Family Prayers by G. C. Acton

Charles Ball-Acton from his wife, Sept 8th 1877

Sunday Morning.

ALMIGHTY God, who dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in Thy name Thou wilt grant their requests, be in the midst of us, and teach us this morning how to pray.

Grant that we may prize this day and try to spend it in Thy service.

Help us when in Thy sanctuary to remember in whose presence we are, and in whose service we are engaged.

May this be a day of peace to every member of our family.

Bless the minister who is set over us, make him more earnest in the discharge of his duty, and may he preach Thy Word aright.

Instruct all those who are called to teach in Thy Sunday Schools and fill them with light and love.

Enable us to put away all wordly thoughts and distractions from our minds, and to profit by this season of rest from our weekly cares and occupations.

That it may please Thee to give to all Thy people increase of grace, to hear meekly Thy Word, and to receive it with pure affection, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit.

We pray for Thy blessing on all those we love so dearly; bless them richly with all spiritual and temporal blessings, and grant that we, now before Thee, may so dwell together here, that in the world to come we may have. life everlasting.

We ask all through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Sunday Evening.

WE desire. Gracious God, to close this Thy sacred day of rest by prayer to Thee.

We fear we have not valued our privileges as we ought, or spent the past day in the manner we should. In Thy sanctuary our prayers were listless, our thoughts wandered, and we fear we often prayed with our lips when our hearts were far from Thee. O God, warm our cold hearts, increase our love for Thee, and make us to be Thy earnest loving disciples.

Help us during the coming week to be better able to carry into practice the truths and precepts which have been set before us this day.

May we love Thy Holy Word more and more, may we feel with David that "Thy Testimonies are our delight and our counsellors. Grant that we may lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path."

Thou who art the God of peace, increase our faith in Thee. Give us such a view of what Thou art in Christ Jesus, give us such a knowledge of Thy goodness and grace that our minds may be stayed on Thee. Keep us quiet from fear of evil, may our hearts be fixed trusting in Thee.

Pardon all our sins, all the sins of omission and commission, and give us grace for the time to come to live nearer to Thee, and to walk more closely in the steps of our blessed Master.

Bless all we love, those near and dear to us, bring them all to the saving knowledge of Christ, and give them joy and peace in believing.

May we sleep this night in the happy assurance, that the Eternal God is refuge and underneath are the Everlasting Arms.

We ask all for Christ's sake.


Monday Morning.

WE Thy unworthy servants kneel to offer up our morning sacrifice of prayer and praise to Thee, our God, who hast so mercifully guarded ns through the hours of darkness and brought us in safety to see the light of another day.

O Lord, we praise and magnify Thy Holy name, and offer unto Thee our hearty thanks for all Thy great mercies.

May we seek to glorify Thee this day and whatsoever we do, whether we eat or drink, may we do all to thy glory.

Thou fillest our table with plenty and daily loadest us with benefits. Give us more thankful hearts. Grant us such temporal blessings as Thou seest to be good for us; give us not wealth, nor honour, nor length of days, but rather wise, understanding hearts.

We pray for Thy Holy Spirit to guide us aright, may we keep this day a stricter watch over our tempers, may we be loving, gentle, kind towards those we may come in contact with. May we try and do some good in the world, and bring others to the knowledge of Thy Word. May we constantly keep in view that here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come; grant, then, that daily we may feel more and more that we are only as pilgrims, and may our companions, our pleasures, and our spirit plainly show that we are not of the world, but citizens of the new Jerusalem. Make us diligent in the discharge of our business, and as servants of Christ, whatsoever our hand findeth to do may we do it with all our might.

Bless our dear relations and all those whom we should remember in our prayers.

Help us to begin this day, to go through it, and to end it with Thee.

We ask all in our Saviour's Name. AMEN.

Monday Evening.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in Thy Son's name, we beseech Thee now to incline Thine ear to us, Thy humble servants, and hearken to our evening prayer.

