your forgiveness of injuries—Your tender consideration for others; that patience under provocation which made You stand as a Lamb silent before Your shearers. Make me more lowly and loving—more resigned and submissive. May I live under the power of renewed affections. Raise me above all fretting cares and timid fears, above all morbid anxieties and solicitudes about trifles.

* * * * * *

O unchanging Savior-God, lead me to Yourself—the Rock that is higher than I. Whatever is the cause of my trials, may I be enabled, in unmurmuring, uncomplaining submission to say, “Even so, Father!” In the midst of impaired health, and thwarted schemes, and disappointed hopes, and broken hearts, and voices hushed in death—may it be mine exultingly to exclaim, as I look to the One who survives all blanks and losses, “They shall perish, but You remain; as a vesture shall You fold them up, and they shall be changed; but YOU are the same, and Your years shall not fail.”

* * * * * *

O God, who is the refuge of all who seek You, may I know this day the blessedness of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and who abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I rejoice that I am never a solitary moment away from Your guardianship and care—that You compass my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Amid all changes—You are the abiding One. The world’s joys are shadowy and fleeting—they mock the hand which grasps them; the world’s refuges are refuges of lies. But in the pavilion of Your love I am ever safe and secure. Hide me there until earth’s calamities be over and past. I adore You as the Supreme Disposer of all events. Your purposes no accident can change—Your faithfulness no time can impair—Your counsels no created being can question or resist. Blessings and trials, comforts and crosses—come alike from You. You send the gourd. You send the worm. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? I adore You especially as the God of Salvation, and praise You for the riches of Your sovereign grace in Jesus.

* * * * * *

I come to You, Blessed Lord, thanking You for all Your mercies. How manifold have been the proofs and tokens of Your kindness and faithfulness! The past has been paved with love. There is no friend in the world who has been like You, and none so willing to befriend me. You have showered me with the blessings of Your goodness. While others have been laid on beds of sickness or cut down by sudden death, I am still among the living to praise You. Above all, You have bestowed upon me the Gift of gifts—that Gift which in magnitude and preciousness dwarfs and absorbs all others. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift! Life may well be a perpetual hymn of gratitude for all Your unmerited mercies, alike temporal and spiritual. I am unworthy of the least of them. It is to Your free Sovereign abounding Grace I owe them all. Not unto me O Lord, not unto me, but unto Your name I would give glory—for Your mercy and for Your truth’s sake.

* * * * * *

Lord, I have to mourn my constant proneness to depart from You—the instability of my best resolutions—the fitfulness of my best frames and feelings—the sordidness of my best motives. I confess, without reservation, my heart-sins, lip-sins, life-sins—omitted duties—abused mercies—unsanctified warnings—love of the world—love of ease—love of self—taking Your gifts and forgetting the Giver. Blessed Savior, have mercy upon me. I confide in Your infinite power and wisdom. There is a potency in Your name to soothe every fear and to hush every sorrow. Say in the might of Your mingled omnipotence and love—”Your sins are all forgiven!” I cast myself on You, alike for time and in eternity. In life, may I feel the power of Your sustaining grace; in trouble, the support of Your tender consolations; and in death the all-sufficiency of Your exceeding great and precious promises.

* * * * * *

Fit me this day for the battle of life. Trusting to the promised aids of Your Spirit, may I be enabled to resist the world, the flesh, and the devil. Keep me from absorbing love of this world—from all forbidden paths—from all doubtful and debatable ground. Preserve me from the lusts which debase, the selfishness which hardens, the anger or malice which, if unchecked and unrepressed, may grow into malevolence.

* * * * * *

May the joys of the way and the trials of the way alike bring me nearer heaven and nearer to You.

* * * * * *

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I go forth this day into a world of trouble and trial and conflict. In no armor or power of my own am I proof against the enemy—but I take refuge in the elevating assurance that I can do all things, and suffer all things, and overcome all things—through Christ who strengthens me.

