ON HOLY GROUND. “OUR Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We fear that we often begin our prayer with petitions for ourselves, and put our daily bread before Thy kingdom, and the pardoning of our sins before the hallowing of Thy name. We would not do so today, but guided by our Lord’s model of prayer, we would first pray for Thy glory; and here, great God, we would adore Thee. Thou hast made us and not we ourselves. We are Thy people, and the sheep of Thy pasture. All glory be unto Thee, Jehovah, the only living and true God.
With heart and mind, and memory and fear, and hope and joy, we worship the Most High. It well becomes us to put our shoes from off our feet when we draw near to God, for the place whereon we stand is holy ground. If God in the bush demanded the unsaddled foot of the prophet, how much more shall God in Christ Jesus?
With lowliest reverence, with truest love, we worship God in Christ Jesus, uniting therein with all the redeemed host above, with angels and principalities and powers. We cannot cast crowns at His feet, for we have none as yet, but if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, if there be about us anything of grace and good repute, we ascribe it all to God. We cannot veil our faces with our wings, for we have none, but we veil them with something better than angelic wings, the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. With these we cover our faces, with these we cover our feet, and with these we fly up to God in holiest fellowship of God. Glory, and honor, and power, and dominion be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and for ever.
Great God, we long that Thou mayest be known unto the ends of the earth, that the idols may be utterly abolished. We long that false doctrine may fly like birds of darkness before the light and Thy coming. Reign Thou in the hearts of our fellow-men. Lord, subdue sin, and under Thy feet let drunkenness, and unchastity, and oppression, and every form of wickedness be put away by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.
Oh! that today, even today, many hearts might be won to God. Convince men of the wrong of being alienated from God, put into their hearts sorrow for sin and dread of wrath to come, and lead and drive men to Christ. Oh! how we pray for this, the salvation of our fellow-men, not so much for their sakes as for the sake of the glory of God and the rewarding of Christ for His pain.
We do with all our hearts pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Lord, help us to do Thy will. Take the crippled kingdom of our manhood and reign Thou over it. Let spirit and body be consecrated to God. May there be no reserves; may everything be given up to Thee. Reign for ever! Pierced King, despised and nailed to a tree, sit Thou on the glorious high throne in our hearts, and may our lives prove that Thou art Lord over us; by our every thought and desire, and imagination, and word, and act, in every respect being under Thy divine control.
Thy people breathe to Thee out of their very hearts the prayer that Thou mayest reign over us without a rival. O Savior, use for Thyself what Thou hast bought with blood, and drive out the enemy, and let no power have any dominion over us except the power of Thy good Spirit which worketh righteousness and peace.
We pray today also that Thy truth may prevail against the many anti- Christs that have gone forth against it. Our Father, restore a pure language to Thy Zion once again. Take away, we pray Thee, the itching for new doctrine, the longing for that which is thought to be scientific and wise above what is written, and may Thy Church come to her moorings, may she cast anchor in the truth of God and there abide; and if it be Thy will may we live to see brighter and better times.
If it might be so we would pray for the coming of our Lord very speedily to end these sluggish years, these long delaying days. But, if He come not, yet put power into Thy truth and quicken Thy Church that she may become energetic for the spread of it, that so Thy kingdom may come. This do we seek first and above everything, the glory of God. We ask for grace that we may live with this end in view. May we lay ourselves out to it. May this be our morning thought, the thought that we have in our minds when we lay awake at nights. What shall I do, my Savior, to praise? How can I make Him illustrious and win another heart to His throne? Now bless us; forgive us our trespasses wherein we have sinned against Thee. Seal our pardon upon our consciences, and make us feel that as we truly forgive them that trespass against us, so hast Thou forgiven us all our iniquities. We pray Thee lead us not into temptation. Do not try us, Lord, nor suffer the devil to try us. If we must be tried then deliver us from evil, and especially from the evil one, that he may get no dominion over us.
Oh! keep us, Lord. This life is full of trial. There are many that are perplexed about temporary things. Let not the enemy lead them to do or think aught that is amiss, because of the straitness of supply. Others are blessed with prosperity. Lord, let it not be a curse to them. Let them know how to abound as well as to suffer loss. In all things may they be instructed to glorify God, not only with all they are, but with all they have, and even with all they have not, by a holy contentment to do without that which it doth not please Thee to bestow.
And then, Lord, give us day by day our daily bread; provide for Thy poor people; let them not think that the provision for themselves rests fully on themselves; but may they cry to Thee, for Thou hast said, “Thy bread shall be given thee, Thy waters shall be sure.” If we follow Thee, if Thou lead us into a desert, Thou wilt strew our path with manna. May Thy people believe this, and let them have no care, but like the birds of the air which neither sow nor gather into barns, and yet are fed, so may Thy people be.
But, above all, give us spiritual help. Give us wisdom, which is profitable to get. Give us the absence of all self-seeking, and a complete yielding up of our desires to the will of God. Help us to be as Christ was, who was not His own, but gave Himself to His Father for our sins; so may we for His sake give ourselves up to do or suffer the will of our Father who is in heaven.
Remember Thy people in their families and convert their children; give us help and strength; spare precious lives that are in danger; be gracious to any that are dying; may the life of God swallow up the death of the body.
Prepare us all for Thy glorious advent; keep us waiting and watching, and do Thou come quickly to our heart’s desire, for we pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.” Amen.