Keep us as the apple of the eye, hide us under the shadow of Thy wings. Be about our bed during the hours of darkness, and raise us up in renewed health and strength on the morrow, and if we are spared to see the light of another day, may we devote the lives which Thou hast lenghtened to Thy service.

Pardon the sins of the past day. O God, how many sins we have to confess; forgive us, we pray Thee, for all the little love we have to Thee. What a miserable return we make to Thee for all Thy innumerable blessings! Our sins have been as scarlet, but do Thou make them as white as snow. Give us Thy Holy Spirit for Jesus Christ's sake. Make us daily more like our blessed Master, may we be more loving to others, more tender-hearted and gentle, striving to forgive others even as we hope to be forgiven.

Help us to keep our tongues as it were with a bridle, subdue the power of sin within us, and give us greater strength to resist the subtle attacks of the evil one.

We are weak and helpless and can do nothing without Thy help. Hold up our goings in Thy paths that our footsteps slip not.

May we, and all those we love, daily increase and go forward in the knowledge and faith of Thee, and Thy Son, by the Holy Spirit.

Grant that we may so live together here that in the world to come we may have life everlasting through the merits of our blessed Saviour.


Tuesday Morning.

ALMIGHTY God, We thine unworthy servants come to offer our hearty thanks to Thee this morning. Give us, we pray, that due sense of all Thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth our praise not only with our lips but with our lives.

Let Thy presence be constantly with us this day, and we shall be happy and safe.

Guide and direct us in all our ways. May we have constantly in view that we are Thy servants engaged in Thy service.

Oh, Thou glorious Sun of righteousness, rise upon our souls morning by morning, scatter all darkness from our minds, warm our cold hearts, and we shall enjoy the light of Thy countenance.

Help us to live to Thy glory, may we begin this day, go through it, and end it with Thee.

May the law of kindness rule our speech and the Spirit of Christ influence our conduct. Let integrity and uprightness preserve us, for we trust in Thee.

Give us, we pray Thee, more joy and peace in believing than we had yet experienced. Help us in any work to bring others to Christ.

Bless especially the meetings for Prayer in this place. Grant that they may be the means of bringing many to know and love Thee.

Grant that we may not be cast down by any failure. May we wait on the Lord and He will renew our strength remembering that any work Thou givest us to do Thou will give strength to perform.

Bless all our dear relations and friends. We pray especially for the children Thou hast given us. May they be brought up in Thy fear and love.

Grant that those things which we have asked faithfully we may obtain effectually through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour.


Tuesday Evening.

ALMIGHTY God, who art the giver of all good, enable us now to remember with due thankfulness the mercies of the past day, and pardon, we pray Thee, our sins, and give us the sweet assurance of Thy forgiveness.

- " Defend us and all those whom we love from Ball the perils and dangers of this night also all those whom we love and who are far away.

Thou, Oh God, hast given us a whole life to serve Thee in, but this precious time we have thrown away upon our sins and vanities. We constantly resist and quench Thy Holy Spirit. The world has too much influence over us, and we do not love Thee as we ought. For Thy dear Son's sake have mercy upon us and help us on the morrow to lead a better life, and to devote ourselves more to Thy service.

Enable us to walk with more care and prudence, with fear and watchfulness, and to do our duty in our several positions with diligence, and charity, and zeal. May we redeem the time and work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Bless, we pray Thee, this heathen land and may the light of Thy Glorious Gospel shine into the hearts of the people, and may they learn to know Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Help us to do good unto all men, but especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Oh, That it may be more manifest to the world that we are the disciples of the loving Saviour by our love one to another.

May we lay ourselves down to rest trusting in Thy gracious protection through the hours of darkness. We ask all our dear Saviour's sake.


Wednesday Morning.