* * * * * *

Heavenly Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, You are the Supreme Disposer. There is no such thing as accident or chance in Your providential rule. Each varying scene in this varying chequered life is from You alone. In all difficulties and perplexities, enable me to commit my way implicitly unto Your better direction—hearing Your voice behind me saying, “This is the way, walk in it”—rejoicing in Your wise orderings, Your beneficent purposes—and willing to tread, if need be, the roughest path, because it is Your sovereign will and wisdom to lead me there. Teach me ever devoutly to follow the leadings, and to imbibe the spirit, of the divine Redeemer. Keep me . . .
from the manifestation of unholy tempers,
from the pride which elates,
from the worldliness which hardens,
from all unkindness and uncharitableness.

* * * * * *

Heavenly Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, keep me from the absorbing love of the world; from coveting earthly good rather than heavenly riches. Keep me from all that would dim, to the eye of faith—the glories of the future. Enable me to live habitually, as I would wish I had been living, when the Son of man comes. Let me also anticipate with joy that day when . . .
all mysteries will be unfolded,
all wrongs redressed,
all sufferings removed,
all corruptions vanquished,
and death itself swallowed up in eternal victory!

* * * * * *

I adore You, especially, for the mightiest proof which You have given of Your benignity and kindness, in the person and work of Your dear Son! Herein indeed is love! If at times unable to trace, in Your mysterious providential dealings, the footsteps of mercy—if at times tempted, under baffling dispensations, to say, “Your judgments are a great deep”—”Truly You are a God who hides Yourself”—seated at the foot of Calvary’s cross, we can joyfully exclaim, “We have known and believed the love God which has to us.”

* * * * * *

Man’s love is changing—Yours is unchanging; man’s love is finite—Yours is infinite; man’s love is the result of kindness, the return of love for love—but You commend Your love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! Thanks, eternal thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!

* * * * * *

Before I engage in my daily duties, I would implore Your guidance and protection. I cannot forecast the circumstances in which I may be placed today—what temptations may beset me—what troubles may oppress me. Let a sense of Your presence hallow my labors—that so, begun, carried on, and ended in You—all may redound to Your praise and glory. Let me use, with a glad and grateful heart, the many enjoyments You have given me in this beautiful earth; but abolish the evil dominion of self and selfishness. Keep me from the beguiling and seductive love of pleasure, on which Your approval cannot rest. Write the law of kindness on my heart. Let it be my happiness and joy to minister to others. May I feel that it is better to give than to receive; better to be last than to be first. Keep me pure—preserve me from false living—from all artifice—all underhand and dubious dealings—all crooked and covetous ways. May my conversation be sincere, my conscience clear as the noonday. Serving You cheerfully here, may I become more and more fitted for the full consecration—the perfect spontaneity of the heavenly world.

* * * * * *

Teach me ever to realize what a needy pensioner I am, from day to day and from hour to hour—on Your grace. Hold me up! Keep me, guide me, protect me, undertake for me. In temptation support me—in danger defend me—in sorrow comfort me. If You send prosperity, enable me to carry the cup with a steady hand. If You send adversity, enable me to glorify You in the midst of the fires—adoring a ‘taking’ God, as well as a ‘giving’ God. As a member of the Christian priesthood, may it be my desire to offer on Your altar the continual sacrifice of a humble spirit, and a holy, pure, consistent life. Keep the lamp of faith and love trimmed and burning. Let me aim, more and more, at the crucifixion of sin and self. Should You speak at times by crossed dealings and mysterious dispensations, reading the impressive lesson of earth’s corruptible and defiled and fading inheritances—may I harbor no guilty suspicions of Your faithfulness, or seek to arraign the appointments of Your paternal wisdom. Let me bear, with patience, whatever You see fit to appoint. Put into my lips the prayer, divinely taught, “Your will be done.” Seeking to have no jot or tittle altered in the allotments of infinite love, may I look forward to that morning without clouds, when in Your light I shall see light, and when every shadow which now dims and darkens—shall forever flee away!

