A PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN GRACES
Holy, holy Lord God Almighty, who are and was and are to come: who is a God like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? You are blessed in Yourself, and the gracious Author of all our blessings. You are the only sovereign Lord, who can do what You please in heaven or earth. You alone have everlasting life in Yourself, and You only can bestow it upon others; and You dwell in that light which no man can approach, whom no man has seen or can see. You are a God at hand and a God afar off; none can hide himself in secret places where You cannot see him, for You fill heaven and earth; Your eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good; You search the heart and try the reins; even the thoughts and intents of the heart are naked and open before You.
I know, O Lord, that You can do everything. Power belongs to You, and with You nothing is impossible; what You have promised, You are able also to perform. You are good, and do good, good to all; and Your tender mercy is over all Your works.
O that You would cause Your goodness to pass before me, that I may taste and see that the Lord is good, and have His lovingkindness always before my eyes.
O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face before You; for my iniquities are increased over my head, and my trespass is grown up into the heavens; behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I will lay my hand upon my mouth and put my mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope, crying out, “Unclean, unclean!”
Lord, I come to You as the poor publican, and I pray his prayer: “God be merciful unto me a sinner!” The God of infinite mercy be merciful to me. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin; for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Purge my conscience with the blood of Jesus, and I shall be clean; wash me in that purple fountain, and I shall be whiter than snow; hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Let me be justified freely by Your grace, through the redemption of Jesus. Take away all my iniquities, and receive me graciously; heal my backslidings and love me freely; and let Your anger be turned away from me, for in You the fatherless finds mercy. I will say to God, “Do not condemn me — but deliver me from going down into the pit, for You have found a ransom.” I have sinned, Father, against heaven, and before You, and am no more worthy to be called Your son; but I have an Advocate with You, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and He is the propitiation for my sin. Remember the covenant in His blood, and be merciful to my unrighteousness, and my sins and my iniquities remember no more.
Let me be justified by faith and have peace with God through Jesus Christ; and through Him let me have access to that grace wherein believers stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Lord, give me a wise and understanding heart; that which I know not, teach me; let the Spirit of truth guide me into all truth and make me to understand wherein I have erred. Make Your way plain before my face, because there are many that watch for my halting; and by the teaching of Your word and Spirit, make me wise unto salvation.
Unite my heart to fear Your name, that I may keep Your commandments. O put Your fear into my heart, that I may never depart from You, and let me be in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
Give me grace, I beseech You, to love You, the Lord my God, with all my heart and soul and mind and strength; to delight myself always in You, and therein shall I have the desire of my heart. Circumcise my heart to love You and shed abroad Your love abundantly in my heart by the Holy Spirit. May Jesus be very precious to me, as He is to all that believe. Let me delight in Him, as the chief of ten thousand and altogether lovely; and though I have not seen Him — yet may I love Him; and by believing in Him, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let the love of Christ to me constrain me to live not to myself — but to Him who died for me and rose again.
Lord, put upon me that love which is the bond of perfection, that I may keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and may live in love and peace, that the God of love and peace may be with me. Give me to love my neighbor as myself, with that love which is the fulfilling of the law; to love Him with a pure heart fervently. Enable me to be kindly affectioned toward my Christian brethren; so shall I know that I am passed from death unto life, and all will know that I am Your disciple. Lord, teach me to love my enemies; to bless them that curse me; to pray for them that despitefully use me; forbearing them and forgiving them, as I trust You, for Christ’s sake, have forgiven me.
Lord, give me grace to deny myself, to take up my cross daily and follow Christ, to keep under the body and to bring it into subjection; let me learn of Christ to be meek and lowly in heart, that I may find rest to my soul; hide pride from me and clothe me with humility; and put upon me the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in Your sight is of great price. Let anger never rest in my bosom, nor the sun go down upon my wrath; but enable me to show all meekness toward all men; let me have bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long-suffering — that the same mind may be in me which was in Christ Jesus my Lord.
