“Your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Most High: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke 6:35
I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto Him —
“MY FATHER, I would seek to end another day with You, looking up for Your promised blessing. How wondrous are the words, just read, from the lips of Your dear Son! You condescend not only to invite all to draw near to You in filial trust and confidence, but you call them “children,” yes, “children of the Most High.” Your kindness is, like Yourself, illimitable. An earthly father would long ago have disowned and disinherited me. But I listen to the amazing assurance — “He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Past evil and demerit and sin have not excluded me from hope of pardon, or involved the forfeiture of favor and love. You have “devised means by which Your banished one may not be expelled from Your presence.” You are ever waiting to be gracious; not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn from their wickedness and live.
Anew would I wash, this evening, in the opened fountain. Lord, take away my unthankfulness, and attune my lips to the never-ceasing song of Your redeemed — “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” Deepen within me, a sense of my obligations to Christ for all that He has done and suffered on my behalf. May it be my habitual desire to love Him more and serve Him better — my soul a consecrated altar, and my life a living sacrifice”
I would thank You, too, for Your many temporal mercies, the many tokens of Your unmerited goodness in my daily lot. While other hearts and homes are clouded with sorrow, or saddened with poverty, or stricken with suffering — You have caused me to lie down by the green pastures, You have led me beside the still waters. Your goodness and mercy, like two guardian angels, are still following me, as they have followed me until now. I may well accept Your love and faithfulness in the past, as pledges and guarantees for the future. Blessed be Your name, that that future — the morrow — is unknown. Better still, that it is in Your hands; that all which concerns me and mine, is planned and ordered by You; and that You have promised strength for the day.
I pray for any who especially stand in need of my prayers: for those in the thick of the spiritual conflict, environed with many temptations; for those laid on couches of sickness and suffering; for those passing through the shadowed valley; for those mourning their “loved and lost.” Make them, severally and individually, partakers of Your own everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.
Hear these my evening supplications; and enable me to close the day by uttering, with ever-growing reverence, the filial ascription — my Father.
“MY Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. May Your kingdom come. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
A Book of Private Prayer for Day and Night by J.R. MacDuff (1890)