With this post I finish the series, How to Close the Day with God, adapted from Matthew Henry’s book, A Method for Prayer.
An excerpt from An Evening Prayer for a Family:
“Most Holy, and blessed, and glorious Lord God, whose we are, and whom we are bound to serve; for, because thou madest us, and and not we ourselves, therefore we are not our own, but thine…
Thou art our Benefactor, the God that hast fed us, and kept us all our life unto this day. Having obtained help of God, we continue hitherto monuments of sparing mercy, and witness for thee that thou art gracious, that thou art God, and not man; for therefore it is that we are not cut off.
One day tells another, and one night certifies to another, that thou art good, and doest good, and never failest those who seek thee, and trust in thee. Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to praise thee.
We confess we have sinned against thee; this day we have sinned and done foolishly: O GOD, thou knowest our foolishness, and our sins are not hid from thee; we misspend our time, we neglected our duty, we follow after vanities, and forsake our own mercies. We offend with our tongues: are we not carnal and walk as men, below Christians? Who can understand his errors? Cleanse us from our secret faults.
We pray thee give us repentance for our sins of daily infirmity, and make us duly sensible of the evil of them, and of the danger of them, and let the blood of Christ, thy Son, which cleanseth from all sin, cleanse us from it, that we may lie down to night at peace with God, and our souls may comfortably return to Him, and repose in Him as our rest.
Do us good by all the providences we are under, merciful or afflictive: give us grace to accommodate ourselves to them, and by all bring us near to thee, and make us fitter for thee.
We commit ourselves to thee this night, and desire to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Let the Lord be our habitation, and let our souls be at home in him.
Refresh our bodies, we pray thee, with quiet and comfortable rest, not to be disturbed with any distrustful disquieting cares and fears; but especially let our souls be refreshed with thy love, and the light of thy countenance and thy benignity, which is better than life.
When we awake, grant that we may be still with thee, and may remember thee upon our beds, and meditate upon thee in the night-watches, and may improve the silence and solitude of our retirements for communion with God and our own hearts; that when we are alone, we may not be alone, but God may be with us, and we with him.
And forasmuch as we are now brought one day nearer our end, Lord, enable us so to number our days, as that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Let us be reminded by our putting off our clothes and going to sleep in our beds, of putting off the body, sleeping the sleep of death, and making our bed in the darkness shortly, that we may be daily dying in expectation of it and preparing for our change, that when we come to die indeed, it may be no surprise or terror to us, but we may with comfort put off the body and resign the spirit, knowing whom we have trusted.
Do for us, we pray thee, abundantly above what we are able to ask or think, for the sake of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the Lord our Righteousness. To him with the Father and the eternal Spirit, be glory and praise, now and for ever. Amen.
May you find rest in Him, the Prince of Peace, tonight,