* * * * * *

Deliver me from the enthralling power and bondage of sin in every form. As a temple of the Holy Spirit, may I be kept from whatever would defile or desecrate its hallowed courts. Preserve me from the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life—from the power of all carnal appetites and corrupt affections. Guard the springs of thought and will. Prevent me from harboring or indulging unrighteous desires. In all I do, may I put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. Having the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, may I sit at the feet of Him who pleased not Himself.

* * * * * *

Even when the footsteps of a God of love fail to be traced—may there be implicit trust in the wisdom and rectitude of inscrutable dealings.

* * * * * *

Gracious Redeemer, You have a balm for every wound; an antidote for every sorrow.

* * * * * *

Give the quickening energy of Your Holy Spirit, to disarm the power of temptation—to dethrone self—to deliver from the seductive influences of the world. Keep me from the intoxication of success—and the pride of prosperity. Keep me from undue depression—and guilty murmuring in adversity.

* * * * * *

While I bear about with me continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, may the life of Jesus be made manifest in my mortal flesh. May it be my habitual aspiration, that my character be a reflection of His—in its gentleness and meekness—its purity and unselfishness—its benevolence and sympathy.

* * * * * *

As the tree falls—so must it lie. As death leaves us—so will judgment and eternity find us.

* * * * * *

Lord, I have reason to mourn my manifold sins—my disobedience and unbelief—my ingratitude and rebellion. I am a wonder to myself—self-destroyer that I am—that You have spared me—that You have not, long before now, pronounced against me the cumberer’s sentence, and executed against me the cumberer’s righteous doom. It is because You are God and not man, that, despite of all I have done to merit Your just displeasure—Your anger is turned away, and Your hand of mercy and love and compassion is stretched out still.

* * * * * *

You are willing to bestow every needed blessing—pardoning grace—sustaining grace—strengthening grace—sanctifying grace—comforting grace—grace, until grace is no longer needed, but is lost and swallowed up in glory! O You who gives “more grace,” hide me deeper in the clefts of the smitten Rock! Other refuge I have none—my helpless soul depends entirely on You. Lord, save me—else I perish! Save me, I beseech You, not only from the guilt, but from the power of sin. Save me from the corruptions of my own heart—from the seductive influences of the world—from the temptations that may be incident to my secular duties and engagements. Save me from the sin that most easily besets me—save me from bringing dishonor on Your holy cause and Your holy name, by my inconsistent conduct or uneven walk. Save me, oh, save me, from the wrath to come!

* * * * * *

I come pleading that Name which soothes all sorrows, heals all wounds, dries all tears; which is manna to the hungry soul, and rest to the weary. How many are now in Glory, testifying to the boundless stores of grace hidden in Christ!

* * * * * *

I desire to acknowledge my great unworthiness—my constant and grievous departures from the path of Your commandments. I have gone astray like a lost sheep, following too much the devices and the desires of my own heart. You might have righteously excluded me forever from the green pastures and still waters, and left me to pursue my own devious wanderings. But blessed be Your name, in the midst of abounding sin there is abounding grace—the Good Shepherd—He who gave His own life for the sheep, is still waiting to be gracious—not willing that any of His sheep should perish, but that all should come unto Him and live. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto You. May I have the habitual feeling that I am only safe when following the footsteps and leadings of the Great Shepherd of the flock. May the realizing sense of His presence and nearness, sweeten all joy and alleviate all sorrow.

* * * * * *

Lord, reveal to me, more and more, the infinite evil of sin—the ingratitude of such requitals of Your love and resistings of Your Spirit. Keep me pure—protect me from temptation—preserve me unspotted from the world. Give me the habit of a holy life. May my affections be more entirely surrendered to You.

