Imatges de pÓgina
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GENERAL PRAYER

FOR THE DIFFERENT MEMBERS OF A FAMILY.

Rom. ii. 11. There is no respect of persons with

God.

BLESSED GOD, WE bow down together this day at the footstool of thy throne, to thank thee for all the goodness that has followed us through life,—to confess the many sins that have stained our conduct, and that have rendered us obnoxious to thy displeasure, and to ask of thee that direction and support which is necessary for enabling us to fulfil, with propriety and with success, the various duties of our situation in the world.

And blessed be thy name, that, at all times, we can thus come to thee as children to a father. For

what, O Lord, were man, if deprived of all hope of thine assistance ? How dismal were his situation amidst the uncertainties, and labours, and sorrows of this world, if he could not trust in the perfect rectitude of thine over-ruling providence ! But blessed be thy name, that thou hast given to all men the assurance that thou art governor among the nations, and that the most private concerns of the most secluded of thy creatures are not unknown to thee; even the secret purposes and wishes of our hearts are all naked to thy view; and thou art leading us all in a way which we know not, to the final purposes of thy holy will.

Bless us, O Lord, whom thou hast set over this house. We have much reason to acknowledge thy great loving-kindness; and we feel that the many mercies we have received from thee ought to lead us to dedicate every hour and moment of our lives to thy service.

Prosper, we beseech thee, all our endeavours to be useful to those whom thou hast committed to our care ; may we consider them as a sacred trust from the hand of God, for the due management of which we must at last give an account; and may

we study therefore so to rule our own house, that we may deserve thy approbation, and be models to all who witness our conduct.

Help us, O Lord, in our conduct to be examples to our family. May they early perceive in us the effects of a reverential fear of God, and be induced to cherish the same good and becoming spirit; and may we never have cause to reproach ourselves with the thought, that, in any thing, we have led our children to that which is wrong.

And grant, O Lord, that when we are taken away, we' may leave behind us a good name; may our memories be embalmed in the hearts of those who survive us,-and, through all the days of their lives, may they delight to look back to our conduct, as an example and incentive to them in all

holy deeds.

For our children, O heavenly Father, we offer up our most fervent supplications; O imbue them early with all good, and kind, and pure dispositions. May they fear thee, and venerate thy holy name ; and may those deep impressions of things heavenly and eternal be now made upon them, which will

guide and establish them through all their future days.

Prosper them, if it be thy will, in all that relates to this life. May their minds be rich in knowledge, and their lives adorned with all good accomplishments; and may they be honoured, and happy, and successful in all that they do. But, alas ! 0, Lord, we know not what we pray for, when we thus ask for ourselves, or for others, the good things of this life. We ask rather, therefore, that thou mayest keep them from the evil that is in the world,-from bad example,—from strong temptation,—from the evil effects of a deceitful heart. And, when they are tempted, O make for them a way of escape, that their souls may not be lost amidst the snares of this life; but that, when the few years that are allotted to man upon the earth are expired, they may rise to the eternal glory of thy kingdom which is in heaven. If any

of those who now bow before thee are to be called from this life before the number of the days that are allotted to man have been completed, take their spirits, we beseech thee, into that bliss which the Saviour of men is gone to prepare for his chosen ; and may we who survive have the hap

piness of knowing that they died in the Lord, and that they rest in the hope of a blessed resurrection.

But if they are all to survive us, O grant that our conduct. may be an example to them of all the things that are honourable and of good report ; and may they so contend with the labours and temptations which thou mayest ordain for them, that, in their appointed time, they also may be gathered in peace to their fathers.

Be very gracious also, O God, to those who occupy subordinate stations in this house. Make them faithful, honourable, and pious,—doing all things as in thy sight,—and anxious to commend themselves to the great Lord and Master of all.

Comfort them, O Lord, in all their cares,strengthen them in all their labours,—give them a well-founded hope of an inhabitance in heaven ;and may we all live together as those who expect to meet at last in thy heavenly kingdom.

Let not wrath, or strife, or malice of any kind, have a place in our bosoms; but, on the contrary, may we all cherish the amiable spirit of our blessed Lord,-and, like good servants of so great a Mas

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