Method for Prayer by Matthew Henry
A morning prayer for a family.
O Lord our God, we desire with all humility and reverence to adore thee, as a being infinitely bright, and blessed, and glorious; thou hast all perfection in thyself and art the fountain of all being, power, life, motion, and perfection.
Thou art good to all, and thy tender mercies are over all thy works; and thou art continually doing us good, though we are evil and unthankful.
We reckon it an unspeakable privilege, that we have liberty of access to thee through Jesus Christ, and leave to call thee our Father in him. O look upon us now and be merciful to us, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
O give us all to account our daily worship of thee in our family the most needful part of our daily business and the most pleasant part of our daily comforts.
Thou art the God of all the families of Israel, be thou the God of our family and grant, whatever others do, we and ours may always serve the Lord; that thou mayest cause thy blessing to rest on our house, from the beginning of the year to the end of it. Lord, bless us, and we are blessed indeed.
We humbly thank thee for all the mercies of this night past and this morning, that we have laid us down and slept and waked again, because thou hast sustained us; that no plague has come nigh our dwelling; but that we are brought in safety to the light and comforts of another day.
It is of thy mercies, O Lord, that we are not consumed, even because thy compassions fail not; they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.
We have rested and are refreshed, when many have been full of tossings to and fro till the dawning of the day. We have a safe and quiet habitation, when many are forced to wander and lie exposed.
We own thy goodness to us, and ourselves we acknowledge less than worthy of the least of all thy mercy and of all the truth thou hast shewed unto us.
We confess we have sinned against thee, we are guilty before thee, we have sinned and have come short of the glory of God: We have corrupt and sinful natures, and are bent to backslide from thee; backward to good, and prone to evil continually.
Vain thoughts come into us and lodge within us, lying down or rising up, and they defile or disquiet our minds and keep out good thoughts. We are too apt to burden ourselves with that care which thou hast encouraged us to cast upon thee.
We are very much wanting in the duties of our particular relations, and provoke one another more to folly and passion, than to love and to good works. We are very cold and defective in our love to God, weak in our desires towards him, and unsteady and uneven in our walking with him; and are at this time much out of frame for his service.
We pray thee, forgive all our sins for Christ’s sake and be at peace with us in him who died to make peace, and ever lives, making intercession.
There be many that say, Who will show us any good? But, Lord, let us not be put off with the good of this world for a portion; for this is our hearts’ desire and prayer, Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us, and that shall put gladness into our hearts, more than they have, whose corn, and wine, and oil increaseth.
Lord, let thy peace rule in our hearts and give thy law to us, and let thy peace keep our hearts and minds, and give comfort to us; and let the consolations of God, which are neither few nor small, be our strength and our song in the house of our pilgrimage.
Lord, we commit ourselves to thy care and keeping this day: Watch over us for good; compass us about with thy favour as with a shield; preserve us from all evil, yea, the Lord preserve and keep our souls; preserve our going out and coming in.
Our bodies and all our worldly affairs we commit to the conduct of thy wise and gracious providence, and submit to its disposals. Let no hurt or harm happen to us; keep us in health and safety; bless our employments, prosper us in all our lawful undertakings, and give us comfort and success in them. Let us eat the labour of our hands, and let it be well with us.
Our precious souls and all their concerns we commit to the government of thy Spirit and grace. O let thy grace be mighty in us and sufficient for us, and let it work in us both to will and to do that which is good, of thine own good pleasure.
O give us grace to do the work of this day in its day, according as the duty of the day requires, and to do even common actions after a godly sort; acknowledging thee in all our ways, and having our eyes ever up to thee, and be thou pleased to direct our steps.
Lord, keep us from sin; give us rule over our own spirits, and grant that we may not this day break out into passion upon provocation, or speak unadvisedly with our lips. Give us grace to live together in peace and holy love, that the Lord may command the blessing upon us, even life evermore.
Make us conscientious in all our dealings and always watchful against sin, as becomes those who see thine eye ever upon us. Arm us against every temptation, uphold us in our integrity, keep us in the way of our duty; and grant that we may be in thy fear every day and all the day long.
In every doubtful case, let our way be made plain before us; and give us that wisdom of the prudent, which is at all times profitable to direct; and let integrity and uprightness preserve us, for we wait on thee.
Sanctify to us all our losses, crosses, afflictions, and disappointments, and give us grace to submit to thy holy will in them, and let us find it good for us to be afflicted, that we may be partakers of thy holiness.
Prepare us for all the events of this day, for we know not what a day may bring forth. Give us to stand complete in thy whole will; to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow Jesus Christ.
Lord, fit us for death, and judgment, and eternity, and give us grace to live every day as those that do not know but it may be our last day.
Lord, plead thy cause in the world; build up thy church into perfect beauty; set up the throne of the exalted Redeemer in all places upon the ruins of the devil’s kingdom. Let the reformed churches be more and more reformed, and let everything that is amiss be amended; and let those that suffer for righteousness’ sake be supported and delivered.
Do us good in these nations; bless the king and all in authority; guide public counsels and affairs; overrule all to thine own glory; let peace and truth be in our days, and be preserved to those that shall come after us.
Be gracious to all our relations, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, and do them good according as their necessities are. Supply the wants of all thy people. Dwell in the families that fear thee and call upon thy name. Forgive our enemies and those that hate us; give us a right and charitable frame of spirit towards all men, and all that is theirs.
Visit those that are in affliction and comfort them and be unto them a very present help. Recover the sick, ease the pained, succour the tempted, relieve the oppressed, and give joy to those that mourn in Zion.
Deal with us and our family according to the tenure of the everlasting covenant, which is well ordered in all things and sure, and which is all our salvation and all our desire; however it pleaseth God to deal with us and with our house.
Now blessed be God for all his gifts both of nature and grace, for those that concern this life and that to come; especially for Jesus Christ, the fountain and foundation of all. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
We humbly beseech thee for Christ Jesus’ sake to pardon our sins, accept our services, and grant an answer of peace to our prayers, even for his sake who died for us and rose again, who hath taught us to pray, Our Father which art in heaven, etc.