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A GENERAL PRAYER.
O GRACIOUS Lord, whose mercies endure for ever, we, thine unworthy servants, desire to render unto Thee the tribute of our most humble praise. In Thee we live, and move, and have our being. Thou hast created us, and Thou hast preserved us.
We thank Thee for that protection of thine hand by which we and ours have been guarded amidst many dangers, and for those gracious deliverances which Thou hast wrought out for us.
We likewise praise Thee for the gift of health, of friends, of food, and raiment; and for the various comforts and conveniences of life which we enjoy.
- O Lord, grant that we may render unto Thee, not only the fruit of our lips, but the obedience of our lives; and may these thy temporal mercies, be to us an earnest of those richer blessings, which Thou hast prepared for them that love Thee. But we adore Thee, above all, for the gift of Jesus Christ to be our Saviour. Thou, who didst create us, hast condescended also to redeem us. Thou didst send thy Son to save us from the punishment of our sins, by his blood, and from the power of them, by his grace, and thus to bring us to glory. Thou hast caused us to be born in this Christian land, and consecrated to Thee in baptism; and when, through our own wilfulness and negligence, we have failed in fulfill
ing the baptismal vow which was upon us, Thou in thy mercy hast not forsaken us, but hast graciously invited us to repentance. O righteous Lord, who hatest iniquity, we confess that we have done the things which Thou forbiddest, and left undone the things which Thou commandest. In thought, word, and deed, we have transgressed against Thee.
O pardon our sins for Jesus Christ's sake. Look upon us in thy Son, our blessed Saviour, and for the merit of his sufferings, blot out our transgressions, and receive us unto thy favour. For his sake also, renew and purify our hearts, that we may become new creatures in Christ Jesus, utterly forsaking every evil way, and living in a constant course of obedience to thy commandments. We are not able of ourselves so much as to think a good thought; we, therefore, beseech Thee, by thy Spirit, to work in us both to will and to do, according to thy good pleasure.
Enlighten our minds, that we may know Thee, and let us not be barren nor unfruitful in that knowledge. May we be thankful for thy mercies, humble under thy corrections, and devoted to thy service. Put into our hearts a true faith, a purifying hope, and an unfeigned charity; and let no christian grace be wanting in us. Give us meekness, humility, and contentedness of mind. Make us diligent in our duty, watchful against all temptation, and temperate in our most lawful enjoyments. Grant unto us grace to perform all parts of justice, yielding unto every man whatsoever, by any kind of right, becomes his due; and put also into our hearts such mercy and compassion, that we may be ever ready to do acts of charity both to our friends and enemies, according to the commandment and example of our blessed Saviour. O Lord, sanctify us throughout, that our whole
spirits, and souls, and bodies, may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
0 Thou, whose mercy is over all thy works, we beseech Thee to have pity upon all men. Look with thy tenderest compassion upon our country, and our churches. Give us all grace to repent of those sins which have provoked thy judgments. Bless all in authority over us. So rule their hearts, and strengthen their hands, that they may want neither will nor power to punish wickedness and vice, and to maintain thy true religion. Have pity on all who are in affliction; be a father to the fatherless, and plead the cause of the widow. Comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, heal the sick, relieve the needy, defend the oppressed, and be gracious to all, according to their several necessities. Let thy special blessing rest upon those who are near and dear to us, and grant them whatsoever Thou seest necessary, either to their bodies or their souls. Reward such as have been good to us, and pardon those who have done or wished us evil; and make us all acceptable in thy sight through Jesus Christ.
O Lord pardon the wanderings and coldness of these petitions, and deal with us, not according either to our prayers or deserts, but according to our needs and thine own rich mercies in Jesus Christ, in whose blessed name and words we conclude these our imperfect prayers. Our Father, &c.
MORNING PRAYER FOR A FAMILY.
ALMIGHTY and ever living God! we acknowledge ourselves bound, by innumerable obligations, to praise and adore, to love and serve Thee. From Thee we
have received our being. Thou art our constant Preserver, and bountiful Benefactor: the source of every present enjoyment, and the spring of all our future hopes. Thou hast also, in thine infinite condescension, been pleased to look down with pity on our fallen race, and freely to offer salvation to us through Jesus Christ. We adore Thee for the knowledge of thy will, for the promises of thy mercy and grace, and for the joyful prospect of eternal life so clearly revealed in thy holy word. Possess our minds, O Lord, with such a deep sense and firm persuasion of the important truths which are there made known to us, as shall powerfully influence and regulate all our thoughts, words, and actions.
But while we celebrate thy goodness towards us, we have cause to be ashamed of our own conduct. We have great reason, O Lord, to be humbled before Thee on account of the coldness and insensibility of our hearts; the disorder and irregularity of our lives: and the prevalence of worldly and carnal affections within us. Too often have we indulged the passions and appetites which we ought to have opposed and subdued, and have left our duty unperformed: and we find a daily occasion to lament our proneness to corrupt inclinations and sinful lusts, and our reluctance to the practice of what is agreeable to thy will. O Lord, be merciful to us miserable sinners, and forgive us for thy Son Jesus Christ's sake. Produce in us deep and unfeigned repentance for our manifold transgressions; and a lively faith in that Saviour who hath died for our sins, and risen again for our justification. And may thy pardoning mercy be accompanied with the sanctifying influences of thy Holy Spirit, that we may no more sin against Thee; but may live from henceforth as becomes the redeemed of the Lord, and the candidates for a happy immortality. Put thy fear into our hearts, that we may never more depart from Thee.
May thy blessed will set bounds to our desires, and regulate all our passions. May our affections be fixed, not on present objects, but on those which are unseen and eternal. Convince us more effectually of the vanity of this world, and its utter insufficiency to make us happy; of the vileness of sin, and its tendency to make us for ever miserable ; of the value of our souls, and the awfulness of that everlasting state, on the borders of which we are standing : and may we be serious and diligent in our preparation for death and judgment.
We desire this morning to offer Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, for the watchful care of thy Providence exercised over us during the past night. We laid us down to sleep, and, blessed be thy name, we have arisen in safety. May the lives which Thou hast mercifully prolonged be devoted entirely to thy service. Graciously continue thy protection and favour to us this day. Save us from sin, we beseech Thee, and from all other evils, if it be thy blessed will. Enable us faithfully to perform every relative duty under an abiding sense of thy presence and of our accountableness to Thee. May we, as a family, dwell together in peace and unity. May we put away from us every angry and discordant passion; and loving Thee with a supreme affection, may we love each other with pure hearts fervently. Preserve us, o Lord, from the influence of those temptations to which we are daily exposed. Make us duly sensible of our own weakness, that our hearts may be raised to Thee, in humble and fervent supplications, for the needful supplies of grace and strength. When we are in company, may it be our care to do and to receive as much good as possible. When we are alone, may we remember that our heavenly Father is with us; and may this thought excite in us an earnest desire to act as in thy sight.