A Morning Prayer, to be Used in Private Families
by Arthur Dent
O Lord our God and heavenly Father, we, your unworthy children, come into your most holy and heavenly presence to offer you praise and glory for all your great mercies and abundant blessings towards us. We especially thank you for preserving us throughout the past night, keeping us safe from its dangers and fears. You have granted us peaceful rest for our bodies and brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Now you renew your mercies upon us, providing us with all things abundantly to enjoy: food, clothing, health, peace, liberty, and freedom from the many miseries, diseases, accidents, and calamities that we are susceptible to every moment of our lives. Moreover, you have bestowed upon us many good things, not only for our necessities but also for our delight.
But above all, dear Father, we praise your name for the blessings of a better life, especially for your holy word and sacraments and all the good we receive through them. We are grateful for the continued presence of the Gospel among us and for the death of your Son, which brings us true happiness. We acknowledge that you chose us for life before we even existed, out of your pure goodness and undeserved favor towards us. You called us in your appointed time, justified us by your grace, sanctified us by your Spirit, and adopted us as your own children and heirs to the great crown.
O Lord, open our eyes more and more each day to see and consider your great and marvelous love for us in all these things. May our hearts be drawn closer to you through the contemplation of your blessings, leading us to love, fear, and obey you even more. As you abound in mercy towards us, may we abound in thanksgiving towards you. As you pour out goodness upon us, may we overflow with obedience and love towards you. And since, dear Father, you never tire of doing us good despite our unworthiness and faults, let the awareness of your great mercy and fatherly kindness compel us to enter your glorious presence with new songs of thanksgiving on our lips.
We pray to you, O most merciful God, to forgive us for all our ingratitude, unkindness, profaneness, and great misuse of all your mercies. We acknowledge our abuse and contempt of your Gospel, along with countless other sins in our lives. We confess that the sins we have committed and the good deeds we have neglected are too numerous to count. We humbly ask you to transfer them all to the account that your Son Christ settled on his cross, never holding any of them against us, but freely forgetting and forgiving all. Nail all our sins and iniquities to the Cross of Christ, bury them in his death, cleanse them in his blood, and hide them in his wounds. May they never rise up as a judgment against us. Free us from the miseries brought upon us by sin and hold back the future judgments of soul, body, possessions, and reputation. Be reconciled to us through your dear Son, concerning all past matters, never remembering or bringing up our old and abominable iniquities. Accept us as righteous in him, attributing his righteousness to us and our sins to him. Let his righteousness satisfy your justice for all our unrighteousness, his obedience for our disobedience, and his perfection for our imperfection.
Furthermore, we humbly beseech your gracious Majesty to grant us a true perception and feeling of our many sins, so that we may not be blinded by delight or hardened by habit, like the reprobate. Rather, may we grow weary of our sins and grieve greatly over them, striving and making every effort to escape from them. Good Father, touch our hearts with genuine repentance for all sin. May we not find pleasure or delight in any sin. Even though we may stumble due to our frailty (as we often do), may we never fall finally or remain in sin. Instead, may we rise to our feet again, turn to you with all our hearts, and seek you while you offer us grace and mercy.
O Lord, increase in us that true and living faith by which we can firmly grasp your Son Christ and rely completely on his merits. Grant us unwavering faith to believe in all the great and precious promises made in the Gospel, and empower us from above to walk and abound in the genuine and fruitful expressions of faith. May we not live according to the flesh but according to the spirit. Let us experience the power of your Son's death, which kills sin in our mortal bodies, and the power of his resurrection, which raises us to newness of life. May we daily grow in the sanctification of the Spirit and the putting to death of the flesh.