* * * * * *

The thread of my life is in Your hand. I am no judge of what is best for me—often would I choose the evil and refuse the good. But You are ever faithful and unerring. O lead me, not in my own way—but in the way that I ought to go. May it be mine, amid every vicissitude, to recognize infinite wisdom in all Your allotments—to sit at the feet of the Great Teacher, contented with the assurance, “This also comes from the Lord Almighty, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.” Blessed be Your name for Your wise teaching in the past—for all the deliverances You have given in times of danger—for all the help in times of trouble—for all the support in times of temptation. I would desire implicitly to trust You in the future. There is no corruption but what Your grace will enable me to subdue—there is no cross but what Your grace will enable me to carry—there is no foe but Your grace will enable me to conquer.

* * * * * *

“As for God, his way is perfect.” I thank You, Heavenly Father, that from day to day, and from hour to hour, I am under Your wise and loving direction—that it is You who set up the waymarks, and appoint the bounds of my habitation. The lot may be cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. If left to my own self, I would often choose the evil and refuse the good—I might select what was selfish and perilous and sinful—what might compromise my peace of conscience, and endanger my spiritual interests. I have often erred in the past, pursuing at times devious paths on which Your blessing could not rest. I would desire to take You more as my guide and counselor for the future. Let me follow You wholly—trusting Your heart, even where I fail to trace Your hand—amid all vicissitudes and perplexities, hearing Your voice behind me saying, “This is the way, walk in it”—and writing over every dubious path—every mysterious Providence—”As for God, His way is perfect.”

* * * * * *

I know that all Your dealings are dictated by unerring wisdom and unchangeable love. I would look forward, with joyful confidence, to that great Day of disclosures, when the now sealed roll shall be unfolded, and when every tongue will be brought to confess, “The Lord was righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works.” Meanwhile, with the fear of God within me, and the eye of God above me, and the Heaven of God before me—may I prosecute steadfastly my pilgrim-way—going up through the wilderness leaning on Your arm. And then, though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear—for greater is He who is with me, and for me—than all those who can be against me. Amid the changes of the world and the instability of earth’s best props and refuges—amid the tossings and heavings of this treacherous sea of life—may I cling to the sure anchorage—”As for God, His way is perfect.”

* * * * * *

My every sorrow is numbered and appointed by the Man of Sorrows. May I feel how light and trivial my bitterest cup is—compared with the cup of suffering He so willingly drained for me.

* * * * * *

I have to confess and mourn my great unworthiness. How far short have I come of that holiness of heart and purity of life, without which no man can see the Lord. How many sinful thoughts have I harbored—how many guilty words have I spoken—how many duties have I omitted, or carelessly and perfunctorily performed. How little gratitude have I shown for blessings—how little patience under crosses. How much pride has there been in my humility—how little childlike trust in Your dealings. How have even my best resolutions to serve You, been erased by the world’s oblivion-power. How often have I returned to those very sins I had solemnly sworn and covenanted I was to part with forever. Lord, have mercy upon me! I come anew, guilty, polluted, helpless—to Him who is help and hope and portion—to all who seek Him. My own repentings and tears cannot cleanse away the guilt of a single transgression. But the blood of Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, cleanses from them all.

* * * * * *

Deliver me from the enthralling power and bondage of sin in every form. I anticipate with joy that day when all mysteries will be unfolded—all wrongs redressed—all sufferings removed—all corruptions vanquished—and death itself swallowed up in eternal victory!

* * * * * *

Even when the footsteps of a God of love fail to be traced—may I have implicit trust in the wisdom and rectitude of Your inscrutable dealings.

* * * * * *

While I bear about with me continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, may the life also of Jesus be made manifest in my mortal flesh. May it be my habitual aspiration, that my character be a reflection of His—in its gentleness and meekness—its purity and unselfishness—its benevolence and sympathy.

* * * * * *

Let me trust You in the dark. Amid all tossings and tribulations, may I see in every trial, only the appointed billow to waft my bark nearer the haven, and may I sing amid the storm—”So gives He His beloved rest.”

