A Method for Prayer was written by Matthew Henry, March 25, 1710. For ease of reading, the editors have sought to update some of the author’s language. http://www.matthewhenry.org/
About the author
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) is best remembered for his Commentary on the Whole Bible, which he began in 1704. He completed Genesis through Acts by the time of his death. He was born near Whitchurch (Salop), England. He began preaching at the age of 23 and spent most of his ministry as pastor of a church in Chester (1687-1712).
9. Short Forms of Prayer
- (1) A Prayer to be Used by Children
- (2) Paraphrase on the Lord’s Prayer
- (3) Another Prayer for Children
- (4) Morning Prayer for a Family
- (5) Evening Prayer for a Family
- (6) Family Prayer for the Lord’s Day Morning
- (7) Family Prayer for the Lord’s Day Evening
- (8) Parents Praying for their Children
- (9) Before Partaking of the Lord’s Supper
- (10) After Receiving the Lord’s Supper
- (11) Before Eating
- (12) Before Eating (Another)
- (13) After Eating
- (14) After Eating (Another)
9. Short Forms of Prayer
A Prayer to be Used by Children
SOME SHORT FORMS OF PRAYER, FOR THE USE OF THOSE WHO MAY NOT BE ABLE TO COLLECT FOR THEMSELVES OUT OF THE FOREGOING MATERIALS
A Prayer to be used by Children.
O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; my father’s God, and I will extol thee.
Who is a God like unto thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. When my flesh and my heart fail, thou art the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Thou madest me for thyself, to show forth thy praise.
But I am a sinner; I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
God be merciful to me a sinner.
O deliver me from the wrath to come, through Jesus, who died for me, and rose again.
Lord, give me a new nature. Let Jesus Christ be formed in my soul, that to me to live may be Christ, and to die may be gain.
Lord, I was in my baptism given up to thee; receive me graciously and love me freely.
Lord Jesus, thou hast encouraged little children to come to thee and hast said that of such is the kingdom of God; I come to thee: O make me a faithful subject of thy kingdom, take me up in thy arms, put thy hands upon me, and bless me.
O give me grace to redeem me from all iniquity, and particularly from the vanity which childhood and youth is subject to.
Lord, give me a wise and an understanding heart, that I may know and do thy will in everything, and may in nothing sin against thee.
Lord, grant that from my childhood I may know the holy scriptures, and may continue in the good things that I have learned.
Remove from me the way of lying and grant me thy law graciously.
Lord, be thou a Father to me; teach me and guide me; provide for me and protect me and bless me, even me, O my Father.
Bless all my relations (father, mother, brothers, sisters), and give me grace to do my duty to them in every thing.
Lord, prepare me for death and give me wisely to consider my latter end.
O Lord, I thank thee for all thy mercies to me: for life and health, food and raiment, and for my education; for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the means of grace, and the hope of glory.
Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift; blessed be God for JESUS CHRIST. None but Christ, none but Christ for me.
Now to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that great name into which I was baptized, be honour and glory, dominion and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father, which art in heaven, etc.
Paraphrase on the Lord’s Prayer
Another paraphrase on the Lord’s Prayer, in the words of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism.
Our Father in heaven, we come to thee as children to a Father able and ready to help us.
We beseech thee, let thy name be sanctified; enable us and others to glorify thee in all that whereby thou hast made thyself known, and dispose of all things to thine own glory.
Let thy kingdom come; let Satan’s kingdom be destroyed, and let the kingdom of thy grace be advanced; let us and others be brought into it, and kept in it, and let the kingdom of thy glory be hastened.
Let thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven; make us by thy grace able and willing to know, obey, and submit to thy will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; of thy free gift let us receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and let us enjoy thy blessing with them.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. We pray that for Christ’s sake thou wouldst freely pardon all our sins, and that by thy grace thou wouldst enable us from the heart to forgive others.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Either keep us, O Lord, from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Lord, we take our encouragement in prayer from thyself only and desire in our prayers to praise thee, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to thee: And in testimony of our desires and assurance to be heard through Jesus Christ, we say Amen.
Another Prayer for Children
Another prayer drawn out of my plain Catechism for Children (which was first published in the year 1703), which will be easy to those children who have learned that Catechism.
O Lord, thou art an infinite and eternal Spirit, most wise and powerful, holy, just, and good.
Thou art the great God that madest the world and art my Creator; and thou that madest me dost preserve and maintain me, and in thee I live and move and have my being. O that I may remember thee as my Creator in the days of my youth and never forget thee.
Lord, give me grace to serve and honour thee, to worship and obey thee, and in all my ways to trust in thee, and to please thee.
Lord, I thank thee for thy holy word, which thou hast given me to be the rule of my faith and obedience, and which is able to make me wise unto salvation.
I confess, O Lord, that the condition which I was born in is sinful and miserable. I am naturally prone to that which is evil, and backward to that which is good, and foolishness is bound up in my heart; and I am by nature a child of wrath; so that if thou hadst not raised up a Saviour for me, I had been certainly lost and undone for ever. I have been disobedient to the command of God and have eaten forbidden fruit.
But, blessed, and forever blessed, be God for the Saviour Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God and the only Mediator between God and man, who took our nature upon him and became man, that he might redeem and save us.
Lord, I bless thee, for his holy life; give me to follow his steps. I bless thee for the true and excellent doctrine which he preached; give me to mix faith with it. I bless thee for the miracles which he wrought to confirm his doctrine; and especially that he died the cursed death of the cross to satisfy our sin and to reconcile us to God; and that he rose again from the dead on the third day and ascended up into heaven, where he ever lives, making intercession for us, and hath all power both in heaven and in earth; and that we are assured he will come again in glory to judge the world at the last day.
Lord, I thank thee that I am one of his disciples; for I am a baptized Christian; and I give glory to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in whose name I was baptized.
Lord, be thou in Christ to me a God and make me one of thy people.
Be thou my chief good and highest end; let Jesus Christ be my Prince and Saviour; and let the Holy Ghost be my sanctifier, teacher, guide, and comforter.
Lord, enable me to deny all ungodliness and worldly, fleshly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, always looking for the blessed hope.
Work in me repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ; and give me to live a life of faith and repentance.
Lord, make me truly sorry that I have offended thee in what I have thought and spoken and done amiss, and give me grace to sin no more.
And enable me to receive Jesus Christ, and to rely upon him as my Prophet, Priest, and King, and to give up myself to be ruled and taught and saved by him.
Lord, grant unto me the pardon of my sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life.
And give me grace to manifest the sincerity of my faith and repentance, by a diligent and conscientious obedience to all thy commandments.
Enable me to love thee with all my heart, and to love my neighbor as myself.
Give me grace always to make mention of thy name with reverence and seriousness, to read and hear thy word with diligence and attention, to meditate upon it, to believe it, and to frame my life according to it.
