O God, Thou only Refuge of Thy children! who remainest true though all else should fail, and livest though all things die, cover us now when we fly to Thee. Rebuke within us all immoderate desires, all unquiet temper, all presumptuous expectations, all ignoble self-indulgence: and feeling on us the embrace of Thy Fatherly hand, may we meekly and with courage go into the darkest ways of our pilgrimage; anxious not to change Thy perfect will, but only to do and bear it worthily. May we spend all our days as in Thy presence, and meet our death in the strength of Thy promise, and pass hence into the nearer light of Thy knowledge and Thy love—Amen.
O Thou, who art the true Sun of the world, evermore rising, and never going down; who, by Thy most wholesome appearing and sight dost nourish, and make joyful all things, as well that are in heaven, as also that are on earth; we beseech Thee mercifully and favorably to shine into our hearts, that the night and darkness of sin, and the mists of error on every side, being driven away, Thou brightly shining within our hearts, we may all our life long go without any stumbling or offence, and may walk as in the day-time, being pure and clean from the works of darkness, and abounding in all good works which Thou hast prepared for us to walk in—Amen.
O God, the Redeemer of our souls, and the Comforter of them that mourn, whose will is our peace, and to whom obedience is true freedom; grant me so to be led by Thy Holy Spirit, that I may be free from vain hopes and repinings, and from all wrong desires; but may I through patience have experience, and through experience hope, and not be ashamed of hoping in Thee, our Father and our Friend, whose holy will be done now and for ever—Amen.
O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts unto Thyself that our work may not be to us a burden, but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to Thee as may sweeten all our obedience. Oh, let us not serve Thee with the spirit of bondage as slaves, but with the cheerfulness and gladness of children, delighting ourselves in Thee and rejoicing in Thy work—Amen.
Benjamin Jenks (1646–1724).
Lord, do Thou turn me all into love, and all my love into obedience, and let my obedience be without interruption; and then I hope Thou wilt accept such a return as I can make. Make me to be something that Thou delightest in, and Thou shalt have all that I am or have from Thee, even whatsoever Thou makest fit for Thyself—Amen.
Jeremy Taylor (1613–1667).
Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, mercifully grant that the frequent meditation of Thine infinite goodness may make us to love Thee above all things; that we may here steadfastly believe what we do not see, and, hereafter, in the blessed vision of Thy glory, see what we now cannot comprehend; through Jesus Christ our Lord—Amen.
Book of Hours, 1865.
O Lord, our Guide even unto death, grant us, I pray Thee, grace to follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. In little daily duties to which Thou callest us, bow down our wills to simple obedience, patience under pain or provocation, strict truthfulness of word and manner, humility, kindness: in great acts of duty or perfection if Thou shouldest call us to them, uplift us to self-sacrifice, heroic courage, laying down of life for Thy Truth’s sake or for a brother—Amen. Christina G. Rossetti.
O God, the Might of all them that put their trust in Thee, grant that we may be more than conquerors over all that make war upon our souls, and, in the end, may enter into perfect peace in Thy presence—Amen.
Set my heart on fire with the love of Thee, most loving Father, and then to do Thy will, and to obey Thy commandments, will not be grievous to me. For to him that loveth, nothing is difficult, nothing is impossible; because love is stronger than death. Oh, may love fill and rule my heart. For then there will spring up and be cherished between Thee and me a likeness of character, and union of will, so that I may choose and refuse what Thou dost. May Thy will be done in me and by me forever—Amen.
Paradise for the Christian Soul.
Most merciful God, the helper of all men, so strengthen us by Thy power, that our sorrow may be turned into joy, and we may continually glorify Thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord—Amen.
Sarum Breviary, A.D. 1085.
I Ask, dear Lord, that Thou wouldest make me wholly Thine. Penetrate me wholly with Thyself, that Thou mayest be all in all in me; be Thou the Soul of my soul. Lord, I am weary of myself, weary of being so unlike Thee, of being so far away from Thee. Abide with me, then,—abide in me. Let no sorrow keep me away from Thee; let no loneliness or desolation of soul affright me. Let me not think of Thee as one afar off; let me not think of Thee as a severe judge, since Thou Thyself comest unto me, and fallest on the neck of Thy poor prodigal, and givest me the kiss of peace. Thou wilt not let those go empty away who come to Thee from far. Lord, I am come to Thee from far, the far-off land of my miseries and my sins. But Thou hast brought me nigh—Amen.
E. B. Pusey.
Father, with thankful and humble hearts we appear before Thee. We would thank Thee for all the benefits that we have received from Thy goodness: It is to Thy blessing we owe what success we have found. Every opportunity for doing good; every impulse in the right way; each victory we have gained over ourselves; every thought of Thy presence, O Father; every silent but loving glance on the example of our Pattern, Thy Son our Lord—all are alike Thy gifts to us. Give us strength and wisdom to walk faithfully and joyfully in the way of willing obedience to Thy laws, and cheerful trust in Thy love. The best thanksgiving we can offer to Thee is to live according to Thy holy will; grant us every day to offer it more perfectly, and to grow in the knowledge of Thy will and the love thereof, for evermore—Amen.
Michael Sailer (1751–1832).
O Lord God Almighty, redeem my soul from its bondage, that I may be free to live henceforth, not for myself but for Thee. Help me to put away self, and to remember that this life is not given for my ease, my enjoyment. It is a schooling time for the eternal home Thou hast prepared for those who love Thee. Keep my eye steadily fixed on that haven of rest and peace, that I may not faint nor be weary from the length of the way, but may strive to walk worthy of my high calling in all meekness and lowliness of heart. And after that I have suffered awhile, when I am strengthened, stablished, settled in Thy love, when I have done all the work Thou hast for me to do, O gracious God, be with me to guide me through the valley of the shadow of death, and, in Thine own good time, take me to dwell with Thee—Amen.
My Refuge and my Lord, I believe and hope in Thee, and with my whole heart I love Thee. Behold Thou hast set before me death and life, sorrows and joys, hopes and fears; towards what shall I stretch forth my hand? O Lord, I know not, but Thou knowest; do with me what pleaseth Thee. Thine am I with my whole heart. My times are in Thy hand. O Thou, my only Hope, Thy will be done as in heaven so on earth. Be that done, be that done,—not what I will, but what Thou wilt. Henceforth, even for ever, I cast all my care upon Thee, for I know that Thou carest for me, yea, even for me; hide me under the shadow of Thy wings. Let Thy will be done! I will wait in silence for Thy salvation, O my God, and I will love Thee with my whole heart—Amen.
The Way of Eternal Life.