* * * * * *

Most Gracious God, how insensible have I proved to the multiplied tokens of Your love and kindness. Your mercies have been unworthily requited; my duties have been perfunctorily performed. Corruption within has responded to temptation from without. There has been too often pride where there should have been humility—resentment where there should have been forgiveness—unbelief where there should have been trust—murmuring where there should have been submission and resignation. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity—for it is great. A sinner to the uttermost, I rejoice that, in Your dear Son, there is salvation to the uttermost. I rejoice in Him as the very Savior I need. Though omnipotence slumbers in His arm, He is touched with a fellow-feeling for all my infirmities. He can enter, with tender sensitiveness, into every temptation that crosses my path, and into every pang that rends my heart. I would lay hold anew on the blood besprinkled horns of the altar; and listen to Your voice of power and grace and love saying, “Your sins which are many are all forgiven you!” Give to me, I beseech You, salvation from the power, as well as from the guilt, of sin. This is Your will concerning me, even my sanctification. Keep me from all hardness of heart and contempt of Your holy word and commandment—from envy and malice—from pride and vain-glory—from vanity and lies—from tampering with temptation in any form, and thus endangering my present peace and imperiling my soul’s everlasting interests. Guard every loophole by which any spiritual foe might enter. Give me resolute energy of will, to resist and to endure—as seeing Him who is invisible.

* * * * * *

Give me grace to look beyond the cloudy present—to the stormless skies of that better land, where the pang of sorrow can neither be felt nor feared. Lying passive in Your hands, may it be mine through my tears to say, “Father, glorify Your name!”

* * * * * *

As a suppliant at the gates of prayer, may I feel it to be a privilege to draw near unto You. Give me filial trust and confidence. Enable me to unburden, without reserve, into Your ear—all my trials and difficulties.

* * * * * *

How unworthy, Lord, I am of Your paternal regard and patient forbearance! How much have I done to forfeit Your favor! I have been rebellious and wayward—unthankful and unholy—leaving too often Your countless mercies unacknowledged—dethroning You from my affections, and giving to others the loyalty and allegiance which should be Yours alone. Give me deep contrition for an erring past. Graciously give me Your help. Lord, I feel that this struggling with sin, this conflict with temptation, is a hopeless contest without You—without Your strengthening, sustaining, restraining grace. Hold me up—and I shall be safe.

* * * * * *

Let it be my habitual aim to imbibe the meek, lowly, patient, unworldly spirit of Jesus.

* * * * * *

I know not what difficulties, or trials, or temptations, may be before me this day. Prepare me whether for duty or for conflict. Knowing the treachery of the heart, I desire this morning, and each morning, to receive fresh supplies of Your grace.

* * * * * *

Bring me to act more habitually under the influence of unseen spiritual realities. From the dominion of Satan—from the enslavement of lust and passion—from the absorbing love of the world—from the deceitfulness of riches—good Lord, deliver me! May the law of love, which has its highest exemplification in the life of Your dear Son, find expression in my daily walk. May I be molded, more and more, in conformity with His will, and copy more of His example—in His meekness and gentleness, in His unselfish and tender consideration for others. I have no ability in myself to carry out one good or holy resolution. Undertake for me. If there is any indication of spiritual quickening or vitality within me, it is derived from You, the source and inspiration of all energy and goodness. I can do all things through Christ strengthening me. “More grace! more grace!” may this be my constant prayer. Hold me up, and I shall be safe.

* * * * * *

I confide in Your wisdom which never errs, and Your love which never changes.

* * * * * *

I look forward to that glorious land, where there is no sin to crucify—where there is no corruption to subdue—where there is nothing to be delivered from—where the joy and the presence of the Lord will be my eternal strength.