Lord, grant that I may receive all thy mercies with thankfulness, and bear all afflictions with patience and submission to thy holy will.
Lord, grant that my heart may never be lifted up with pride, disturbed with anger, or any sinful passion; and that my body may be never defiled with intemperance, uncleanness, or any fleshly lusts; and keep me from ever speaking any sinful words.
Lord, give me grace to reverence and obey my parents and governors; I thank thee for their instructions and reproofs; I pray thee, bless them to me and make me in every thing a comfort to them.
Lord, pity, help, and succour the poor, and those in affliction and distress.
Lord, bless my friends, forgive my enemies, and enable me to do my duty to all men.
Wherein I have in any thing offended thee, I humbly pray for pardon in the blood of Christ and grace to do my duty better for the time to come, and so to live in fear of God, as that I may be happy in this world and that to come.
Lord, prepare me to die and leave this world: O save me from that state of everlasting misery and torment, which will certainly be the portion of all the wicked and ungodly, and bring me safe to the world of everlasting rest and joy with thee and Jesus Christ.
And give me wisdom and grace to live a holy, godly life, and to make it my great care and business to serve thee, and to save my own soul.
All this I humbly beg in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, my blessed Saviour and Redeemer, to whom with thee, O Father, and the eternal Spirit, be honour, glory, and praise, henceforth and for evermore. Amen.
Morning Prayer for a Family
A morning prayer for a family.
O Lord our God, we desire with all humility and reverence to adore thee, as a being infinitely bright, and blessed, and glorious; thou hast all perfection in thyself and art the fountain of all being, power, life, motion, and perfection.
Thou art good to all, and thy tender mercies are over all thy works; and thou art continually doing us good, though we are evil and unthankful.
We reckon it an unspeakable privilege, that we have liberty of access to thee through Jesus Christ, and leave to call thee our Father in him. O look upon us now and be merciful to us, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
O give us all to account our daily worship of thee in our family the most needful part of our daily business and the most pleasant part of our daily comforts.
Thou art the God of all the families of Israel, be thou the God of our family and grant, whatever others do, we and ours may always serve the Lord; that thou mayest cause thy blessing to rest on our house, from the beginning of the year to the end of it. Lord, bless us, and we are blessed indeed.
We humbly thank thee for all the mercies of this night past and this morning, that we have laid us down and slept and waked again, because thou hast sustained us; that no plague has come nigh our dwelling; but that we are brought in safety to the light and comforts of another day.
It is of thy mercies, O Lord, that we are not consumed, even because thy compassions fail not; they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.
We have rested and are refreshed, when many have been full of tossings to and fro till the dawning of the day. We have a safe and quiet habitation, when many are forced to wander and lie exposed.
We own thy goodness to us, and ourselves we acknowledge less than worthy of the least of all thy mercy and of all the truth thou hast shewed unto us.
We confess we have sinned against thee, we are guilty before thee, we have sinned and have come short of the glory of God: We have corrupt and sinful natures, and are bent to backslide from thee; backward to good, and prone to evil continually.
Vain thoughts come into us and lodge within us, lying down or rising up, and they defile or disquiet our minds and keep out good thoughts. We are too apt to burden ourselves with that care which thou hast encouraged us to cast upon thee.
We are very much wanting in the duties of our particular relations, and provoke one another more to folly and passion, than to love and to good works. We are very cold and defective in our love to God, weak in our desires towards him, and unsteady and uneven in our walking with him; and are at this time much out of frame for his service.
We pray thee, forgive all our sins for Christ’s sake and be at peace with us in him who died to make peace, and ever lives, making intercession.
There be many that say, Who will show us any good? But, Lord, let us not be put off with the good of this world for a portion; for this is our hearts’ desire and prayer, Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us, and that shall put gladness into our hearts, more than they have, whose corn, and wine, and oil increaseth.
Lord, let thy peace rule in our hearts and give thy law to us, and let thy peace keep our hearts and minds, and give comfort to us; and let the consolations of God, which are neither few nor small, be our strength and our song in the house of our pilgrimage.
Lord, we commit ourselves to thy care and keeping this day: Watch over us for good; compass us about with thy favour as with a shield; preserve us from all evil, yea, the Lord preserve and keep our souls; preserve our going out and coming in.
Our bodies and all our worldly affairs we commit to the conduct of thy wise and gracious providence, and submit to its disposals. Let no hurt or harm happen to us; keep us in health and safety; bless our employments, prosper us in all our lawful undertakings, and give us comfort and success in them. Let us eat the labour of our hands, and let it be well with us.
Our precious souls and all their concerns we commit to the government of thy Spirit and grace. O let thy grace be mighty in us and sufficient for us, and let it work in us both to will and to do that which is good, of thine own good pleasure.
O give us grace to do the work of this day in its day, according as the duty of the day requires, and to do even common actions after a godly sort; acknowledging thee in all our ways, and having our eyes ever up to thee, and be thou pleased to direct our steps.
Lord, keep us from sin; give us rule over our own spirits, and grant that we may not this day break out into passion upon provocation, or speak unadvisedly with our lips. Give us grace to live together in peace and holy love, that the Lord may command the blessing upon us, even life evermore.
Make us conscientious in all our dealings and always watchful against sin, as becomes those who see thine eye ever upon us. Arm us against every temptation, uphold us in our integrity, keep us in the way of our duty; and grant that we may be in thy fear every day and all the day long.
In every doubtful case, let our way be made plain before us; and give us that wisdom of the prudent, which is at all times profitable to direct; and let integrity and uprightness preserve us, for we wait on thee.
Sanctify to us all our losses, crosses, afflictions, and disappointments, and give us grace to submit to thy holy will in them, and let us find it good for us to be afflicted, that we may be partakers of thy holiness.
Prepare us for all the events of this day, for we know not what a day may bring forth. Give us to stand complete in thy whole will; to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow Jesus Christ.
Lord, fit us for death, and judgment, and eternity, and give us grace to live every day as those that do not know but it may be our last day.
Lord, plead thy cause in the world; build up thy church into perfect beauty; set up the throne of the exalted Redeemer in all places upon the ruins of the devil’s kingdom. Let the reformed churches be more and more reformed, and let everything that is amiss be amended; and let those that suffer for righteousness’ sake be supported and delivered.
Do us good in these nations; bless the king and all in authority; guide public counsels and affairs; overrule all to thine own glory; let peace and truth be in our days, and be preserved to those that shall come after us.
Be gracious to all our relations, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, and do them good according as their necessities are. Supply the wants of all thy people. Dwell in the families that fear thee and call upon thy name. Forgive our enemies and those that hate us; give us a right and charitable frame of spirit towards all men, and all that is theirs.
