Sunday, April 9

A prayer for today: 26p

Gracious God, I seek your presence at the close of another day, asking you to create a little pool of heavenly peace within my heart before I lie down to sleep. Let all the day's excitements and anxieties now give place to a time of inward recollection, as I wait upon you and meditate upon your love.

Give me tonight, dear Lord, a deeper sense of gratitude to you for all your mercies. Your goodness to me has been wonderful. At no moment of the day have I lacked your gracious care. At no moment have I been called upon to stand in my own strength alone. When I was too busy with my petty concerns to remember you, you with a universe to govern were not too busy to remember me.

I am bitterly ashamed, O God, because I must always be confessing to you my forgetfulness of you, the feebleness of my love for you, the fitfulness and listlessness of my desire. How many plain commandments of yours have I disobeyed today! How many little services of love have I withheld from you, Jesus, in that I withheld them from the least of these your beloved with whom I have had to do!

Dear Lord, if at this evening hour I think only of myself and my own condition and my own day's doings and my day's record of service, then I can find no peace before I go to sleep, but only bitterness of spirit and miserable despair. Therefore, O God, let me think rather of you and rejoice that your love is great enough to blot out all my sins. And, Jesus, Lamb of God, let me think of you, and lean upon your heavenly righteousness, taking no pleasure in what I am before you but only in what you are for me and in my stead. And, Holy Spirit, I welcome you to think within me, and so move within my mind and will that as the days go by I may be more and more conformed to the righteousness of Jesus Christ my Lord; to whom be glory forever. Amen.

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