* * * * * *

May Your children, who are laid on couches of sickness, manifest a spirit of unmurmuring submission to Your will; recognizing Your hand, and Your hand alone—remembering that You are never arbitrary in Your dealings—that even “wearisome nights are appointed.” Give them strength to be silent ministers of the truth, by exhibiting the power of Your sustaining grace; looking beyond the cloudlands of earth, to the better country, where the inhabitant shall no more say, “I am sick.” Thus patiently bearing their cross, may they anticipate, with calm and joyful expectancy, that blessed hour, when all the sorrows and tribulations of earth will be forgotten in the words of welcome, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!”

* * * * * *

O Lord, forearm me by Your grace. In the battle with evil, around me and within me—I would overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb. Give me grace to live under a sense of Your All-Seeing Eye; rejoicing that no distance and no locality can separate You and I.

* * * * * *

You can enter with tender sensitiveness into the keenest woes of humanity. I can think of You, the Prince of Sufferers, feeling for me—weeping for me—bleeding for me—dying for me. Three is no extremity of distress, in which Your hand is shortened, or Your ear is heavy.

* * * * * *

It is by Your grace alone I stand. Hold me up and I shall be safe. Shield me from the snares of a seductive world; fortify me against the assaults of temptation. Pray for me, as You did for Your erring disciple, that my faith fail not.

* * * * * *

It is You alone who can whisper forgiveness, quiet misgivings, quicken faith, subdue corruption. Feeling the yoke of sin heavy and grievous, I come to You, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. Weary and heavy-laden—in Your cross I would find rest for my soul. May I lean upon You with unfaltering dependence—may I be consecrated to You in unswerving allegiance. Enable me more and more to crucify sin. May its power be subdued and its love mortified. May I set watch at every avenue by which temptation may gain entrance.

* * * * * *

When every other source of comfort fails—may all my springs be in You. When in deep distress, may I adore Your sovereignty, and own Your wisdom, and trust Your love. May Christ be magnified in me whether by life or by death. May I find Him the one way to consolation and peace.

* * * * * *

“Everyone who has this hope in Him, purifies himself just as He is pure.” Having this hope in Him—the blessed hope of seeing Him as He is, and of enjoying His everlasting fellowship—may I purify myself even as He is pure; daily imbibing more of His meek, gentle, unselfish, unworldly spirit; withdrawing my affections from things which are of the earth, earthy—and consecrating them to His service. Enable me to exercise a vigilant jealousy over my thoughts, words, and actions; seeking to renounce whatever is displeasing to Him, and that would mar my peace of conscience.

* * * * * *

In every difficult and perplexing duty, may this always form the testing question and final appeal—”How would my Lord and Savior have acted here?” And knowing His will, may it be my delight to do it. Strengthen the things which remain and are ready to die. Let the power of sin wax weaker and weaker, and let the power of Your grace within me wax stronger and stronger. Thus, blessed Savior, whatever may be the changes and sorrows I experience in this precarious, uncertain existence; with the conscious assurance of Your presence and love, I must be happy. If You are near to me—if You abide with me—there can be no terror in trial, no bitterness in tears, no sting in death. With You for my portion, I am independent of every other. In all Your dealings towards me, may I recognize the gracious purpose and design of making me more and more fit for that glorious world, where obedience to You shall never falter, and consecration shall never fail; where every thought and wish shall be in unison with the divine.

* * * * * *

O You, whose heart beats responsive to the smallest sorrow of Your stricken people, look down in great mercy on Your sons and daughters of affliction. May they know that You have a wise and holy end in all Your discipline. May they come to feel that their greatest trials are the ladder-steps to their greatest blessings—links in the chain which draws them to heaven. Whether You chasten or gladden, may they be enabled to say, “Even so, Father, for it seems good in Your sight.”

* * * * * *

Day by day are You loading me with Your benefits, and giving me unceasing cause for gratitude and praise.