Visit those that are in affliction and comfort them and be unto them a very present help. Recover the sick, ease the pained, succour the tempted, relieve the oppressed, and give joy to those that mourn in Zion.
Deal with us and our family according to the tenure of the everlasting covenant, which is well ordered in all things and sure, and which is all our salvation and all our desire; however it pleaseth God to deal with us and with our house.
Now blessed be God for all his gifts both of nature and grace, for those that concern this life and that to come; especially for Jesus Christ, the fountain and foundation of all. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
We humbly beseech thee for Christ Jesus’ sake to pardon our sins, accept our services, and grant an answer of peace to our prayers, even for his sake who died for us and rose again, who hath taught us to pray, Our Father which art in heaven, etc.
Evening Prayer for a Family
An evening prayer for a family.
Most holy and blessed and glorious Lord God, whose we are, and whom we are bound to serve; for, because thou madest us, and not we ourselves, therefore we are not our own, but thine, and unto thee, O Lord, do we lift up our souls; thy face, O Lord, do we seek; whither shall we go for happiness, but to thee, from whom we derive our being.
Thou art the great Benefactor of the whole creation; thou givest to all life and breath and all things: thou art our Benefactor, the God that hast fed us and kept us all our life long unto this day. Having obtained help of God, we continue hitherto monuments of sparing mercy and witnesses for thee, that thou art gracious, that thou art God and not man; for therefore it is that we are not cut off.
One day tells another, and one night certifies to another, that thou art good and doest good and never failest those that seek thee and trust in thee. Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to praise thee.
It is through the good hand of our God upon us that we are brought in safety to the close of another day, and that after the various employments of the day, we come together at night to mention the loving-kindness of the Lord and the praises of our God, who is good, and whose mercy endureth forever.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with his benefits, even the God of our salvation; for he that is our God is the God of salvation. We have from thee the mercies of the day in its day, according as the necessity of the day requires, though we come far short of doing the work of the day in its day, according as the duty of the day requires.
We bless thee for the ministration of the good angels about us, the serviceableness of the inferior creatures to us, for our bodily health and ease, comfort in our relations, and a comfortable place of abode, that thou hast not made the wilderness our habitation and the barren land our dwelling; and especially that thou continuest to us the use of our reason, and the quiet and peace of our consciences.
We bless thee for our share in the public tranquility, that thou hast given us a good land in which we dwell safely under our own vines and fig-trees.
Above all, we bless thee for Jesus Christ and his mediation between God and man, for the covenant of grace made with us in him, and all the exceeding great and precious promises and privileges of that covenant, for the throne of grace erected for us, to which we may in his name come with humble boldness, and for the hope of eternal life through him.
We confess we have sinned against thee; this day we have sinned and done foolishly: O God, thou knowest our foolishness, and our sins are not hid from thee. We misspend our time, we neglect our duty, we follow after lying vanities, and forsake our own mercies. We offend with our tongues: Are we not carnal and walk as men, below Christians? Who can understand his errors? Cleanse us from our secret faults.
We pray thee, give us repentance for our sins of daily infirmity and make us duly sensible of the evil of them and of our danger by them, and let the blood of Christ, thy Son, which cleanseth from all sin, cleanse us from it, that we may lie down to night at peace with God, and our souls may comfortably return to him, and repose in him as our rest.
And give us grace to repent every day for the sins of every day, so that when we come to die, we may have the sins but of one day to repent of, and so we may be continually easy.
Do us good by all the providences we are under, merciful or afflictive; give us grace to accommodate ourselves to them, and by all bring us nearer to thee, and make us fitter for thee.
We commit ourselves to thee this night, and desire to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Let the Lord be our habitation, and let our souls be at home in him.
Make a hedge of protection, we pray thee, about us and about our house and about all that we have round about, that no evil may befall us, nor any plague come nigh our dwelling. The Lord be our keeper, who neither slumbers nor sleeps: Lord, be thou a sun and a shield to us.
Refresh our bodies, we pray thee, with quiet and comfortable rest, not to be disturbed with any distrustful disquieting cares and fears; but especially let our souls be refreshed with thy love, and the light of thy countenance and thy benignity, which is better than life.
When we awake, grant that we may be still with thee, and may remember thee upon our beds, and meditate upon thee in the night-watches, and may improve the silence and solitude of our retirements for communion with God and our own hearts; that when we are alone, we may not be alone, but God may be with us, and we with him.
Restore us to another day in safety, and prepare us for the duties and events of it; and by all supports and comforts of this life, let our bodies be fitted to serve our souls in thy service, and enable us to glorify thee with both, remembering that we are not our own, we are bought with a price.
And forasmuch as we are now brought one day nearer our end, Lord, enable us so to number our days, as that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Let us be reminded by our putting off our clothes and going to sleep in our beds, of putting off the body, sleeping the sleep of death, and making our bed in the darkness shortly, that we may be daily dying in expectation of it and preparing for our change, that when we come to die indeed, it may be no surprise or terror to us, but we may with comfort put off the body and resign the spirit, knowing whom we have trusted.
Lord, let our family be blessed in him, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things, by Christ Jesus, and with temporal blessings as far as thou seest good for us. Give us health and prosperity, but especially let our souls prosper and be in health, and let all that belong to us belong to Christ, that we who live in a house together on earth may be together forever with the Lord.
Look with pity upon a lost world, we beseech thee, and set up Christ’s throne there where Satan’s seat is; send the gospel where it is not, make it successful where it is; let it be mighty through God to the pulling down of the strong-holds of sin.
Let the church of Christ greatly flourish in all places and make it to appear that it is built upon a rock, and that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it; and suffer not the rod of the wicked any where to rest upon the lot of the righteous.
Let the land of our nativity be still the particular care of thy good providence, that in the peace thereof we may have peace. Let glory dwell in our land, and upon all the glory let there be a defence.
Rule in the hearts of our rulers. We pray thee, continue the king’s life and government long a public blessing; make all that are in places of public trust faithful to the public interest; and all that bear the sword, a terror to evil doers, and a protection and praise to them that do well. Own thy ministers in their work, and give them skill and will to help souls to heaven.
Be gracious to all that are dear to us: Let the rising generation be such as thou wilt own, and do thee more and better service in their day than this has done.
Comfort and relieve all that are in sorrow or affliction, lay no more upon them than thou wilt enable them to bear, and enable them to bear what thou dost lay upon them.
Do for us, we pray thee, abundantly above what we are able to ask or think, for the sake of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the Lord our Righteousness. To him with the Father and the eternal Spirit, be glory and praise, now and for ever. Amen.
Family Prayer for the Lord’s Day Morning
A family prayer for the Lord’s Day morning.
Most gracious God and our Father in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is good for us to draw near to thee, the nearer the better, and it will be best of all when we come to be nearest of all in the kingdom of glory.
