Monday, April 17

A prayer for today: 21p

For the mere joy of living
Creator of all things, I lift up my heart in gratitude to Thee for this day's happiness:
For the mere joy of living:
For all the sights and sounds around me:
For the sweet peace of the country and the pleasant bustle of the town:
For all things bright and beautiful:
For friendship and good company:
For work to perform and the skill and strength to perform it:
For a time to play when the day's work was done, and for health and a glad heart to enjoy it.
Yet let me never think, O eternal God, that I am here to stay. Let me still remember that I am a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. We don’t have a permanent city here, but rather we are looking for the city that is still to come1. Preserve me by your grace, good Lord, from so deeply losing myself in the joys of earth that I have no longing left for the purer joys of heaven. Do not allow the happiness of today become a trap for my too worldly heart. And if, instead of happiness, I have suffered any disappointment or defeat, if there has been any sorrow where I had hoped for joy, or sickness where I had looked for health, give me grace to accept it from your hand as a loving reminder that this is not my home.

I thank you, O Lord, for setting eternity within my heart in order that no earthly thing can ever satisfy me wholly. I thank you that every present joy is so mixed with sadness and unrest as to lead my mind upwards to the contemplation of a more perfect blessedness. And above all I thank you for the sure hope and promise of an endless life which you have given me in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

Paraphrase of A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie ©1949 Charles Scribner's Sons

1Hebrews 13:14, Common English Bible