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Directions for Prayer.
from thee, may my returns of gratitude be more abundant. [Open my eyes to see more and more the love wlierewith thou hast loved me; make me to know moreof its height, and length, and breadth, and depth : make me to see more of my own baseness and vileness, that thy dealings with me may more abundantly impress and constrain my heart.] Oh that I might love thee with a perfect heart ! Lord, may I be increasing in love, till seeing thee as thou art, I shall love thee as I ought.
III. A PRAYER FOR FEAR. Lord, put thy fear into my soul; be thou ever sanctified in me let me ever tremble before and dread to offend thee. May the sense of thy omniscience and nearness ever overawe my soul; when sin would tempt, may I remember that thou art present; may my fear be as my love, filial ; may thy displeasure be more grievous to me than the punishment; and may I hate to offend thee, because thou art my good and gracious Father, more than because thou art withal the just and righteous Judge!
IV. A PRAYER FOR CHARITY. God of all mercy! whose nature and name is love, and who hast taught, in ainazing manifestations of it in thy Son, what are thy regards towards the children of men, teach me to love others, as thou hast loved me. Oh give me bowels of mercies, kindness, gentleness, meekness! Alas! for this selfish heart of mine! it is so ready to kindle under provocation, to resent unkindness, and to
Directions for Prayer.
be unfeeling towards others' weakness and wants. [Such a person particularly my vile heart is ready to dislike, &c. * Lord, take this uncharitable spirit from me.] Enable me to forgive, as thou for Christ's sake hast forgiven me. [May my censures all fall upon myself, where they are most due, that I may have none to cast on others.] Incline my heart to excuse the faults of others, to think no evil, and to hope all things favourable for them. According to the ability thou hast given me, may I readily communicate thy gifts according to the necessities of my brethren. [Make my heart more tender to them, and sympathizing with their distresses, whether of body or soul t.] May their sins grieve me more deeply, and call forth my prayers and my tears over them! Lord, give them repentance who know thee not, [particularly_|| who are so near and dear to me.] (May I not suffer sin upon them unrebuked ; and may my conduct as well as my conversation be reproving and exemplary!) Give me a mouth to comfort the afflicted. May whatever talents thou hast lent me of knowledge or utterance, be employed, so as may be most subservient to the good of men's souls, and particularly of those with whom I am more immediately concerned! May my hand be s opened to relieve the indigent according to my
Nothing serves more effectually to subdue our resentment against any particular person, than praying for them by name. + Men's souls are the greatest objects of charity.
|| Unconverted friends and relations should never be forgotten by us.
§ Though alms-giving be but a branch of charity, we must see that we abound in the exercise of it, if we are indeed in the Directions for Prayer.
power; and, as a good steward of thy gifts, enable me conscientiously to be concerned not only to give, but to bestow it in such a way as may be most to thy glory, the relief of real indigence, and the support of the helpless. Make me not only liberal, but glad to give, and ready to distribute, that the blessing of a cheerful giver may be through thy grace upon me. [And accept, O Lord! these small returns of humble acknowledgment, as offered in my dear Redeemer, in whose name alone is my hope, and in whose blood I desire my best offerings to be washed, and in whose righteousness I desire my best services to be arrayed, that they may come up with acceptance on thine altar, O
V. A PRAYER FOR HUMILITY.
Give me, O Lord, the genuine humility which thou delightest in. Let an abiding sense of my vile self and sinful services be ever on my heart. When the deceiver would cause me to compare myself with myself or others, oh may my soul still turn to thy holy law, and be confounded before thee in the dust! And when the gifts thou hast bestowed on me would puff me up, let me remember not only that they are received, but what
faith; and by the way it must be observed, that as it will require some pains to enquire out the truly necessitous, this is as much a part of the duty as the gift itself; many, for want of being at the pains of this, often encourage idleness, instead of relieving real objects of charity, and thus rob the needy of their portion.
Directions for Prayer.
an abuse hath heen made of them, and how much cause I have for confusion, instead of glorying before thee.
VI. A PRAYER FOR ZEAL. Awaken greater zeal for thy glory in my heart : how lukewarm and insensible to thy interest in the world have I been, and am I still ! Lord, give me a deeper sense of thy majesty, and a more enlarged knowledge of the value of immortal souls, that I may rise up against the evil doers, grieving to see thee dishonoured, and deeply concerned to pluck those brands from the burning. (Lord, may I cheerfully suffer, count no cross grievous ; and where duty calls, boldly rebuke vice, whatever danger be incurred. Arise, O Lord God, and vindicate thine own cause. Where are thy zeal and the soundings of thy bowels ? Are they restrained ? See our desolations, and come with great might, and succour us.]
GENERAL AND PARTICULAR.
And, Lord, hear my poor supplications for others, as well as for myself. Tho seest what desolations are wrought in the earth, how sin covers the face of the world, and gross darkness the people! Oh send out thy light and thy truth, that the ends of the earth may remember themselves, and be turned unto thee, O Lord ! Especially visit our land with thy salvation; we have the form of godliness, and the profession of thy Gospel, but oh, how far removed from the nractice and the power of it!
Directions for Prayer.
Return, O God of hosts, return; lift up the light of thy countenance upon us. [Remove not our candlestick away, as by our manifold iniquities we have most justly provoked thee to do, but remember thy mercy which hath been to a thousand generations, and hear the prayers of thy people who cry day and night before thee.] Raise up thy power, and come among us, and with great might
Send out, we pray thee, labourers into thine harvest; the land mourneth, the people perish for lack of knowledge; give them pastors after thy own mind, who may exalt the cross of the Redeemer, and be successful preachers of his righteousness: bless the few who truly labour in the word and ministry; may thy grace make thy word in their mouths effectual for the conviction, conversion, and consolation of men's souls; particularly bless him who ministers to my soul, and may he see of the fruit of his labour in me, and multitudes be brought by his teaching to the knowledge of the salvation which is in Jesus Christ, Lord, make us more diligent, that our profiting may appear under the blessed means of grace which we enjoy. Bless all those w.ho are especially near to me under any ties of relationship: may all my friends be thine; my benefactors find in thy favour an ahundant return, and those of this house and family be the objects of thy peculiar regard. *
And now, Lord, accept my humble praise for all the mercies I have tasted, from the first day
* The particular state of husband and wife, parent and child, master and servant, will afford opportunity for more particular enlargement.