Thou hast thy being of thyself and thy happiness in thyself; we therefore adore thee as the great Jehovah: We have our being from thee, and our happiness is in thee, and therefore it is both our duty and our interest to seek thee, to implore thy favour, and to give unto thee the glory due unto thy name.
We bless thee for the return of the morning light, and that thou causest the day-spring to know its place and time. O let the Day-spring from on high visit our dark souls, and the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing under his wings.
We bless thee that the light we see is the Lord’s: That this is the day which the Lord hath made, hath made for man, hath made for himself, we will rejoice and be glad in it. That thou hast revealed unto us thy holy sabbaths, and that we were betimes taught to put a difference between this day and other days, and that we live in a land in all parts of which God is publicly and solemnly worshipped on this day.
We bless thee that sabbath liberties and opportunities are continued to us; and that we are not wishing in vain for these days of the Son of man; that our candlestick is not removed out of its place, as justly it might have been, because we have left our first love.
Now we bid this sabbath welcome: Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, hosanna in the highest. O that we may be in the Spirit on this Lord’s Day; that this may be the sabbath of the Lord in our dwelling; in our hearts, a sabbath of rest from sin, and a sabbath of rest in God. Enable us, we pray thee, so to sanctify this sabbath, as that it may be sanctified to us and be a means of our sanctification; that by resting today from our worldly employments, our hearts may be more and more taken off from present things and prepared to leave them; and that by our employing our time today in the worship of God, we may be led into a more experimental acquaintance with the work of heaven, and be made more meet for that blessed world.
We confess we are utterly unworthy of the honour and unable for the work of communion with thee, but we come to thee in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is worthy, and depend upon the assistance of thy blessed Spirit to work all our works in us, and so ordain peace for us.
We keep this day holy, to the honour of God the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, in remembrance of the work of creation, that work of wonder, in which thou madest all things out of nothing by the word of thy power and all very good: and they continue to this day according to thine ordinance, for all are thy servants. Thou art worthy to receive blessing and honour and glory and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. O thou who at first didst command the light to shine out of darkness, who saidst on the first day of the first week, Let there be light, and there was light; we pray thee, shine this day into our hearts, and give us more and more of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and let us be thy workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, a kind of first-fruits of thy creatures.
We likewise sanctify this day to the honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God and our exalted Redeemer, in remembrance of his resurrection from the dead on the first day of the week, by which he was declared to be the Son of God with power. We bless thee, that having laid down his life to make atonement for sin, he rose again for our justification, that he might bring in an everlasting righteousness. That the stone which the builders refused, the same is become the head stone of the corner: This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. We bless thee, that he is risen from the dead, as the first-fruits of them that slept, that he might be the resurrection and the life to us. Now we pray, that while we are celebrating the memorial of his resurrection with joy and triumph, we may experience in our souls the power and virtue of his resurrection, that we may rise with him, may rise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, from the dust of this world to a holy, heavenly, spiritual, and divine life. O that we may be planted together in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection, that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life.
We sanctify this day also to the honour of the eternal Spirit, that blessed Spirit of grace, the Comforter, rejoicing at the remembrance of the descent of the Spirit upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost, the first day of the week likewise. We bless thee, that when Jesus was glorified, the Holy Ghost was given to make up the want of his bodily presence, to carry on his undertakings, and to ripen things for his second coming; and that we have a promise that he shall abide with us for ever. And now we pray that the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, may dwell and rule in every one of us to make us partakers of a new and divine nature. Come, O blessed Spirit of grace, and breathe upon these dry bones, these dead hearts of ours, that they may live and be in us a spirit of faith and love and holiness, a spirit of power and of a sound mind.
O Lord, we bless thee for thy holy word, which is a light to our feet and a lamp to our paths, and which was written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope; that the scriptures are preserved pure and entire to us, and that we have them in a language that we understand. We beg that we may not receive the grace of God herein in vain. We bless thee that our eyes see the joyful light, and our ears hear the joyful sound of a Redeemer and a Saviour, and of redemption and salvation by him; that life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel. Glory be to God in the highest, for in and through Jesus Christ there is on earth peace and good-will towards men.
We bless thee for the great gospel-record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Lord, we receive it as a faithful saying and well worthy of all acceptation; we will venture our immortal souls upon it; and we are encouraged by it to come to thee, to beg for an interest in the mediation of thy Son. O let him be made of God to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, let us be effectually called into fellowship with him, and by faith be united to him, so that Christ may live in us, and we may grow up into him in all things, who is the head; that we may bring forth fruit in him, and whatever we do in word or deed, we may do all in his name. O let us have the Spirit of Christ, that thereby we may make it appear we are his. And through him we pray that we may have eternal life, that we may none of us come short of it, but may all of us have the first-fruits and earnests of it abiding in us.
We bless thee for the new covenant made with us in Jesus Christ; that when the covenant of innocency was irreparably broken, so that it was become impossible for us to get to heaven by that covenant, thou wast then pleased to deal with us upon new terms; that we are under grace and not under the law; that this covenant is established upon better promises in the hand of a mediator. Lord, we fly for refuge to it, we take hold of it as the hope set before us. O receive us graciously into the bond of this covenant, and make us accepted in the beloved, according to the tenor of the covenant. Thou hast declared concerning the Lord Jesus that he is thy beloved Son, in whom thou art well pleased, and we humbly profess that he is our beloved Saviour in whom we are well pleased; Lord, be well pleased with us in him.
O that our hearts may be filled this day with pleasing thoughts of Christ and his love to us, that great love wherewith he loved us. O the admirable dimensions of that love; the height, the depth, and length, and breadth of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge! Let this love constrain us to love him and to live to him, who died for us and rose again. O that it may be a pleasure and mighty satisfaction to us to think that while we are here praying at the footstool of the throne of grace, our blessed Saviour is sitting at the right hand of the throne of glory, interceding for us. We earnestly beg that through him we may find favour with thee our God, and may be taken into covenant and communion with thee.
We humbly pray thee, for his sake, forgive all our sins, known and unknown, in thought, word, and deed: Through him let us be acquitted of guilt and accepted as righteous in thy sight; let us not come into condemnation, as we have deserved; let our iniquity be taken away and our sin covered; and let us be clothed with the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness, that the shame of our nakedness may not appear. O let there be no cloud of guilt to interpose between us and our God this day, and to intercept our comfortable communion with him; and let our lusts be mortified and subdued, that our corruptions may not be as a clog to us, to hinder the ascent of our souls heavenwards.
We pray thee, assist us in all the religious services of this thine own holy day. Go along with us to the solemn assembly, for if thy presence go not up with us, wherefore should we go up? Give us to draw nigh to thee with a true heart, with a free heart, with a fixed heart, and in full assurance of faith. Meet us with a blessing: Grace thine own ordinances with thy presence, that special presence of thine which thou hast promised where two or three are gathered together in thy name. Help us against our manifold infirmities, and the sins that do most easily beset us in our attendance upon thee; let thy word come with life and power to our souls, and be as good seed sown in good soil, taking root, and bringing forth fruit to thy praise; and let our prayers and praises be spiritual sacrifices, acceptable in thy sight, through Christ Jesus; and let those that tarry at home divide the spoil.