MOST blessed and Glorious God, who art of infinite goodness and mercy, we y children come to thank Thee for having spared us through another night. We thank Thee for Thy great and undeserved mercies, while many have passed a night of pain and wakefulness, we have been refreshed with sleep. Give us grace to praise and thank Thee as we ought. May we try and work for Thee this day. Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.

Fill our hearts with more love to Thee, increase our faith, and give us Thy peace. May we be kept sensible of our need and entire dependence on Thee for everything. May we feel our poverty, our ignorance, and our weakness. Thou art good and Thou art rich in mercy and plenteous in redemption. Fill us out of Thy fulness.

May we be careful for nothing this day, but cast all our cares upon Thee. If trials or sorrows come upon us, may we be enabled to feel that they are given in mercy and come from the hand of a good and loving Father. Help us to bear every little cross and trials better than we do.

May we not love the world nor the things of the world but may our affections be set on heavenly things.

Keep us from the evil of the world.

May the lengthening of our days be the lengthening of thy praise.

May the life Thou hast preserved and given be devoted to Thy service.

Bless all those we love. Grant that they, with us, may daily grow in Thy likeness and in meekess for Heaven.

We ask all in our Saviour's name.


Wednesday Evening.

GRACIOUS God and Heavenly Father, before we lay ourselves down to take our rest, we come to commit our souls and bodies into Thy gracious keeping.

Lord teach us to pray. May Thy spirit help our infirmities, show us our wants, discover to us our spiritual necessities, and awaken right desires.

Give us Thy peace, which passeth all understanding, and give us, we earnestly pray, the assurance that we are indeed Thy children.

We pray for all those we love, or should remember in our prayers.

Bless our dear relations richly with all spiritual blessings. Grant, if it seemeth good in Thy sight, that our dear children, may be spared to us, and that they may be brought up and kept in thy fear and love.

May we have greater trust in Thee. Thou givest us joys and sorrows. Thou knowest what to give and what to withhold, also when to give and when to take away. Help us with childlike confidence and peaceful trust to yield all to Thee, and to rejoice in the assurance that "Our times are in Thy hand."

We have many sins to confess and to mourn over. Give us strength to resisit the repeated attacks of our great spiritual adversary. We have sinned against Thee in thought, word, and deed this day. O God, we feel very humbled on account of our repeated failures, our constant falls.

Enable us to keep more it view the example of our blessed Saviour. May we be meek, gentle, and forgiving even as he was.

Give us O Lord true wisdom and simplicity.

May we know and love all that is good and be enabled by Thy grace to keep our garments unspotted from the world, and to avoid even the appearance of evil.

Grant that when our work on earth is done, we may be taken to dwell for ever in Thy presence.

We ask all in our Saviour's name.


Thursday Morning.

O BLESSED Lord, the Father of all mercies, who hast graciously preserved us through the past night, we thy unworthy servants, kneel before Thee to offer up our hearty thanks to Thee for all thy manifold mercies vouchsafed to us.

Before entering on our daily duties, we come to Thee for grace to help and guide us through the coming day; may we seek to adorn Thy doctrine by our life and conversation; may we live as strangers and pilgrims here, looking for that city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God, upon the inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled and fadeth not away.

Give us the increase of faith, hope, and charity.

Grant that we may make our calling and election sure.

May we live looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

May we daily hate sin more and more, and love our Saviour and gis people more.

Help us to resist the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and while we live in the world, oh keep us from the evil of it.

Let not our affections be set too much on any earthly good. May we set up no idol in our hearts. If riches increase, may we use them for the good of others and Thy glory.

Chase away all unbelief and darkness from our minds. Favour us with the light of Thy countenance and the beams of Thy love.

We pray for those who are labouring in this country and elsewhere for the conversion of the heathen. Clothe them with righteousnes and grant that Thy word, spoken by their mouths, may have such success that it may never be spoken in vain.

Grant also that in all our words and deeds, we may seek Thy glory and the increase of Thy kingdom through Jesus Christ our blessed Lord and Master, in whose words we further pray, saying,
Our Father, &c., &c.

