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come unto thee in the name of Christ Jesus, for thou art the Lord our God.
Thou alone dost set the solitary in families, and fixest the bounds of our habitation, and canst build us up a sure house, and make us to dwell in safety, and we acknowledge thee to be the God of our family and the giver of our blessings. But, O Lord, if left to ourselves, we forget thee and call not upon thy name, and bring upon ourselves thy righteous wrath. O Lord, pardon all our past neglect of thy worship and service, and grant us grace henceforth to honour thee in our family, and, whatever others may do, to take up Joshua's holy purpose of heart, “ As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Help us deeply to feel and ever to remember that except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it; that children and the fruit of the womb are a heritage and gift that come from thee, and that a special blessing was given to Abraham for commanding his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do judgment and justice. Thou hast charged us to teach thy words diligently unto our children, and to talk of them when we sit in the house and walk out, when we lie down and when we rise up. Grant then, O Lord, that from this time forward we may have grace from thee to meet together continually to read and hear thy word, to sing thy praise, and to worship thee as a fa
y. Odo thou most mercifully pour upon us the spirit
of grace and supplication, and give unto us the seeing eye, the hearing ear, the understanding, and believing, and obedient heart, that we may be truly converted unto thee and live.
May our household be a Christian household, not in name only, but in truth; and may all our family plans and rules be ordered according to thy word. As masters and servants, parents and children, may we be wholly conformed to thy will, and our children be brought up in thy nurture. Enable us constantly, as a family, to walk worthy of the Gospel, and to adorn in all things the doctrine of God our Saviour.
We now dedicate our house and family unto thee. We ayouch thee the Lord this day to be our God, and our purpose to be to walk in thy ways, and to keep thy statutes, and thy commandments, and thy judgments, and to hearken to the voice of thy commandments. O do thou avouch us to be thy peculiar people, and that we shall keep thy commandments and be a holy people unto thee, according to thy promise. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in him our Father, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of our hearts, and prepare our hearts, and put thy fear within us, that we may never depart from thee. We beseech thee to hear us, for our Redeemer's sake. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER. Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
THE CONCLUDING BLESSING. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all eyermore. Amen.
LORD'S DAY MORNING.
FOR GRACE TO IMPROVE SABBATH PRIVILEGES.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, who hast given us thy sabbaths to be a sign betwixt thee and us, and a foretaste and sure earnest of the eternal sabbath which yet remains for thy people; we come to thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, that Son of man, who is Lord of the Sabbath, and entreat thee to assist us to keep this day holy, and not to receive thy grace in vain.
Our privileges indeed are great; thy house is ready and open
to us; thy ministers wait to instruct us, thy people come together; O may we discern that each Sabbath is a gracious opportunity for good; a sacred talent to be occupied for thee.
We are indeed so sinful and so weak that we can do nothing of ourselves, but must in every thing look to thee for grace and strength. If thou do not give us the spirit of prayer, we are so alienated from thee that we shall approach thee only with a solemn mockery of holy words, while our hearts are full of worldliness. If thou do not give us the spirit of hearing, we are so besotted with sin, that our minds will be wandering after every vanity. O Lord, thou canst give, and we know that when we ask in faith, thou wilt give unto us an understanding, a believing, a loving, and an obedient heart. Fail not thus to bless us now. The good we would, we do not, the evil we would not, that we do. Our souls cleave to the dust. Bad habits have been long established in us, and we go on in the same evil course of mere formal worship, and are ready to say, could the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots, then might we who are accustomed to do evil learn to do well. But thou hast said, all things are possible with thee; all things are possible to him that believeth: come then with thy mighty power and succour us, and through a living faith may we this day worship thee in spirit and in truth.
Bless thy ministers in all thy churches through the world. Enable them to be faithful stewards of thy mysteries. May decayed churches be restored; reformed churches be revived and quickened; freshly planted churches be increased; Babylon speedily fall, and the children of Zion be joyful in their King, and the glory of thy saints be perfected.