Let thy presence be in all assemblies of good Christians this day. Grace be with all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity; let grace be upon them all. In the chariot of the everlasting gospel, let the great Redeemer ride forth triumphantly, conquering and to conquer, and let every thought be brought into obedience to him. Let many be brought to believe the report of the gospel, and to many let the arm of the Lord be revealed. Let sinners be converted unto thee, and thy saints edified and built up in faith, holiness, and comfort, unto salvation. Complete the number of thine elect, and hasten thy kingdom.
Now the Lord of peace himself give us peace always by all means. The God of hope fill us with joy and peace in believing, for Christ Jesus’ sake, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer, who hath taught us to pray, Our Father which art in heaven, etc.
Family Prayer for the Lord’s Day Evening
A family prayer for the Lord’s Day evening.
O eternal and forever blessed and glorious Lord God! Thou art God over all, and rich in mercy to all that call upon thee, most wise and powerful, holy, just, and good; the King of kings, and Lord of lords; our Lord and our God.
Thou art happy without us and hast no need of our services, neither can our goodness extend unto thee, but we are miserable without thee; we have need of thy favours and are undone, forever undone, if thy goodness extend not unto us, and therefore, Lord, we entreat thy favour with our whole hearts; O let thy favour be towards us in Jesus Christ, for our happiness is bound up in it, and it is to us better than life. We confess we have forfeited thy favour, we have rendered ourselves utterly unworthy of it; yet we are humbly bold to pray for it in the name of Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us.
We bewail it before thee, that by the corruption of our natures we are become odious to thine holiness and utterly unfit to inherit the kingdom of God, and that by our many actual transgressions we are become obnoxious to thy justice and liable to thy wrath and curse. Being by nature children of disobedience, we are children of wrath and have reason both to blush and tremble in all our approaches to the holy and righteous God. Even the iniquity of our holy things would be our ruin, if God should deal with us according to the desert of them.
But with thee, O God, there is mercy and plenteous redemption: Thou hast graciously provided for all those that repent and believe the gospel, that the guilt of their sin shall be removed through the merit of Christ’s death, and the power of their sins broken by his Spirit and grace; and he is both ways able to save to the uttermost all those that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives making intercession for us.
Lord, we come to thee as a Father, by Jesus Christ the Mediator, and earnestly desire by repentance and faith to turn from the world and the flesh to God in Jesus Christ, as our ruler and portion. We are sorry that we have offended thee, we are ashamed to think of our treacherous and ungrateful carriage towards thee. We desire that we may have no more to do with sin, and pray as earnestly that the power of sin may be broken in us, as that the guilt of sin may be removed from us: And we rely only upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ and upon the merit of his death for the procuring of thy favour. O look upon us in him, and for his sake receive us graciously; heal our backslidings and love us freely and let not our iniquity be our ruin.
We beg, that being justified by faith, we may have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation for sin, that he may be just and the justifier of them which believe in Jesus. Through him who was made sin for us, though he knew no sin, let us who know no righteousness of our own, be accepted as righteous.
And the God of peace sanctify us wholly, begin and carry on that good work in our souls, renew us in the spirit of our minds, and make us in every thing such as thou wouldest have us to be. Set up thy throne in our hearts, write thy law there, plant thy fear there, and fill us with all the graces of thy Spirit that we may be fruitful in the fruits of righteousness, to the glory and the praise of God,
Mortify our pride and clothe us with humility; mortify our passions and put upon us the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price. Save us from the power of a vain mind, and let thy grace be mighty in us to make us serious and sober-minded. Let the flesh be crucified in us, with all its affections and lusts; and give us grace to keep under our body, and to bring it into subjection to the laws of religion and right reason, and always to possess our vessel in sanctification and honour.
Let the love of the world be rooted out of us, and that covetousness which is idolatry; and let the love of God in Christ be rooted in us. Shed abroad that love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, and give us to love thee the Lord our God with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and might; and to do all we do in religion from a principle of love to thee.
Mortify in us all envy, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness; pluck up these roots of bitterness out of our minds and give us grace to love one another with a pure heart, fervently, as becomes the followers of the Lord Jesus, who has given us this as his new commandment. O that brotherly love may continue among us, love without dissimulation!
We pray thee, rectify all our mistakes; if in any thing we be in an error, discover it to us, and let the Spirit of truth lead us into all truth, the truth as it is in Jesus, the truth which is according to godliness; and give us that good understanding which they have that do thy commandments; and let our love and all good affections abound in us yet more and more, in knowledge and in all judgment.
Convince us, we pray thee, of the vanity of this world and its utter insufficiency to make us happy, that we may never set our hearts upon it, nor raise our expectations from it; and convince us of the vileness of sin, and its certain tendency to make us miserable, that we may hate it and dread it and every thing that looks like it or leads to it.
Convince us, we pray thee, of the worth of our own souls and the weight of eternity, and the awfulness of that everlasting state which we are standing upon the brink of; and make us diligent and serious in our preparation for it, labouring less for the meat that perisheth and more for that which endures to eternal life, as those who have set their affections on things above and not on things that are on earth, which are trifling and transitory.
O that time and the things of time may be as nothing to us in comparison with eternity and the things of eternity; that eternity may be much upon our heart and ever in our eye; that we may be governed by that faith which is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen; looking continually at the things that are not seen, that are eternal.
Give us grace, we pray thee, to look up to the other world with such a holy concern, as that we may look down upon this world with a holy contempt and indifferency, as those that must be here but a very little while, and must be somewhere forever; that we may rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and weep as though we wept not, and buy as though we possessed not, and may use this world as not abusing it; because the fashion of this world passeth away, and we are passing away with it.
O let thy grace be mighty in us and sufficient for us, to prepare us for the great change which will come certainly and shortly, and may come very suddenly; which will remove us from a world of sense to a world of spirits, from our state of trial and probation to that of recompense and retribution; and to make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light; that when we fail, we may be received into everlasting habitations.
Prepare us, we beseech thee, for whatever we may meet with betwixt us and the grave: We know not what is before us, and therefore know not what particular provision to make; but thou dost, and therefore we beg of thee to fit us by thy grace for all the services and all the sufferings which thou shalt at any time call us out to; and arm us against every temptation which we may at any time be assaulted with, that we may at all times and in all conditions glorify God, keep a good conscience, and be found in the way of our duty, and may keep up our hope and joy in Christ, and a believing prospect of eternal life; and then welcome the holy will of God.
