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truth in love, may we grow up into Jesus in all things.
God Almighty preserve us from a dead, lifeless profession of sacred things; trusting to outward correctness of doctrine, form, or discipline, while the heart is unconverted, self-righteous, and far from real union with Christ. Preserve us from leaning on the traditions of men, and departing from simple reliance on thine own word. Preserve us from mingling any thing with the simplicity of our dependence for salvation on the Lord Jesus. May thy word be our light and lamp, our stay and confidence; may we lean only on thee, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Bless us as a family. May we all belong to the household of faith. O may we more and more resemble the perfect family of Christ above, in union and love, and mutual help, and holy joy. Bless those ruling the family in their responsible office, bless the servants of the family; may they feel that they are the Lord's freemen and serving Christ, while faithfully serving their earthly master. Bless the children, and all who dwell in our house, with all temporal and spiritual blessings. We commend all around us, friends and relations and neighbours and connexions unto thee. Preserve Israel; bring in the Gentiles. Look upon the afflicted. May those who have been humbled by sickness gain the precious graces of humility and confidence in thee.
May those who have been tried by weakness of faith gain spiritual strength, and may those exercised by sorrows and losses be thereby weaned from the vanities of earth and enriched with heavenly blessings. Preserve peace on earth, and hasten the reign of the Prince of Peace over the whole world, for His name's sake.
FOR FAITH IN THE WORD, REGARD TO THE SOUL, AND GRIEF FOR SIN IN OTHERS.
O Lord our God, full of compassion and gracious, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy and truth, we will sing of thy mercies for ever, and make known thy faithfulness to all generations. What cause we have to do so when we look at that better covenant confirmed of God in Christ, well-ordered in all things and sure, which is all our salvation and all our desire! Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, we pray that our faith and hope may ever be in thee; and that our souls may be purified through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren; loving them with a pure heart fervently.
Thanks be unto Thee for thy blessed word. May we never read and never hear it in vain, or to our future condemnation. May we derive from each
portion the instruction, warning, and comfort, which it is designed, in thy grace and love, to communicate to our souls. May thy word never be to us visionary thing; may we see all its truth and reality, and may it be the firm anchor of all our souls' hopes; assured that not one thing can fail of all that the Lord hath spoken.
O Lord, whatever we do, wherever we go, with whatever company we mingle, may our chief concern be to please thee; may we attend to that which thou regardest as the one thing needful for us. Whatever is neglected, O let not thy will, thy glory, and the welfare of our never-dying souls be neglected. O may we walk with our God all the day, having constant fellowship with the Father of our spirits.
Holy Ghost, the Comforter, whom we have so often grieved; Holy Ghost the Sanctifier, whose temple we are, and which temple we have so much defiled by evil thoughts and words and works; Holy Ghost the Teacher, whom we have provoked and resisted; not in our own name, but in the name of Jesus, we entreat thee, O Spirit of the living God, come and teach us, come and sanctify us, come and fill us with joy. O never leave us, but abide with us for ever, till thou make us like our Saviour in all meekness and gentleness, purity and devotion, humility and love; and so we become meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.
And, O Lord, give us a real sympathy for the situation of our fellow-creatures. When we witness abominations, may we sigh over them and testify against them. When men keep not thy law, may tears run down our eyes. May we never rejoice in iniquity, trifle with sin, or make a mock at it, but may we ever rejoice in the truth. Bless our magistrates; every branch of our government, and all those who are placed in authority. Give them not only earthly wisdom to guide in earthly matters, but also heavenly wisdom. O may they govern our nation not according to the maxims of this world, but according to the glorious light of thy word, according to the plain and clear commands of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, behold thy people Israel, cast out, trodden under foot, far from their promised land, insulted and oppressed among the heathen, and remember thy covenant of old, and speedily build up Jerusalem. Spare this most sinful world, full of pride and vainglory, hard speeches against thee, murmuring and complaining and walking after their own lusts, let thy long-suffering be the salvation of a countless number, and let thine elect speedily be gathered at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and reign with him in his eternal kingdom. To whom with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Spirit, be all honour and praise for evermore.
CONFESSION OF SINS; AND PRAYER FOR FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE.
O Lord, thou art our Shepherd, therefore we shall not want. It is thine own gracious declaration, They that seek thee shall want no manner of good thing: the eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou satisfiest the desire of every living creature. Receive us, O our God, in the name of the one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, and for his sake supply all our need out of thy riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
We come as a family before thee, confessing our sinfulness in thy sight. However free from human blame and condemnation our conduct may have been, we dare not attempt to justify ourselves in thy sight. Thou knowest the heart and all its abominations. Thou knowest the secret springs of what may appear fair to man. Before our own conscience, and in thy sight, we are verily guilty, and justly exposed to the righteous condemnation of thy perfect law. God ought to have been in all our thoughts, but he has been greatly forgotten by us. His presence ought to have been fulness of joy. But like Jonah we have sought to flee from that presence, and to fill our souls with worldly vanities that cannot profit.