I desire to enter Your sacred presence in the name of Jesus. Where would I be, but for such a Savior! I have no plea of my own.
My best actions — how full of blemishes!
My purest aims and motives — how mingled with selfishness!
My best righteousness — how marred with imperfection and defilement!
My best thoughts — how sinful and unworthy!
My best prayers — how cold and languid, requiring themselves to be prayed for!
If You, O Lord, would mark iniquities — who could stand!
I know not what entanglements may hinder me in prosecuting my pilgrim way, what temptations may overtake me, what sorrows may darken me. Be about my path all the day long.
Strengthen me, good Lord, for the duties which are before me this day. I cannot forecast its perils and dangers and temptations. I implore the continuance of Your sovereign, sustaining, restraining grace — to keep me from falling. Hold me up — and then I shall be safe! Let me resume my pilgrim journey, leaning always on Your omnipotent arm.
May I know in my experience, that I can do all things, and endure all things, through Christ who strengthens me. When tempted to worldliness, or sloth, or self-indulgence — may I look to Jesus for strength. Conform me to His image; mold me into His holy example. In every difficult and perplexing path, may this be my guiding maxim and direction — “How would Jesus, my Lord and Master have acted in this situation?” And knowing His will, may I delight to do it.
May I ever exercise a jealous scrutiny over my thoughts and words and actions. Preserve me from . . .
all pride and vain-glory;
all selfishness and covetousness;
all that would lead me to exalt myself;
all guilty and unworthy compromises with the world, the flesh, and the devil.
May the consciousness of Your presence and favor — lessen my every cross and sweeten my every care. I anew commend myself to Your gracious keeping and guidance this day. Watch over me for good; and may every power of my body and every faculty of my mind, combine in devotion to Your service and glory. Wean me from all that is fleeting and perishable. Let it be my highest joy to follow You — and my deepest pain to grieve You.
Other refuges will fail, other props will be removed; may I find in You, an unfailing refuge and portion and friend! I go forth to the duties of a new morning, in simple dependence on Your grace and strength.”
J. R. MacDuff, “A BOOK OF PRIVATE PRAYERS”