Give us grace, we pray thee, to live a life of communion with thee both in ordinances and providences, to set thee always before us, and to have our eyes ever upon thee, and to live a life of dependence upon thee, upon thy power, providence, and promise, trusting in thee at all times and pouring out our hearts before thee; and to live a life of devotedness to thee and to thine honour and glory, as our highest end. And that we may make our religion not only our business, but our pleasure, we beseech thee, enable us to live a life of complacency in thee, to rejoice in thee always; that making God our heart’s delight, so may we have our heart’s desire: And this is our heart’s desire, to know and love and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him.
We beseech thee, preserve us in our integrity to our dying day and grant that we may never forsake thee or turn from following after thee, but that with purpose of heart we may cleave unto the Lord and may not count life itself so dear to us, so we may but finish our course with joy and true honour.
Let thy good providence order all the circumstances of our dying, so as may best befriend our comfortable removal to a better world; and let thy grace be sufficient for us then to enable us to finish well; and let us then have an abundant entrance ministered to us into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And while we are here, make us wiser and better every day than others; more weaned from the world, and more willing to leave it: More holy, heavenly, and spiritual; that the longer we live in this world, the fitter we may be for another, and our last days may be our best days, our last works our best works, and our last comforts our sweetest comforts.
We humbly pray thee, accomplish all that which thou hast promised concerning thy church in the latter days; let the earth be filled with thy glory. Let the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in, and let all Israel be saved.
Let the mountain of the Lord’s house be established upon the top of the mountains and exalted above the hills, and let all nations flow unto it.
Propagate the gospel in the plantations, and let the enlargement of trade and commerce contribute to the enlargement of thy church. Let the kingdom of Christ be set up in all places upon the ruins of the devil’s kingdom.
Hasten the downfall of the man of sin, and let primitive Christianity, even pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, be revived and be made to flourish in all places; and let the power of godliness prevail and get ground among all that have the form of it.
Let the wars of the nations end in the peace of the church, the shakings of the nations end in the establishment of the church, and the convulsions and revolutions of states and kingdoms in the settlement and advancement of the kingdom of God among men, that kingdom which cannot be moved.
Let Great Britain and Ireland flourish in all their public interests. Let thine everlasting gospel be always the glory in the midst of us, and let thy providence be a wall of fire round about us. Destroy us not, but let a blessing be among us, even a meat-offering and a drink-offering to the Lord our God.
Be very gracious to our sovereign lord the king, protect his person, preserve his health, prolong his days, guide his councils, let his reign be prosperous, and crown all his undertakings for the public good.
Bless the privy counsellors, the nobility, the judges, and magistrates in our several counties and corporations, and make them in all their places faithful and serviceable to the interest of the nation, and every way public blessings.
Bless all the ministers of thy holy word and sacraments; make them burning and shining lights, and faithful to Christ and to the souls of men. Unite all thy ministers and people together in the truth and in true love one to another; pour out a healing spirit upon them, a spirit of love and charity, mutual forbearance and condescension, that with one shoulder and with one consent all may study to promote the common interests of our great Master and the common salvation of precious souls.
We pray thee, prosper the trade of the nation and our coasts, disappoint the devices of our enemies against us, preserve the public peace, and keep all the people of these lands in quietness among themselves and due subjection to the authority God hath set over us; and let the Lord delight to dwell among us and to do us good.
Bless the fruits of the earth, continue our plenty, abundantly bless our provision, and satisfy even our poor with bread.
We bless thee for all the mercies of this thine own holy day; we have reason to say that a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! Bless the word we have heard this day to us and to all that heard it; hear our prayers, accept our praises, and forgive what thy pure eye hath seen amiss in us and our performances.
Take us under thy protection this night, and enable us to close the day with thee, that we may lie down, and our sleep may be sweet. Be with us the week following in all our ways; forgive us that we brought so much of the week with us into the sabbath, and enable us to bring a great deal of the sabbath with us into the week, that we may be the fitter for the next sabbath, if we should live to see it.
Make us meet for the everlasting sabbath, which we hope to keep within the veil, when time and days shall be no more; and let this day bring us a sabbath-day’s journey nearer heaven, and make us a sabbath-day’s work fitter for it.
As we began this Lord’s Day with the joyful memorials of Christ’s resurrection, so we desire to conclude it with the joyful expectations of Christ’s second coming and of our own resurrection, then to a blessed immortality, triumphing in hopes of the glory of God.
Bless the Lord, love the Lord, O our souls, and let all that is within us love and bless his holy name, for he is good and his mercy endures for ever. In praising God, we desire to spend as much of our time as may be, that we may begin our heaven now, for in this good work we hope to be spending a happy eternity.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, and our God, in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, dominion and praise, henceforth and for ever. Amen.
Parents Praying for their Children
A prayer proper to be put up by parents for their children.
O Lord our God, the God of the spirits of all flesh! All souls are thine, the souls of the parents and the souls of the children are thine, and thou hast grace sufficient for both.
Thou wast our fathers’ God, and as such we will exalt thee; thou art our children’s God, and also we will plead with thee, for the promises to us and our children; and thou art a God in covenant with believers and their seed.
Lord, it is thy good providence that hath built us up into a family: We thank thee for the children thou hast graciously given thy servants; the Lord, who has blessed us with them, make them blessings indeed to us, that we may never be tempted to wish we had been childless.
We lament the iniquity which our children are conceived and born in, and that corrupt nature which they derive through our loins.
But we bless thee that there is a fountain opened for their cleansing from that original pollution, and that they were betimes by baptism dedicated to thee, and admitted into the bonds, and under the blessings, of thy covenant; that they are born in thy house and taken in as members of thy family upon earth.
It is a comfort to us to think that they are baptized, and we humbly desire to plead it with thee. They are thine; save them; enable them, as they become capable, to make it their own act and deed, to join themselves unto the Lord, that they may be owned as thine in that day when thou makest up thy jewels.
Give them a good capacity of mind and a good disposition, make them towardly and tractable and willing to receive instruction; incline them betimes to religion and virtue. Lord, give them wisdom and understanding, and drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts.
Save them from the vanity which childhood and youth are subject to, and fit them every way to live comfortably and usefully in this world. We ask not for great things in this world for them; give them, if it please thee, a strong and healthy constitution of body, preserve them from all ill accidents, and feed them with food convenient for them, according to their rank.
But the chief thing we ask of God for them is that thou wilt pour thy Spirit upon our seed, even thy blessing, that blessing of blessings, upon our offspring, that they may be a seed to serve thee, which shall be accounted unto the Lord for a generation: Give them that good part which never shall be taken away from them.
