The Morning Watches— John MacDuff, 1852
“In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You — and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3
“Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust.” — Isa. 26:19
Gracious God, You have again dispersed the darkness of another natural night. Every rising earthly sun is bringing me nearer the gladdening day-break of immortality. O grant that, when the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised, I may be ready to listen undismayed to the summons, “Behold, the Bridegroom comes, go out to meet Him.”
My prayer is, that I may now be made partaker of the blessedness of the first resurrection from a death of sin. As one “alive from the dead,” may I rise and walk with a living Savior in “newness of life,” that thus I may at last share also in the more glorious resurrection of His ransomed saints, when His “dead men shall live,” and together with His body “they shall arise,” obeying the joyous mandate of their risen Head, “Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust.”
Blessed Jesus, I do rejoice to think of Your own triumphant rising from the tomb. I rejoice to be able to visit in thought Your vacant sepulcher, and to hear the glad tidings, “He is not here, He is risen!” “The Lord is risen!” — it is the blessed pledge and earnest of my own redemption from the power of the grave — that “because Christ lives, I shall live also.” O may “my life be now hidden with Christ in God, so that when Christ, who is my life, shall appear, I may also appear with him in glory.” Keep me ever in the frame I should wish to be found in when my Lord comes. May the lamp of faith and love be brightly burning. May it never be mine to be awakened, by the midnight cry, to the dreadful consciousness, “My lamp has gone out.” May I rather be among the number of “waiting servants,” who, when their Lord comes and knocks,” are ready to open to Him immediately.”
Impart to all near and dear to me this day the same spiritual and eternal blessings I ask for myself. May they, too, be united to Jesus — “planted in the likeness of His death,” that they may be found also “in the likeness of His resurrection.” May we all seek to bear an increasingly holy resemblance in love one to another, and to our great living Head, in whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named; and if for a little while separated by death, may we, on the great day of His appearing, be reunited in bonds that shall know no dissolution.
Hasten that blessed time when our world, so long groaning and travailing in pain, shall put on her resurrection attire, and exult in the glorious liberty of Your children. “Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly.” “Why delay the wheels of Your chariot?”
Lord, I commend myself to You. Prepare me for living, prepare me for dying. Let me live near You in grace now, that I may live with You in glory everlasting. Let me be reconciled submissively to endure all that Your sovereign wisdom and love seem fit to appoint — looking forward, through the tears and sorrows of a weeping world, to that better day-spring, when “I shall behold Your face in righteousness,” and be “satisfied, when I awake in Your likeness.” And all I ask is for the Redeemer’s sake. Amen.
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8