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PRIVATE EVENING PRAYER.
GRACIOUS and merciful God, slow to anger, great in power, and rich in mercy to all them that call upon thee, help me now so, in the name of Christ, to ask, that I may have, and so to seek that I may find.
Enter not into judgment with me, O Lord, for in thy sight I cannot be justified. However unblameable I may appear before men, before Him who knows the heart, I confess and would mourn over innumerable sins in the past day, and in every day of my life. I acknowledge with shame and sorrow, my hypocrisy and pride, my vanity and selfishness, my unbelief and impatience, my self-indulgence and self-righteousness, my obstinacy and self-will, my disregard of thy law and thy glory, my living to myself and not to thee. And, O how hard is my heart, that feels so little the guilt and the evil of so many and such great sins!
Lord of all power and might, soften, and break this hard heart. Give me a contrite spirit. There is mercy with thee. There is forgiveness with thee. O may thy great mercy be displayed towards me, in pardoning all my sins, and in renewing my soul. Grant me thy strength that the new man may prevail over the old man. Bestow on me the graces of sincerity, humility, and love.Give me penitence, faith, self-denial, and love. May the love of Christ be more known and felt by me, and let it constrain me to live not to myself, but to him that died for me. Grant me thy Holy Spirit, teaching me those things of which I am ignorant, taking of the things of Christ to shew them unto me, and daily sanctifying my heart. I ask for heavenly wisdom, holy simplicity,
ardent zeal, and purity of heart. Incline me to study to be quiet, and to do my own business, and to work with my own hands. Prepare me day by day, more and more, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Make me meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.
I commend myself to thy care during the night. May I lay down at peace with thee through Christ, and in peace with all the world.
O Lord, though I be unworthy through my manifol transgressions to approach thee at all, yet thou hast commanded that intercessions be made for all men; hear me, therefore, unworthy though I be, in behalf of all that need my prayers. May the Lord comfort his people, and have mercy upon his afflicted. Let all nations whom thou hast made come and worship before thee, and glorify thy name. Let every obstacle which may hinder the progress of thy truth be removed in mercy. Bless all the members of the Church of Christ, and all His ministers, and especially him who is over that congregation with which I join in worship.
Give to my parents, my brothers, my sisters, and my relatives, all those temporal and spiritual blessings of which they stand in need. Bless my superiors, my companions, and all about me. Continue the blessing of peace to my country. Put into the hearts of all mankind the fear and love of God. Pardon any who may have injured me; and if I have injured any, may I be ready to confess my fault, and to make restitution for any wrong done, and may they be disposed to forgive me. Thanksgiving.
I would not, O thou gracious Giver of every good, close my evening prayer, without offering up, through
Christ Jesus, my sincerest thanksgiving for all the mercies of the past day. For any help vouchsafed in my duties; for any stand which I may have been enabled to make against sin, Satan, and the world; for any measure of light, knowledge, or grace, given unto me, all praise, all glory be to thee. If I am still kept in thy way, and yet spared from that ruin which I have deserved, while I live, let me praise and bless thee. How great is the sum of thy mercies! When I look back on thy past blessings, when I read thy promises relating to that which is to come, and when I look around me on every side, and especially, when I regard that Cross on which thy Son died for sinners, I would say from the heart, My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever. Amen, and Amen. Hear me for the only sake of Jesus Christ. Our Father, &c.
ANOTHER PRIVATE EVENING PRAYER.
ALMIGHTY God, father of mercies, and God of all comfort, according to thy gracious promise, give me thy Holy Spirit to help my infirmities, and enable me, in the name, and through the mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, to call upon thee.
Great is thy goodness to us sinners, in that we, who have grievously offended thee, have such a Mediator, who ever liveth to make intercession for us. Without a Saviour I can have no hope; for I have sinned against thee and done evil in thy sight, day by day. I confess and mourn before thee the manifold sins of the past day.* I daily offend thee by pride, impenitence, hard
* Here state those sins of which your consciênce accuses you.
ness of heart, unbelief, and forgetfulness of thee, and in many other ways; leaving undone the things which I ought to have done, and doing those which I ought not. Petition.
Lord, let thy Holy Spirit convince me of my sinfulness. I pray that I may see more of the extent of my iniquities, and feel more of their guilt. Thus may I be led to hate sin, and to feel the need and value of that Saviour who came too seek and to save that which was lost. Grant that I may be a partaker of His great salvation. Whatever else I lose, may I win Christ, and be found in him.
Lord, I am unclean; if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. I believe that thou art able, I believe that thou art willing. Lord, help my unbelief; Lord, make me clean.
Give me, I beseech thee, such a sense of thy mercy in free forgiveness, through the blood of Christ, that I may be constrained to present my body a living sacrifice unto thee. Enable me daily to crucify the lusts of the flesh. Give me such a measure of thy grace, that all the powers of my mind, all the affections of my heart, all the members of my body, and all the talents entrusted to me, may be unreservedly engaged for thee. Lord, incline me to spend myself and be spent for thee; strengthen my desire to do so, and enable me ever hereafter to bring this desire to good effect.
Let the number of thy willing and devoted servants be every where increased. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, and thy glory above all the earth.Pour out of thy Spirit upon all flesh, that all the ends of the earth may remember and turn unto the Lord, and
all the kindreds of the nations may worship before thee. Let thy great name, now so little known, and so much profaned, be magnified and sanctified in every country and by every tongue. Bless that land in which I dwell; its government; its legislators and magistrates; the ministers of Jesus Christ and all the people. May we be a people fearing God and working righteousness. Look, with thine especial favour, on my relatives and friends, my family connexions and acquaintance. May they all be partakers of the grace of Christ here, and of his glory hereafter.
I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth. O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name; bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. How great and how numerous they are! Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits. All the temporal mercies granted so abundantly to me, my food, my clothing, my home, my friends, the daily provisions for my various necessities, these are from thee, who openest thy hand, and fillest all things living with plenteousness. But, above all, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly things in Christ Jesus. Thanks be unto God, for his unspeakable gift.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.
These prayers and praises I offer up in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of perishing sinners; trusting only in his mediation and merits. Amen.
Our Father, &c.