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PRAYERS

FOR A

CHRISTIAN FAMILY.

BY

THOMAS SADLER, PH.D.

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

15.

JOSH. XXIV,

Where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them. MATT. XVIII, 20,

LONDON:

E. T. WHITFIELD, 178 STRAND.

1853.

138. d .84.

PEACE be to this habitation !

Peace to every soul herein !
Peace, the earnest of salvation,

Peace, the fruit of pardoned sin:
Peace that speaks its heavenly Giver ;

Peace to earthly minds unknown ; Peace divine that lasts for ever,

Here erect its glorious throne! God of peace! if Thou art near us,

Fix in all our hearts Thy home!
With Thy gracious presence cheer us,

Hither let Thy kingdom come!
Lift to Heaven our expectation;

Give our raptured souls to prove
Glorious and complete salvation,

Holy, everlasting love.

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C. Wesley

LITTRODUCTIOT.

Before thou doest any thing else, be careful to consecrate the first-fruits of the day, and the very beginnings of thy holy thoughts to the service of God.

And when the day is ended, and the night cometh on, fall down and worship Him, who made the day and the night to give thee joy and rest.

St. Basil.

I have always wondered that any one should join a church without raising a family altar; for, if we do not confine our devotions to the closet, it seems natural that in bending the knee before the throne of grace, the first of our brethren whom we should desire to join, would be those of our own homethose whom we most love. And where if not in our homes have we occasion to seek God in prayer?

Consider what are the ordinary circumstances of a family each morning. Not only do we enjoy numberless gifts in common with all mankind, but God has also again given us to one another, the wife to the husband, the parent to the child, the sister to the brother, sons and daughters to the father and mother. Think what would be our desolation of heart, if one were taken from us; and have we no gratitude to offer up, that our dear ones are still around us, as they were yesterday, that not one has slept in death during the night?

Further; have we nothing to ask for that blessed spot, around which cluster our holiest human affections? In our closets we pray for what concerns us as individuals; in our churches we pray for what concerns us as members of the great family of mankind; and have we, whom God has united in heart, in kindred, in outward condition, generally in opinion, and always by most sacred bonds of duty towards one another, and who share one another's joys and sorrows, and are liable to the same temptations, have we nothing to ask of Him who gathereth the solitary together in families? Surely we must feel it to be a right and most happy thing to pray to Him to be the staff of the aged, the guide of the young, our shelter in the storm, the protector and friend of all; surely we must feel to be a most needful thing to beg Him to forgive us and help us in our infirmities, and render us less unworthy of His favour and benediction.

Again ; have we nothing to say as a family, that He has made our sweet home-ties an emblem of the ties by which he would hereafter unite all

ful songs.

mankind, that Jesus Christ has called the lowliest of us brother, that we have an infinite heavenly as well as a frail earthly Father ?

One of the teachers of the early church said, “Instruct the members of Thy household in beauti

Those who introduce David and his harp call Christ into their house. And let prayers follow the psalms, that our souls and houses may be sanctified. Make thy house a church! where there are souls that love God and songs and prayers, there is a church; and if there be but a man and his wife, God is among them, and there is a vast congregation, for Christ and his angels are present.”

In the following prayers I have endeavoured to unite simplicity and fervor of expression with thoughtfulness as to the substance, that we may pray “with the spirit and with the understanding."

sure our hearts speak not less, but more earnestly for thoughtfulness as to what we ought to say; and I think any man, who in a right spirit undertakes to lead the devotions of a family must anxiously desire to present at the divine throne as fitting an offering as he can.

Among the names applied to the great object of our worship, I have especially employed those which tend to bring Him near to us, and they will have to us a deeper and more blessed meaning in pro

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