* * * * * *

I acknowledge with deep humiliation my unworthiness and guilt. Each day, as it brings with it the memory of Your great goodness, brings with it also the memory of my multiplied offences. I confess my sins, alike of omission and commission; that I have done the things I ought not to have done, and have left undone those things I ought to have done. I have often no affecting sense of the enslaving power of sin. I have too often resorted to false and unavailing refuges for satisfaction and happiness. I have too frequently sought to slake my thirst at the world’s polluted cisterns, and failed to remember that all my fresh springs are in You. Lord, have mercy upon me! Christ, have mercy upon me! It is by free, sovereign, unmerited grace, I am what I am. If I stand at last accepted before Your throne, this will be my plea, my confession, my eternal avowal—”Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” May I live under the elevating consciousness that I stand clothed in His righteousness, and that nothing can ever separate me from His love. Once within the fold, I am in the fold forever. Loving His own at the beginning, He will love them unto the end.

* * * * * *

Keep me from conformity to the evil maxims and practices of the world. Enable me to use its blessings without abusing them, and to live under the powers of the world to come. May I know the conquering, transforming influence of Redeeming love—raising my affections, purifying my desires, elevating my life.

* * * * * *

Whatever the cross be, which Your suffering people are called to carry, may they enjoy the assurance, that the same Lord who died for them, lays it on, and keeps it on—that no unnecessary thorn is in their chaplet of sorrow. We look forward to a sinless, sorrowless, tearless immortality!

* * * * * *

Blessings innumerable have been poured into my lap, but they have often been received with an unthankful heart. Shadowing palms and wells of refreshing have studded my pilgrim path; but I have too frequently reclined under the shadow, and partaken of the refreshment, without any breathing of gratitude to the Bountiful Provider.

* * * * * *

Defend me from every snare and danger which may beset my path. Be my Shield in prosperity—my Refuge in adversity—my Comforter in sorrow—my Light in darkness—my Hope in death—my Defender and Vindicator in judgment—my Joy and Portion through all eternity.

* * * * * *

May the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, expel whatever is unholy, and transform me more and more into the image and likeness of Your dear Son.

* * * * * *

I have to mourn the poverty of my faith—the lukewarmness of my love—the fitfulness of my obedience—the perfunctory performance of my religious duties. How little the precepts of Your sacred Scriptures have been treasured in my heart, and reduced to practice in my daily walk and life. How often I have indulged in tempers and feelings inconsistent with Your revealed will, and with the character of Him who was meek and lowly in heart. I have too often yielded to the power of temptation—bent like a brittle reed in the storm; dishonoring Your name and grieving Your Spirit. You might righteously have left me to reap the fruit of my own ways and to be filled with my own devices—saying, “Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone.”

* * * * * *

I desire to repose on Him who alone can speak peace to the sin-burdened and sorrow-burdened. Looking to His glorious, completed work, I can triumphantly say, Return unto your rest—your peace—O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

* * * * * *

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” I would seek to have no wish, and no will, and no way of my own. Do to me, and with me, as seems good in Your sight, only make me possessor of this best blessing—the peace of Yours, which passes all understanding—that peace which the world knows not of—which the world with its riches and pleasures, its blandishments and fascinations—cannot give; and which the world, with all its troubles and anxieties, its sorrows and its trials—cannot take away.

* * * * * *

“Whom the Lord loves He chastens.” May this prove a quieter to all fears, lull all misgivings, and repress all murmurs.

* * * * * *

Anew I commend myself to Your gracious keeping this day. Guide me by Your counsel—guard me from temptation—lead me in the way everlasting. May every unloving thought—every unworthy aim and aspiration—give place to what is pure and unselfish and kind.

* * * * * *

Lord, I would plead for increased communications and supplies of Your grace. Strengthen me with all might by Your Spirit in the inner man. Keep me from all that would be detrimental to my spiritual interests—all that would weaken or impair this filial confidence, and lead me to restrain prayer. Whatever be my dominant sin—ease or pleasure—pride or passion—covetousness or ambition—enable me by the promised help of Your Spirit, to subdue it—nailing it to the Redeemer’s cross. Enable me to follow His meekness and gentleness; to be kind and forgiving—tender and charitable towards all. Conscious of the supreme enthronement of Your love, may life be, more than it has been—an effort to crucify self and to please You. Even when there may be mystery in Your dealings, let me not wrong Your goodness and wisdom with one shadow of suspicion. Whether by giving or by taking—by smiting or by healing—by the sweet cup or the bitter—may it be mine to say, “Father! glorify Your name!”

