Sunrise – a painting by Albert Beirstadt (1830-1902)
Here are five morning prayers I use in my daily devotions. The first prayer is a brief prayer I have said daily when I awake for the past fifteen years or so: Psalm 119:133 (NIV) along with a three-part petition for personal expression of the Lord Jesus in my life which I adapted from a sermon by Charles Stanley, the American Baptist pastor of the First Baptist of Atlanta and founder of In Touch ministries, his television teaching and book ministry. The second prayer is from William Barclay, the British theologian and Bible scholar who wrote insightful and useful commentaries on the New Testament books. The third prayer was is an Episcopal prayer given to me by my friend, Rev. Phil Rountree, a retired Episcopal priest in Novato, California, now a member of the Novato rock band, The Role Models. The fourth prayer is a wonderful comprehensive and concise prayer for a day of peace from the Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (19th Century) from “A Pocket Book of Prayers for Busy People”. The fifth is a Daily Confession I composed from Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer. The Daily Confession is discussed here in a blog post from April 7, 2013.
Father God, thank you for another day. “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.” and make me an extension of the life of Jesus, an expression of His love, and an exhibition of His power, in all that I do. In Jesus name, Amen.
TO REFLECT THE MASTER
O God, help me all through today to do
nothing to worry those who love me,
to do nothing to let down those who
trust me, to do nothing to fail those who
employ me, to do nothing to fail those
who are close to me.
Help me all through this day to do
nothing which would be a cause of
temptation to someone else or which
would make it easier for someone else to
go wrong; not to discourage anyone who
is doing his best; not to dampen anyone’s
enthusiasm or to increase anyone’s doubts.
Let me all through this day be a comfort
to the sad, be a friend to the lonely, be
an encouragement to the dispirited,
be a help to those who are up against
it. So grant that others may see in me
something of the reflection of the Master
whose I am and whom I seek to serve.
Three posts discussing different prayers of William Barclay:
Ash Wednesday Prayer for Christopher Hitchens
A MORNING RESOLVE
I will try this day to live a simple, sincere, and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, generosity in giving, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike faith in God.
In particular I will try to be faithful in those habits of prayer, work, study, physical exercise, eating, and sleep which I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me to be right.
And as I cannot in my own strength do this, nor even with a hope of success attempt it, I look to thee, O Lord God my Father, in Jesus my Savior, and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
FACE THE DAY WITH PEACE
grant that I may meet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Thy Holy Will.
In every hour of the day, reveal Thy will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with the firm conviction that Thy will governs all.
In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by Thee.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will. Teach me to pray. Pray Thou Thyself in me.
A Daily Confession
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14, 16
I will confess my sins unto almighty God
Most merciful God,
I confess that I have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what I have done,
and by what I have left undone.
I have not loved thee with my whole heart;
I have not loved my neighbors as myself.
I am truly sorry and I humbly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on me and forgive me;
that I may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen.