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that understanding which A PRAYER FOR THE AGED.
shall incline them to keep thy commandments. Lead them by thy right hand in the path of duty, and preserve them amidst the temptations to which the young are particularly exposed, and amidst all the temptations of this present evil world. As they grow in years, may they grow in grace, and by a careful improvement of the talents committed to their trust, may they lay a foundation for their present comfort and eternal felicity.
Help us, O Lord, to train them up in thy fear. May we give them seasonable instructions, and set them good examples. Direct us in every part of their education; in the choice of their studies, employments, and stations of life, whereby they may be most happy in themselves, and most useful to society. Let a kind providence accompany them through life; may we have the comfort of seeing them behave wisely and well, and the hope that they will at last be received to the endless felicity of thy heavenly kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
GREAT God, and heavenly Father, look down with peculiar favour and kindness upon thine aged servants. Have compassion upon their infirmities, and help them in all their weaknesses, difficulties, and distresses. Cast them not away, O Lord, in their old age. Forsake them not when their strength faileth. Remember not against them former iniquities; but according to thy mercy remember them, for thy goodness' sake, O Lord. Give them heavenly wisdom. Pour abundance of thy grace upon them, that their hoary heads may be found in the way of righteousness, and their souls be precious in thy sight. O let goodness and mercy follow them the remainder of their days. Let their last days be their best days, and their last comforts their strongest and sweetest comforts. And, when heart and flesh and all their powers shall fail them, be thou, O God, the strength of their hearts, their support, and their portion, for ever. Amen.
END OF FAMILY PRAYERS.
FIRST MORNING SERVICE
FOR A FAMILY.
The following Anthem, principally selected from the Psalms, is to be said by the Head of the Family, or Reader, in alternate verses with the other Members of the Family.
BLESSED art thou, O Lord, our God, and the God of our fathers, who turnest the shadows of death into the morning, and renewest the face of the earth;
Who scatterest the darkness by this return of light, and hast commanded night to give place to day;
Who hast delivered us from the terror by night, and from the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
Who makest the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to praise thee; For that we laid down
and slept, and rose up again, because thou, O Lord, didst make us to dwell in safety;
For that we awaked, and beheld, and our sleep
was sweet unto us.
Blot out, we pray thee, as a cloud, our transgressions, and as the thickness of the morning cloud, our sins.
Grant us to walk as children of the light and of the day.
O let us hear thy loving kindness betimes in the morning, for in thee is our trust.
Show thou us the way
that we should walk in, for we lift up our souls unto thee.
Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God;
Be honour and glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever and ever. Amen.
If a portion of Scripture is to be read, let it be preceded by the following Sentences, said alternately as before.
BLESSED are they who are undefiled in the way, and walk in the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his testimonies, and seek him with their whole heart.
Early in the morning do we cry unto thee, for in thy word is our trust.
Let our prayer come before thee, O Lord; give us understanding according to thy word.
Here shall the portion of
The Lord be with you;
Reader. Let us pray.
Then shall he read either of the following Prayers, or make Prayer extempore.
O GOD, whose light again shines upon us, we desire to unite with thy whole family in heaven and earth, to offer up to thee, the eternal Fountain of light, our morning adoration, and pay our tribute of gratitude and praise to thee our Preserver. O shine into our hearts with the light of truth, and disperse the shades of error and prejudice and sin. Inspire us with the hopes and comforts of true religion, and implant within us thy likeness, the image of our Creator, in righteousness and true holiness. Give us clear and consoling views of thy Providence, which SO mercifully regards and our minutest concerns. Warm our hearts with love to thee; with the love of goodness, of purity, and of all thy moral perfections; that by these our faith and trust in thee may be increased and strengthened, and that we may rejoice that all
the different dispensations of our lives are in thy hand, the hand of our heavenly Father.
Enlighten our minds, O God, with bright views of immortality; and dispel from them the clouds of doubt and uncertainty. Encourage us in the faithful discharge of our duties. Guide us by thy counsel; support us in our journey by thy strength; hold us up by thy promises. Animate us with the patience and perseverance of our blessed Lord and master, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. In his name we offer our prayers, and in his words conclude them.
O LORD our God, who hast brought us out from the shades of night to see another day, assist and accept our morning devotions which we offer up to thee, who both by night and by day art our Guardian and Deliverer. We thank thee that thou
hast preserved us from the dangers of the past night, and we pray thee to continue thy goodness to us through the present day, and preserve us from all perils both of body and soul. We thank thee for all the time thou hast given us, and acknowledge that we have greatly wasted and misused it. May we do so no more. Make us each day to remember that every day is thy gift, to be used in thy service, and in doing the work of our salvation. Let the Sun of Righteousness arise upon our souls with healing in his wings. Make us children of the light and of the day, and show us the way wherein we should walk. Quicken our dulness in thy service. Release our hearts from the bondage of sin and the fetters of temptation, and so assist us in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, that when the few days of this our mortal life are ended, we may inherit that endless life which thou hast prepared for all who love and fear thee.
The blessings, which we ask for ourselves, we ask