Give us wisdom and grace to bring them up in thy fear, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, with meekness and tenderness, and having them in subjection with all gravity. Teach us how to teach them the things of God as they are able to bear them, and how to reprove and admonish, and when there is need, to correct them in a right manner, and how to set them good examples of every thing that is virtuous and praiseworthy, that we may recommend religion to them, and so train them up in the way wherein they should go, that if they live to be old, they may not depart from it.
Keep them from the snare of evil company and all the temptations to which they are exposed, and make them betimes sensible how much it is their interest, as well as their duty, to be religious; and, Lord, grant that none who come of us may come short of eternal life or be found on the left hand of Christ in the great day.
We earnestly pray that Christ may be formed in their souls betimes, and that the seeds of grace may be sown in their hearts while they are young, and we may have the satisfaction of seeing them walking in the truth and setting their faces heavenwards. Give them now to hear counsel and receive instruction, that they may be wise in their latter end; and if they be wise, our hearts shall rejoice, even ours.
Prosper the means of their education; let our children be taught of the Lord, that great may be their peace: And give them so to know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, as may be life eternal to them.
O that they may betimes get wisdom and get understanding and never forget it. As far as they are taught the truth as it is in Jesus, give them to continue in the things which they have learned.
It is our heart’s desire and prayer that our children may be praising God on earth when we are gone to praise him in heaven, and that we and they may be together for ever, serving him day and night in his temple.
If it should please God to remove any of them from us while they are young, let us have grace submissively to resign them to thee, and let us have hope in their death.
If thou remove us from them while they are young, be thou thyself a Father to them, to teach them and provide for them, for with thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
Thou knowest our care concerning them, we cast it upon thee; ourselves and ours we commit to thee. Let not the light of our family religion be put out with us, nor that treasure be buried in our graves, but let those that come after us do thee more and better service in their day than we have done in ours, and be unto thee for a name and a praise.
In these prayers we aim at thy glory. Father, let thy name be sanctified in our family, there let thy kingdom come and thy will be done by us and ours, as it is done by the angels in heaven; for Christ Jesus’ sake, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer, whose seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. Now to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that great and sacred name, into which we and our children were baptized, be honour and glory, dominion and praise, henceforth and forever. Amen.
Before Partaking of the Lord’s Supper
A prayer for the use of a particular person, before the receiving of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
Most holy and blessed and gracious Lord God, with all humility and reverence, I here present myself before thee, to seek thy face and entreat thy favour, and, as an evidence of thy good-will towards me, to beg that I may experience thy good work in me.
I acknowledge myself unworthy, utterly unworthy of the honour; unfit, utterly unfit for the service to which I am now called. It is an inestimable privilege that I am permitted so often to hear from thee in thy word, and to speak to thee in prayer; and yet, as if this had been a small matter, I am now invited into communion with thee at thy holy table, there to celebrate the memorial of my Saviour’s death, and to partake by faith of the precious benefits which flow from it. I, who deserve not the crumbs, am called to eat of the children’s bread.
O Lord, I thank thee for the institution of this blessed ordinance, this precious legacy and token of love, which the Lord Jesus left to his church; that it is preserved to this age, that it is administered in this land, that I am admitted to it, and have now before me an opportunity to partake of it: Lord, grant that I may not receive thy grace herein in vain.
O thou who hast called me to the marriage-supper of the Lamb, give me the wedding garment; work in me a disposition of soul, and all those pious and devout affections which are suited to the solemnities of this ordinance, and requisite to qualify me for an acceptable and advantageous participation of it. Behold the fire and the wood, all things are now ready; but where is the lamb, for the burnt-offering? Lord, provide thyself a lamb, by working in me all that thou requirest of me upon this occasion. The preparation of the heart and the answer of the tongue are both from thee; Lord, prepare my unprepared heart for communion with thee.
Lord, I confess I have sinned against thee, I have done foolishly, very foolishly, for foolishness is bound up in my heart: I have sinned and have come short of the glory of God: I have come short of glorifying thee, and deserve to come short of being glorified with thee. The imagination of my heart is evil continually, and the bias of my corrupt nature is very strong toward the world and the flesh and the gratifications of sense; but towards God and Christ and heaven, I move slowly and with a great many stops and pauses. Nay, there is in my carnal mind a wretched aversion to divine and spiritual things. I have misspent my time, trifled away my opportunities, have followed after lying vanities, and forsaken my own mercies. God be merciful to me a sinner! For how little have I done, since I came into the world, of the great work that I was sent into the world about!
Thou hast taken me into covenant with thee, for I am a baptized Christian, set apart for thee and sealed to be thine; thou hast laid me, and I have also laid myself, under all possible obligations to love thee and serve thee and live to thee. But I have started aside from thee like a deceitful bow, I have not made good my covenant with thee, nor hath the temper of my mind and the tenor of my conversation been agreeable to that holy religion which I make profession of, to my expectations from thee, and engagements to thee. I am bent to backslide from the living God; and if I were under the law I were undone; but I am under grace, a covenant of grace which leaves room for repentance and promiseth pardon upon repentance, which invites even backsliding children to return and promises that their backslidings shall be healed. Lord, I take hold of this covenant, seal it to me at thy table. There let me find my heart truly humbled for sin and sorrowing for it after a godly sort: O that I may there look on him whom I have pierced and mourn and be in bitterness for him; that there I may sow in tears and receive a wounded Christ into a broken heart! And there let the blood of Christ, which speaks better things than that of Abel, be sprinkled upon my conscience, to purify and pacify it: There let me be assured that thou art reconciled to me, that my iniquities are pardoned, and that I shall not come into condemnation. There say unto me, Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.
And that I may not come unworthily to this blessed ordinance, I beseech thee, lead me into a more intimate and experimental acquaintance with Jesus Christ and him crucified; with Jesus Christ and him glorified; that knowing him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and being by his grace planted in the likeness of both, I may both discern the Lord’s body and shew forth the Lord’s death.
Lord, I desire by a true and lively faith to close with Jesus Christ, and consent to him as my Lord and my God: I here give up myself to him as my Prophet, Priest, and King, to be ruled and taught and saved by him: This is my beloved, and this is my friend. None but Christ, none but Christ! Lord, increase this faith in me, perfect what is lacking in it, and enable me, in receiving the bread and wine at thy table, by a lively faith to receive Christ Jesus the Lord. O let the great gospel doctrine of Christ’s dying to save sinners, which is represented in that ordinance, be meat and drink to my soul, meat indeed, and drink indeed: Let it be both nourishing and refreshing to me; let it be both my strength and my song, and be the spring both of my holiness and my comfort: And let such deep impressions be made upon my soul, by actual commemoration of it, as may abide always upon me and have a powerful influence upon me in my whole conversation, that the life I now live in the flesh, I may live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Lord, I beseech thee, fix my thoughts; let my heart be engaged to approach unto thee, that I may attend upon thee without distraction. Draw out my desires towards thee; give me to hunger and thirst after righteousness, that I may be filled; and to draw near to thee with a true heart, and in full assurance of faith; and since I am not straitened in thee, O let me not be straitened in my own bosom.
