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
“May Your kingdom come.” — Luke 11:2
O eternal, ever-blessed God, whose merciful kindness is new to me every morning — give me throughout this day that peace which the world cannot give. As the beams of the material sun are lighting up anew my earthly chamber, may the inner chamber of my soul be illuminated by a better and brighter radiance. Jesus! blessed Fountain of light, and life, and glory, disperse all the darkness of unbelief and sin. May Your presence and love hallow all my joys, and mitigate and sanctify all my sorrows.
Before I enter on the day’s duties, sprinkle once again the lintels and doorposts of my heart with Your own most precious blood; may my inmost thoughts, and purposes, and desires, and affections be consecrated to that God whose property they are. May I have an increasing experience of the sweets of Your favor, and friendship, and love. With You, blessed Lord, I am rich, whatever else I lack; without You, I am poor, though I have the wealth of worlds beside. Take what You will away — but take not Yourself. Nothing can fill and satisfy the longings of my immortal nature but You — all worldly happiness and creature joys are poor substitutes for the inexhaustible source of all joy. Let me know what it is, amid the wreck of earthly refuges and hopes, to exult in the persuasion, “The Lord lives; and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”
While I pray that Your kingdom may come in my own heart, I would especially pray for its extension throughout the world. Arise, O God, and let Your enemies be scattered. May the blessed day soon arrive when a rejoicing and emancipated world shall own no longer habitations of darkness and horrid cruelty — when Jew and Gentile shall welcome the Prince of Peace to the Throne of Universal Empire — and “all ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.” “Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly.” Let the cry soon break over Your now burdened Church, “Let us be glad and rejoice, for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife has made herself ready.” Grant, Lord, that Imay be in readiness to meet You. May my loins now be girded, and my lamp brightly burning, that, at the Bride-groom’s summons, I may be able joyfully to respond, “Lo, this is my God! I have waited for Him.”
Grant this day to all near and dear to me, as well as to myself, the special tokens of Your blessing and love. Fold my beloved friends in the arms of Your mercy. Teaching them to do Your holy will, say of them and to them, “The same is my mother, and sister, and brother.” Guide us all by Your counsel here. May we feel that the way in which You are leading us is the kindest and the best that covenant love can devise; and when our appointed time on earth is finished, receive us into everlasting habitations through Jesus Christ our Lord.
And now, to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be ascribed, as is most due, all blessing, and honor, and glory, and praise, world without end. 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