Thursday Evening.

O GOD, we Thy unworthy servants kneel to offer up our evening prayer to Thee, before whom the angels veil their faces, and in whose sight the heavens are not clean. Solemnize our feelings and help us now to banish all worldly thoughts.

We thank Thee for having preserved us in health, and for having given us so many mercies. We bless Thee for our creation, preservation, and for all the blessings of this life, but above all for our redemption by Jesus Christ.

Pardon all our sins of the past day, and give us grace for the time to come to walk closer to Thee, and daily to grow more and more in the likeness of our great example,Jesus Christ.

May we live together in peace and love, and grant that we may be a help to each other on our way to heaven.

Keep us from all evil speaking, and may we cherish no malice towards others in our heartsbut try to forgive others even as we hope to be forgiven.

Bless those dear children Thou hast given us, let thy Fatherly hand ever be over them, let Thy Holy Spirit ever be with them, and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of Thy word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life.

Preserve us through this night, if it please Thee in safety, that we, surely trusting in Thy defence may not fear the power of any adversaries through the might of Jesus Christ our Saviour.


Friday Morning.

WE thank Thee, O our Father, for having brought us to see the light of another day, and for having preserved us through the hours of darkness.

We, Thy unworthy servants, do give Thee most humble and hearty thanks for all Thy loving kindness to us. Give us a due sense of all Thy great mercies. O God, we are unworthy of the smallest mercy.

Grant that we may spend the day now before us in a manner worthy of our Christian profession. May we keep a stricter watch over our tongue. May we be kept from saying harsh, unkind or hasty words, also from thinking evil of others.

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly magnify Thy Holy name.

Guide and direct us in all our ways.

Suffer not the cares and distractions of our daily life to draw away our thoughts from Thee. May we set our affections on things above and not on things below, and grant that day by day we may sit more loosely to the things of time.

Bless all our dear relations and friends richly with all spiritual blessings, especially we pray for those dear children Thou hast given us. May they be brought up in Thy fear and love, and grant that they, being steadfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in charity, may so, pass the waves of this troublesome world, that finally they, with us, may come to the land of everlasting life, there to reign with Thee for ever and ever.

We pray Thee to pardon these our unworthy prayers, which we conclude with the words taught us by Christ himself, saying, Our Father,. &c.


Friday Evening.

WE kneel to Thee, our Heavenly Father, this evening,beseeching Thee to hear our prayer, and to pardon all our sins committed during the past day. Before we lie down to sleep give us the full assurance of Thy pardon. O God, forgive us our transgressions and blot out our iniquities. Cast all our sins behind Thy back.

Grant that we may cast all our our cares upon Thee; all our sinful cares and anxieties arising from our business or from our domestic relationships.

We thank Thee that Thou bast preserved us through the past day; that Thou bast given us health, kind friends, and so many other mercies. Give us thankful hearts.

"Write Thy laws in our hearts."

"Give us grace to take more heed to Thy words."

Help us to keep our garments unspotted from the world, and to avoid even the appearance of evil.

Pardon every unkind thought we have cherished towards others this day.

Make it manifest to the world, that we are the disciples of the loving Saviour by our love one to another.

Help us, as we have opportunity, to do good unto all men; but especially to those who are of the household of faith. May we bear one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Bless all our relations and friends. If any of them as yet know Thee not, O turn their hearts unto Thee and teach them the appiness of having Thee for their Saviour and Friend.

Bless the children of this family: may they be brought up in Thy fear and love.

Forgive the imperfection of this our prayer, but answer it for our Saviour's sake.


Saturday Morning.

WE come to offer up to Thee our morning prayer, and to thank Thee for Thy care of us during the past night.
"In the morning will we direct our prayer unto Thee and will look up."
Before entering into any intercourse with our fellow creatures, may we enjoy communion with Thee, our God, place ourselves in Thy hands, and seek Thy guidance, protection, and blessing.