Lord, teach me in every estate to be content; let my conduct be without covetousness; may I always be content with such things as I have — still saying, “The will of the Lord be done.” Lord, give me grace to weep as though I wept not, to rejoice as though I rejoiced not, to buy as though I possessed not, and to use this world as not abusing it; because time is short, and the fashion of this world passes away. May the very God of peace sanctify me wholly; and I pray God, my whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life; when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, be with me, that I may fear no evil; let Your rod and Your staff comfort me. Redeem my soul from the power of the grave and receive me; guide me by Your counsel and afterwards receive me to glory, through Jesus Christ my blessed Lord and Savior — to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, thanksgiving and praise, for- ever and ever. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR THE GRACE OF PERSEVERANCE
Eternal God, with whom is everlasting strength, You are able to keep us from falling and to perform the good work begun in us, till the day of Jesus Christ. But, Lord, You know how weak and changeable I am, how apt to shrink back or start aside after I have been hopefully set in the way toward heaven; and in what danger I still am of ruining myself, after all the great things You have done for me. O Lord of love, have pity on my infirmities and strengthen me in my weakness. Preserve me, blessed Guardian of Your people, who keeps the feet of Your saints; O preserve me from the danger of apostasy and put Your fear in my heart, that I may not depart from You. Make me so firmly Yours, that nothing which befalls me in the world may ever part You in my soul; and make more resolute for Your service, that nothing which any can say or do may interrupt me in that way of life which is to depart from hell beneath. Let me not be of the number of those who draw back to destruction — but of their happy number who believe to the saving of the soul.
O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand; go on, I pray, to work for the glory of Your name and to perfect that which concerns me. You have been my help; leave me not nor forsake me, O God of my salvation; but hold me up, and I shall be safe, and I will have respect to Your statutes continually. Establish, O Lord; strengthen, settle me, and leave me no will or power to resist the gracious designs and methods of Your love and mercy, for the healing and saving of my soul. And as I, by my frailty, do still renew my sins, gracious Lord, through Your mercy, renew me to repentance; and though I fall, let me not utterly be cast down — but uphold me by Your almighty hand; preserve me to Your heavenly kingdom and keep me by Your power, through faith unto salvation. Lord, make me faithful unto death, that You may give me the crown of life, that blessed end of my faith, even the eternal salvation of my soul, through Jesus Christ, my dear Lord and Savior. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR A CHILD
Glory be to You, O Lord, in whom I live and move and have my being, who have preserved me ever since I was born.
I humbly worship You, O Lord, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, my Redeemer. O give me Your grace, that I may faithfully serve You all the days of my life. Wash me from the guilt of my sins in the fountain of Christ’s precious blood; save me daily, by Your grace, from the practice of sin; let Your good Spirit restrain and cleanse the corruption of my nature; help me to remember You, my Creator, in the days of my youth; preserve me from those errors and follies to which the frailty of my age most exposes me, and keep me innocent from every great offense. Deliver me from lying and vanity, from picking and stealing, from swearing and Sabbath breaking and from the temptations of evil company.
Incline my heart to all that is good, that I may be modest and humble, true and just, meek and kind, temperate and diligent, respectful and obedient to all my superiors; and especially that I may fear and love You above all, and my neighbor as myself. Let Your good providence defend me from all evil night and day; let the grace of Your Holy Spirit continually direct and assist me; bless me in my learning and help me daily to increase in knowledge and wisdom and in all virtues; instruct me, O Lord, more and more in the truths of Your holy word and in the knowledge of Your salvation, that I may live holily, die comfortably, and be eternally happy in Your kingdom of bliss and glory.
Bless all my dear friends, relations, and benefactors; grant to them whatever may be good for them in this life, and guide them and me to everlasting happiness in Your kingdom, through Jesus Christ, my dear Lord and Savior. Amen. Our Father, etc.
AN ADDRESS BEFORE PUBLIC WORSHIP
O Lord, I am now in Your house; assist me, I pray, and accept of my services; let Your Holy Spirit help my infirmities, disposing my heart to seriousness, attention, and devotion, to the honor of Your holy name and the benefit of my soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
AFTER THE SERMON IS DONE
Blessed be Your name, O Lord, for this opportunity of attending You in Your house and service. Make me, I pray, a doer of Your word, and not a hearer only. Accept both us and our services, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Heavenly Father, as You have kindly made this provision for our needs, condescend to sanctify it to our use and give us grace to eat and drink to Your glory. Feed our souls with the bread of life and indulge us with communion with Yourself, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
Gracious Lord, we bless You for every manifestation of Your kindness, especially for the food we have now received for the refreshment of our bodies; ever more supply our needs as they return and grant us every spiritual blessing that we need, for our dear Redeemer’s sake. Amen.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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