HE EVER LIVETH.
OUR God, we come to Thee by Jesus Christ who has gone within the veil on our behalf and ever liveth to make intercession for us. Our poor prayers could never reach Thee were it not for Him, but His hands are full of sweet perfume which makes our pleading sweet with Thee. His blood is sprinkled on the mercy seat, and now we know that Thou dost always hear those who approach Thee through that ever blessed name.
We have deeply felt our entire unworthiness even to lift up our eyes to the place where Thine honor dwelleth. Thou hast made us to die to our selfrighteousness.
We pray now because we have been quickened; we have received a new life, and the breath of that life is prayer. We have risen from the dead, and we also make intercession through the life which Christ has given us. We plead with the living God with living hearts because He has made us to live.
Our first prayer shall be for those who do not pray. There is an ancient promise of Thine, “I am found of them that sought Me not; I said, Behold Me, behold Me, to a people that were not a people.” Prove the sovereignty of Thy grace, the priority of Thy power, which runs before the will of man, by making many willing in this the day of Thy power, and calling the things that are not as though they were. May the day come in which they that are in their graves shall hear the voice of God, and they that hear shall live.
How very often Thou shewest Thy mighty power. O Lord, we bless Thee that the voice of God has called many to Christ. Those that are hardened have felt a softness stealing over their spirits; those who were careless have been compelled to sit down and think; those that were wrapped up in earthly things have been compelled to think of eternal things; and thinking, have been disturbed, and driven to despair, but afterwards led to Thee, even to Thee, dear Savior, who wast lifted high upon the cross that by Thy death sinners might live.
But, Lord, we next would pray that Thine own people should know somewhat of the quickening of the Spirit of God. Lord, we thank Thee for the very least life to God, for the feeblest ray of faith and glimmering of hope. We are glad to see anything of Christ in any man; but Thou hast come, O Savior, not only that we might have life, but that we might have it more abundantly, so our prayer is that there may be abundance of life.
O make Thy people strong in the Lord, in the power of His might. Lord, we find when we walk close with God that we have no desire for the world. When we get away altogether from the things that are seen and temporal, and live upon the invisible and eternal, then we shall have angels’ food; nay, better than that, the food of Christ Himself, for his flesh is meat indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. Then have we meat to eat that the world knoweth not of. We pray Thee raise all our brothers and sisters in Christ into the high and heavenly frame of mind in which they shall be in the world and not be of it. Whether they have little or much of temporal things, may they be rich in Thee and full of joy in the Holy Ghost, and so be blessed men and women.
We pray for some of Thine own people who seem to be doing very little for Thee. Lord, have mercy upon those whose strength runs towards the world, and who give but little of their strength to the spread of the Gospel and the winning of souls. O let none of us fritter away our existence; may we begin to live since Christ hath died; may we reckon that because He died, we died to all the world, and because He lives, we live in newness of life. Lord we thank Thee for that newness of life.
We praise Thy name for a new heaven and a new earth; we bless Thee that we now see what we never saw before, and hear what we never heard before. Oh! that we might enter into the very secret place of this inner life.
May we have as much grace as can be obtained; may we become perfect after the manner of Thy servant Paul, but still press forward, seeking still to be more and more conformed to the image of Christ.
Lord, make us useful. Oh! let no believer live to himself. May we be trying to bring others to Christ. May our servants, and work-people, and neighbors all know where we live; and if they do not understand the secret of that life, yet may they see the fruit of that life, and may they ask, “What is this?” and inquire their way to Christ that they may be sanctified too. O Lord, we pray Thee visit Thy Church. May none of us imagine that we are living aright unless we are bringing others to the cross. Oh! keep us from worldliness; keep us much in prayer; keep us with the light of God shining on our forehead. May we be a happy people, not because screened from affliction, but because we are walking in the light of God.
Again we offer prayer for the many efforts that are scattered abroad today.
May they be good wherever they are. We pray for all churches; Lord, revive them all. Wherever Christ is preached, may it be proved that He draws all men unto Him. May the preaching of Christ today be peculiarly efficacious. Oh! that Thou wouldst raise up many that would preach Christ, simply, boldly, and with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. Send us better days; send us days of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
Lord, shake the earth with the power of God. Oh! that the heathen lands may hear the Word of God and live. But first convert the Church, and then Thou wilt convert the world. Oh! deal with those that depart from the faith and grieve Thy Holy Spirit. Bring them back again to their first love, and may Christ be fully and faithfully preached everywhere to the glory of His name. Now forgive us every iniquity; now lift us beyond the power of every sin; now lift us to pray and praise; now make the home full of sacred power, and, last of all, come, Lord Jesus. This is the great wish of our souls. Even so, come quickly, come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen and Amen.