Draw me, Lord, and I will run after thee. O send out thy light and thy truth, let them lead and guide me; pour thy Spirit upon me, put thy Spirit within me, to work in me both to will and to do that which is good; and leave me not to myself. Awake, O north wind, and come thou south, and blow upon my garden; come, O blessed Spirit of grace, and enlighten my mind with the knowledge of Christ, bow my will to the will of Christ, fill my heart with the love of Christ, and confirm my resolutions to live and die with him.
Work in me, I pray thee, a principle of holy love and charity towards all men, that I may forgive my enemies (which by grace I heartily do), and may keep up a spiritual communion in faith, hope, and holy love, with all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Lord, bless them all, and particularly that congregation with which I am to join in this solemn ordinance. Good Lord, pardon every one that engageth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of their fathers, though not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. Hear my prayers, and heal the people.
Lord, meet me with a blessing, a Father’s blessing at thy table: Grace thine own institution with thy presence; and fulfil in me all the good pleasure of thy goodness and the work of faith with power, for the sake of Jesus Christ, my blessed Saviour and Redeemer. To him, with the Father, and the eternal Spirit, be everlasting praises. Amen.
After Receiving the Lord’s Supper
Another after the receiving of the Lord’s Supper.
O Lord, my God and my Father in Jesus Christ, I can never sufficiently admire the condescension of thy grace to me. What is man that thou dost thus magnify him, and the son of man that thou thus visitest him? Who am I? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto; hast brought me into the banqueting-house, and thy banner over me hath been love? I have reason to say, That a day in thy courts, an hour at thy table, is better, far better, than a thousand days, than ten thousand hours elsewhere; it is good for me to draw near to God. Blessed be God for the privileges of his house and those comforts with which he makes his people joyful in his house of prayer.
But I have reason to blush and be ashamed of myself that I have not been more affected with the great things which have been set before me and offered to me at the Lord’s table. O what a vain, foolish, and trifling heart have I! When I would do good, even evil is present with me. Good Lord, be merciful to me, and pardon the iniquity of my holy things, and let not my many defects in my attendance upon thee be laid to my charge or hinder my profiting by the ordinance.
I have now been commemorating the death of Christ; Lord, grant that by the power of that, sin may be crucified in me, the world crucified to me, and I to the world; and enable me so to bear about with me continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, as that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in my mortal body.
I have now been receiving the precious benefits which flow from Christ’s death; Lord, grant that I may never lose, may never forfeit, those benefits, but, as I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, give me grace so to walk in him, and to live as one that am not my own, but am bought with a price, glorifying God with my body and spirit, which are his.
I have now been renewing my covenant with thee and engaging myself afresh to thee to be thine; now, Lord, give me grace to perform my vow. Keep it always in the imagination of the thought of my heart, and establish my way before thee. Lord, preserve me by thy grace, that I may never return again to folly, after God hath spoken peace; may I never by my loose and careless walking, undo what I have been doing today; but having my heart enlarged with the consolation of God, give me to run the way of thy commandments with cheerfulness and constancy, and still to hold fast my integrity.
This precious soul of mine, which is the work of thine own hands and the purchase of thy Son’s blood, I commit into thy hands, to be sanctified by thy Spirit and grace, and wrought up into conformity to thy holy will in every thing: Lord, set up thy throne in my heart, write thy law there, shed abroad thy love there, and bring every thought within me into obedience to thee, to the commanding power of thy law and the constraining power of thy love. Keep through thine own name that which I commit unto thee, keep it against that day, when it shall be called for; let me be preserved blameless to the coming of thy glory, that I may then be presented faultless with exceeding joy.
All my outward affairs I submit to the disposal of thy wise and gracious providence. Lord, save my soul, and then, as to other things, do as thou pleasest with me; only make all providences work together for my spiritual and eternal advantage. Let all things be pure to me, and give me to taste covenant love in common mercies, and by thy grace let me be taught both how to want and how to abound, how to enjoy prosperity, and how to bear adversity, as becomes a Christian; and at all times let thy grace be sufficient for me and mighty in me, to work in me both to will and to do that which is good of thine own good pleasure.
And that in every thing I may do my duty and stand complete in it, let my heart be enlarged in love to Jesus Christ, and affected with the height and depth, the length and breadth, of that love of his to me, which passeth all conception and expression.
And as an evidence of that love, let my mouth be filled with his praises. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive blessing and honour and glory and power; for he was slain, and hath redeemed a chosen remnant unto God by his blood, and made them to him kings and priests. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless his holy name, who forgiveth all mine iniquities and healeth all my diseases; who redeemeth my life from destruction and crowneth me with loving-kindness and tender mercy; who having begun a good work, will perform it unto the day of Christ. As long as I live I will bless the Lord; I will praise my God while I have any being; and when I have no being on earth, I hope to have a being in heaven to be doing it better. O let me be borne up in everlasting arms and carried from strength to strength, till I appear before God in Zion, for Jesus’ sake, who died for me and rose again, in whom I desire to be found living and dying. Now to God the Father, Son, and Spirit be ascribed kingdom, power, and glory, henceforth and for ever. Amen.
An Address to God before Meat.
O Lord our God, in thee we live, and move, and have our being, and from thee receive all supports and comforts of our being: Thou spreadest our table and fillest our cup and comfortest us with the gifts of thy bounty from day to day. We own our dependence upon thee and our obligations to thee, pardon our sins we pray thee; sanctify thy good creatures to our use, and give us grace to receive them soberly and thankfully, and to eat and drink not to ourselves, but to thy glory, through Jesus Christ our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Gracious God, thou art the protector and preserver of the whole creation, thou hast fed us all our lives, unto this day, with food convenient for us, though we are evil and unthankful. We pray thee, forgive all our sins, by which we have forfeited all thy mercies, and let us see our forfeited right restored in Christ Jesus. Give us to taste covenant love in common mercies, and to use these and all our creature-comforts to the glory of our great Benefactor, through the grace of our great Redeemer. Amen.
An Address to God after Meat.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with his benefits and gives us all things richly to enjoy, though we serve him but poorly. O Lord, we thank thee for present refreshments in the use of thy good creatures, and for thy love to our souls in Jesus Christ, which sweetens all. We pray thee pardon our sins, go on to do us good, provide for the poor that are destitute of daily food, fit us for thy whole will, and be our God and guide and portion for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
We thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for all the gifts both of thy providence and of thy grace; for those blessings which relate to the life that now is, and that to come; for the use of thy good creatures at this time. Perfect, O God, that which concerns us, nourish our souls with the bread of life to life eternal, and let us be of those that shall eat bread in the kingdom of our Father, for Christ Jesus’ sake, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.