A PRAYER FOR HOLINESS.
OUR Father, we worship and love Thee; and it is one point of our worship that Thou art holy. Time was when we loved Thee for Thy mercy; we knew no more; but now Thou hast changed our hearts and made us in love with goodness, purity, justice, true holiness; and we understand now why “the cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts,” We adore Thee because Thou art holy, and we love Thee for Thine infinite perfection. For now we sigh and cry after holiness ourselves. Sanctify us wholly, spirit, soul and body. Lord, we mourn over the sins of our past life and our present shortcomings. We bless Thee Thou hast forgiven us; we are reconciled to Thee by the death of Thy Son. There are many who know that they have been washed, and that He that beareth away sin has borne their sin away. These are they who now cry to Thee to be delivered from the power of sin, to be delivered from the power of temptation without, but especially from indwelling sin within.
Lord, purify us in head, heart and hand; and if it be needful that we should be put into the fire to be refined as silver is refined, we would even welcome the fire if we may be rid of the dross. Lord, save us from constitutional sin, from sins of temperament, from sins of our surroundings.
Save us from ourselves in every shape, and grant us especially to have the light of love strong within us.
May we love God; may we love Thee, O Savior; may we love the people of God as being members of one body in connection with Thee. May we love the guilty world with that love which desires its salvation and conversion; and may we love not in word only, but in deed and in truth.
May we help the helpless, comfort the mourner, sympathize with the widow and fatherless, and may we be always ready to put up with wrong, to be long suffering, to be very patient, full of forgiveness, counting it a small thing that we should forgive our fellow-men since we have been forgiven of God. Lord, tune our hearts to love, and then give us an inward peace, a restfulness about everything.
May we have no burden to carry, because, though we have a burden, we have rolled it upon the Lord. May we take up our cross, and because Christ has once died on the cross may our cross become a comfort to us.
May we count it all joy when we fall into divers trials, knowing that in all this God will be glorified, His image will be stamped upon us, and the eternal purpose will be fulfilled, wherein He has predestinated us to be conformed unto the image of His Son.
Lord, look upon Thy people. We might pray about our troubles. We will not; we will only pray against our sins. We might come to Thee about our weariness, about our sickness, about our disappointment, about our poverty; but we will leave all that, we will only come about sin. Lord, make us holy, and then do what Thou wilt with us.
We pray Thee help us to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
If we are fighting against: sin — “ the sin which doth so easily beset us “ — Lord, lend us heavenly weapons and heavenly strength that we may cut the giants down, these men of Anak that come against us. We feel very feeble. Oh! make us strong in the Lord, in the power of His might. May we never let sin have any rest in us, may we chase it, drive it out, slay it, hang it on a tree, abhor it, and may we “cleave to that which is good.”
Some of us are trying, striving after some excellent virtue. Lord, help stragglers; enable those that contend against great difficulties only to greater grace, more faith, and so to bring them nearer to God. Lord, we will be holy; by Thy grace we will never rest until we are. Thou hast begun a good work in us and Thou wilt carry it on. Thou wilt work in us to will and to do of Thine own good pleasure.
Lord, help the converted child to be correct in his relation to his parents; help the Christian father or mother to be right in dealing with children, “may they not provoke their children to anger lest they may discourage.” Take away willfulness from the young; take away impatience from the old. Lord, help Christian men of business. May they act uprightly; may Christian masters never be hard to their servants, to their workpeople; and may Christian workpeople, give to their masters that which is just and equal in the way of work in return for wage. May we as Christian men be always standing upon our rights, but always be willing each one to minister to the help of others.
And, oh that as Christians we might be humble! Lord, take away that stiffnecked, that proud look; take away from us the spirit of “stand by, for I am holier than Thou;” make us condescend to men of low estate; ay, and even to men of low morals, low character. May we seek them out, seek their good. Oh! give to the Church of Christ an intense love for the souls of men. May it make our hearts break to think that they will perish in their sin.
May we grieve every day because of the sin of this City. Set a mark upon our forehead and let us be known to Thyself as men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst of the City.
O God, save us from a hard heart, an unkind spirit, that is insensible to the woes of others. Lord, preserve Thy people also from worldliness, from rioting, from drunkenness, from chambering and wantonness, from strife and envy, from everything that would dishonor the name of Christ that we bear. Lord, make us holy. Our prayer comes back to this. Make us holy; cleanse the inside and let the outside be clean too. Make us holy, O God: do this for Christ’s sake. Not that we hope to be saved by our own holiness, but that holiness is salvation. Then we are saved from sin.
Lord, help Thy poor children to be holy. Oh! keep us so if we are so; keep us even from stumbling, and present us faultless before Thy presence at last. We pray for friends that are ill, for many that are troubled because of the illness of others. We bring before Thee every case of trouble and trial known to us, and ask for Thy gracious intervention. We pray for Thy ministers everywhere; for Thy missionary servants. Remember brethren that are making great sacrifice out in the hot sun or in the cold and frozen north. Everywhere preserve those who for Christ’s sake carry their lives in their hands.
And our brethren at home, in poverty many of them, working for Christ, Lord, accept them and help us to help them. Sunday-school teachers, do Thou remember them; and the tract visitors from door to door, and the City missionaries, and the Bible women, all who in any way endeavor to bring Christ under the notice of men. O, help them all.
We will offer but one more prayer, and it is this. Lord, look in pity upon any who are not in Christ. May they be converted. May they pass from death to life, and they will never forget it; may they see the eternal light for the first time, and they will remember it even in Eternity. Father help us; bless us now for Jesu’s sake. Amen.