I recently ran across and bought this old classic devotional called A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie. I had never heard of this little gem before. It is divided by 31 chapters for each of the 31 days of the month and has two pages for each day, one entitled Morning and the other Evening. Sort of like Spurgeon’s devotional called Morning & Evening. Each day has a morning prayer and an evening prayer that serves as an aide to your prayer time along with a blank page on the left so that you can write down your own prayers and intercessions to be prayed along with it.
I have always found such prayers of the old classics to be very inspirational to me, as if I was in a room praying beside someone and their praying sets the tone for my own prayer and stirs my heart to pray in one accord with them. It primes the pump, so to speak and stirs up the deep wells in my own heart for the same things I want to praise and thank God for, or to be seen occur in my own life. I build on them by adding to them my own prayers and petitions as I go along or adding more emphasis to any particular areas that I personally struggle with.
I wanted to share with you one day’s prayers so that you could pray along with me this morning or evening.
FIRST DAY MORNING
ETERNAL Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of Thee, let my first impulse be to worship Thee, let my first speech be Thy name, let my first action be to kneel before Thee in prayer.For Thy perfect wisdom and perfect goodness: For the love wherewith Thou lovest mankind: For the love wherewith Thou lovest me: For the great and mysterious opportunity in my life: For the indwelling of Thy Spirit in my heart: For the sevenfold gifts of Thy Spirit: I praise and worship Thee, O Lord. Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said, think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of Thee. Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day: Keep me chaste in thought: Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech: Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work: Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself: Keeping me honorable and generous in my dealings with others: Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past: Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Thine. O God, who hast been the Refuge of my fathers through many generations, be my Refuge to-day in every time and circumstance of need. Be my . Guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my Guard against all that threatens my spirits welfare. Be my Strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with Thy peace; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
FIRST DAY EVENINGO THOU who art from everlasting to everlasting, I would turn my thoughts to Thee as the hours of darkness and of sleep begin. O sun of my soul, I rejoice to know that all night I shall be under the unsleeping eye of One who dwells in eternal light. To they care, O Father, I would now commend my body and my soul. All day Thou has watched over me and They companionship has filled my heart with peace. Let me not go through any part of this night unaccompanied by Thee. Give me sound and refreshing sleep: Give me safety from all perils: Give me in my sleep freedom from restless dreams: Give me control of my thoughts, if I should lie awake: Give me wisdom to remember that the night was made for sleeping, and not for the harboring of anxious or fretful or shameful thoughts. Give me grace, if as I lie abed I think at all, to think upon Thee. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. To Thy care also, O Father, I would commend my friends, beseeching Thee to keep them safe in soul and body, and to be present in their hearts tonight as a Spirit of power and of joy and of restfulness. I pray for…and…and…I pray also for the wider circle of all my associates, my fellow workers, my fellow townsmen and all strangers within our gates; and the great world of men without, to me foreign and unknown, but dear to Thee; through Jesus Christ our common Lord. Amen.