* * * * * *

“The Lord God omnipotent reigns!” O God, I adore Your sovereignty. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. All space is Your dominion. You do according to Your will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. You count the number of the stars, and name every one. You heal the broken in heart and bind up their wounds. The sparrow’s fall is appointed by You—the young raven’s cry is heard by You—the very hairs of our head are numbered by You. From the drop of the forest leaf, to the departure of the soul in death—all is known to You and ordered by You. You appoint the bounds of our habitation. Man proposes, but You dispose; and You dispose all things well. Let it be thus ever a joyous thought—that whatever concerns me, is under the control and direction of infinite wisdom and unchanging, everlasting love. I cannot forecast the future—but it is in Your hands. Even if there be cloud and tempest, it is You who walk upon the wings of the wind. Omnipotence treads the stormy waters. Omnipotence directs the roll of every billow and, when it is fit, Omnipotence utters the mandate, “Peace, be still!”

* * * * * *

O God, I have to acknowledge that I have not always thus realized Your constant supervision, and taken the comfort I ought to have derived from Your sovereign rule. I have too often practically forgotten the Great Supreme, by dwelling on second causes. I have allowed myself to be disturbed and harassed with little vexations—anxious thoughts for the present, and misgivings and forebodings for the future. Enable me to cast all my cares, great or small, on You; knowing that You care for me.

* * * * * *

Forbid that I should offer at the shrine of self, or pleasure, or mammon—my best; and be content with giving the remnants of worn and wasted affections to You. May I beware of any and every deviation from the straight path. Hold me up and I shall be safe. This day, guard me from whatever would be detrimental to my soul’s good. Preserve me from the guilt of wasted hours and slighted opportunities. Enable me to renounce all evil habits—all debasing compliances. May every idol that would usurp Your place be overthrown. May no corrupt thought pollute my heart—no unworthy utterance defile my tongue—no unholy action stain my life.

* * * * * *

Adored be Your name, that all events are at Your disposal and under Your righteous ordination and control. I rejoice to know that Your dealings, though sovereign, are never arbitrary. You are my Father. Give me trust, and confidence, and filial reverence. Like as a father pities his children, so You pity those who fear You—for You know our frame—You remember that we are dust. Your way is sometimes in the sea, and Your path in the deep waters, and Your judgments unsearchable; but the day is coming when You will vindicate the rectitude of Your procedure, and bring every tongue to confess that You have done all things well. Let my will be resolved into Yours. Then will the trials of life be disarmed of their sting—when I view them as part of Your own plan of infinite wisdom.

* * * * * *

Alas! the love which ought to have reigned paramount, has too often been supplanted and superseded by other affections. I have to lament my bias to sin—the latent principles of corruption—the evil heart of unbelief which is ever tempting me to stray from the living God—the burdens and impediments which clog the wings of faith and prevent me soaring heavenwards. Lord, elevate my affections, purify my desires, quicken me to new obedience. May my life become, more than it has been, an offering of gratitude—a sacrifice of praise for all Your many mercies. Keep me from the absorbing power, the benumbing influence of earthly things!

* * * * * *

If You send me blessings, may I connect every gift with the Great Bestower. If You give me the full cup, may I be enabled to carry it with a steady hand. If You appoint crosses, may I have strength to bear them. If You appoint afflictions and bereavements, may I regard them as Your own special messengers sent on a mission of wisdom and mercy.

* * * * * *

All I ask or hope for, is in the name, and for the sake, of Jesus Christ—my only Lord and Savior. Amen.

 

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