Morning by morning, may our prayer be "If Thy presence go not with me, carry me not up hence."

May we act as in Thy sight this day, whether at home or abroad, in our family, or in the world.

Grant that we may remember whose we are and whom we serve.

May we begin this day, go through it, and end it with Thee. In the discharge of our hourly duties, may we act as thy servants, and do whatsoever we do heartily, as unto the Lord.

Grant that the law of kindness may rule our speech, and the Spirit of Christ influence all our conduct.

Give us understanding hearts.

Give us not only an apprehension of what is true and right, but a disposition to embrace and follow it.

"Remember us with the favour Thou bearest Thy people. Refresh us with the dew of Thy blessing, and cheer us with the sunshine of thy favour."

Make us more thankful for all Thy mercies.

Keep us in health, if it seemeth good in Thy sight, and bless all those we love or should remember in our prayers, especially our dear children. May they be brought up in thy fear and love.

We ask all through our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Saturday Evening.

ALMIGHTY and merciful Father, at the close of another week, we come before Thee to offer up our evening prayer.

Refresh us, we pray Thee, with such rest this night as may fit us for our duties on the coming Sabbath.

May we lay aside all earthly cares and anxieties, and rest wholly on Thee.

Lord teach us to pray.

May thy Spirit help our infirmities.

Show us our wants, discover to us our spiritual necessities, and awaken in us right desires.

Give us such temporal blessings as Thou seest fit.

To Thy Fatherly protection we commend our dear children and all those we love. Bless, guide, and defend them, and fit them for Thy Heavenly Kingdom.

Pardon the sins we have committed during the past week. Oh may we daily strive to live more in conformity with Thy divine will.

Suffer us not to be drawn from Thee by any worldy allurements. May we cleave to Thee with full purpose of heart.

May we daily take more delight in prayer, and in reading Thy Holy Word.

Cleanse us from our secret faults; wash us and we shall be whiter than snow. Each of us have our peculiar sins and temptations help us, we beseech Thee, to strive against them, and grant that Satan may not prevail against us.

O, our God, we believe we are Thy children, and that Thou wilt keep us to the end. May this assurance sustain and comfort us, and may we ever feel that, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

May we more and more realise the blessedness of abiding under the shadow of the Almighty.

Accept these imperfect, unworthy prayers, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Blesseaster.


Christmas Day.

WE render unto Thee, O our Father, our unfeigned thanks, that Thou has again allowed us to celebrate the birth-day of our most blessed Saviour Jesus Christ.

May we rejoice as much as the shepherds did, and be able to say with the angels:
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will towards men".
May we cast away all unkind thoughts we may have cherished towards others, and from this day fill our hearts with kindly feelings to everyone and make us cheerful, happy Christians rejoicing in Thy love and goodness to us.

Grant that daily we may grow more and more in the likeness of Jesus, our Master, and that every Christmas Day may find us more worthy of the noble name we bear.

Wash away our sins in our Saviour's precious blood, and may we all at last enter Thy heavenly home and see our Saviour face to face, and dwell for ever with Him.

Bless us all through this day for Thy dear Son's sake.


New Year's Day.

HEAVENLY Father, grant us Thy grace to begin this New Year with new desires.

We know not what will be our joys or our sorrows through the coming months. O may it be a year of joy and peace to every member of this family, even although it may be one of trials.

May we resolve, with thy help, to spend this year more in accordance with our profession.

Before the months of this year have run their course we may be called away to give an account of ourselves to Thee.

May we remember how short and uncertain our lives are.

Be Thou our guide through the coming year, and guard us from all evil.

May those who are parents try more and more to bring up their children in thy fear and love, and may the children of this family be more obedient; more loving to each other, and willing to learn more of their Blessed Saviour.

Bless all those who serve in this our family, and grant that as we are here a happy family on earth, so at last we may form part of Thy happy family in heaven, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master.


William M'Phail, Printer, Wicklow.