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.”
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” — Psalm 51:10
Almighty God, who has mercifully preserved me during the unconscious hours of slumber, I desire to dedicate my waking moments and thoughts to You. Pre-occupy my mind with hallowed and heavenly things. May I be enabled throughout this day, by the help of Your Holy Spirit, to exclude all that is vain and frivolous and sinful — and to have my affections centered on You, as my best portion and chief joy. As Your Spirit of old brooded over the face of the waters, may that same blessed Spirit descend in all the plenitude of His heavenly graces, that the gloom of a deeper moral chaos may be dispersed, and that mine may be the beauty and happiness and gladness of a soul that has been transformed “from darkness — to light; and from the power of sin and Satan — unto God.”
Forbid, blessed Lord! that I should be resting in anything short of this new creation. May my old nature be crucified; and, as one alive from the dead, may I “walk with Jesus in newness of life.” May the new life infused by Your Spirit urge me to higher attainments and more heavenly aspirations. May I be enabled to see the world in its true light — its pleasures fading, its hopes delusive, its friendships perishable. May I be more solemnly and habitually impressed by the surpassing magnitude of “the things not seen.” May I give evidence of the reality of a renewal of heart by a more entire and consistent dedication of the life. May my soul become a temple of the Holy Spirit; may “Holiness to the Lord” be its superscription. May I be led to feel that there can be no true joy but what emanates from Yourself, the fountain and fullness of all joy — the God in whom “all my well springs” are.
Whatever maybe the discipline You are employing for this inward heart-transformation, let me be willing to submit to it. Let me lie passive in the arms of Your mercy, saying, “Undertake for me.” May it be mine to bear all, and endure all, and rejoice in all — adoring a Father’s hand, and trusting a Father’s faithfulness — feeling secure in a Father’s tried love.
Blessed Jesus! anew would I wash in the opened Fountain. The new heart, like every holy blessing I can ask, is the purchase of that blood which You so freely shed. May it be sprinkled on my guilty conscience. May I ever know what it is to be living on a living Savior, bringing my all-emptiness to His all-fullness; the unworthiness of my infinite demerit — to the worthiness of His all-sufficient, all abounding, grace and mercy.
Shine upon my ways. May I this day get nearer heaven. May I feel at its close that I have done something for God — something to promote the great end for which existence was given me — the glory of Your holy name. Bless all my beloved friends. Unite us together in bonds of holy fellowship here; and at last, in Your presence, may we be permitted to drink together of the streams of everlasting love. And all I ask is for Jesus’ 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.”