Let us strive to live a holy, just, and temperate life in this present evil world, manifesting your virtues through all our actions. May we adorn our holy profession and shine as beacons of light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom we reside, benefiting all through our lives and conduct, and causing no offense to anyone. To achieve this, we pray that you fill us with your Spirit and grant us all spiritual graces such as love, wisdom, patience, contentment, meekness, humility, self-control, chastity, kindness, and friendliness. Stir us to engage in prayer, watchfulness, reading, meditation on your Word, and all other good practices that enable us to grow and abound in heavenly virtues. Bless us daily in the use of these means, shaping us into the individuals you desire us to be and those we aspire to be. Work within us to align our wills, actions, intentions, and abilities with your purpose and power. For you, O Lord, are everything, and you show mercy to whom you choose and harden whom you will. Have mercy on us, dear Father, and never abandon us to ourselves or to our own wills, lusts, and desires. Instead, assist us with your Holy Spirit so that we may persevere in a righteous path until the end. In doing so, may we ultimately be received into glory and partake in the immortal crown that you have prepared for all who love you and sincerely call upon your name.
Furthermore, we earnestly request, O heavenly Father, that you provide us with all the necessary things for this life: food, clothing, health, peace, liberty, and deliverance from the various hardships to which we are exposed daily, as you see fit. Bless the means you have placed in our hands to sustain this fragile life. Bless our resources, crops, livestock, trades, occupations, and all our endeavors, for it is only your blessing that enriches without bringing sorrow. Grant us, therefore, a sufficient portion of these outward blessings as you, in your divine wisdom, deem most necessary for us.
Moreover, we humbly implore you, most loving Father, to look down from heaven upon your entire Church and every member of it. Show favor to Zion and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Look upon the great ruins and desolation of your Church with compassionate eyes. Heal its wounds and repair its brokenness in all nations. Regard it as your own flock, tend to it as your own family, cultivate it as your own vineyard, and love it as your own spouse. Think thoughts of peace towards it and always view it with deep compassion. Bless it with your grace, guide it with your Spirit, and always defend it with your mighty power. Scatter the plans, confound the schemes, and overthrow the forces of all who oppose it. Specifically, we implore you, dear Father, to oppose that antichrist of Rome, the man of perdition who opposes you and your people. In your appointed time, bring about his downfall. Weaken his power and authority day by day, and allow your Gospel to spread freely in all nations, causing Babylon to fall and never rise again. The more the supporters and followers of Rome strive to uphold their idolatrous kingdom, the more let it crumble, just as Dagon fell before the presence of your Ark. Pour out the fullness of your wrath upon the kingdom of the beast, causing their riches, wealth, influence, and authority to diminish day by day, like the drying up of the river Euphrates.
May it move you with compassion, O Father, to see your own spouse sitting here below as a disfigured and desolate woman, weeping and mourning with her hair dishevelled, having lost all her beauty and charm. Comfort her (dear Father), fill her with the joy of your presence, and adorn her so that you may delight in her, like a bridegroom in his bride. We especially implore you to have mercy on your Church in this land. Intend good for us and not evil; do not deliver us into the hands of the cruel Spaniard, as our sins deserve. We pray, Lord, scatter the schemes and thwart the plots of all those who have conspired to overthrow and completely subvert this church and commonwealth. Bless this Church more and more with the preservation of true religion among us. For the sake of your great name and infinite mercy, deal graciously and favourably with us and our descendants. Turn away from us the punishment that is due to us for our sins. For you see how iniquity prevails and the wicked seem to triumph. Atheism spreads everywhere, and Popery appears to be gaining influence again. Therefore, dear Father, we humbly beseech you to quickly address and suppress these numerous disorders and grievous offenses that exist among us. We implore you, out of the desperation of your poor children, to show kindness to this English nation. Hear the cries of your chosen ones; hear the mourning of those who mourn in Zion. Let the cries of your children drown out all the cries of sin in the land, and be reconciled to us in the abundance of your compassion, so that you may continue to be a most merciful protector of your English vineyard. We pray, good Father, show special mercy to our most noble and gracious King James, your anointed servant. Bless him and keep him in all his ways. Bless his leadership for us. Let your angels encamp around him, and let your holy hand always be upon him. Protect him from treason and deliver him from the treacheries of his enemies. Grant him understanding of what leads to peace, and give him a heart earnestly inclined to pursue it. Provide him with all the necessary graces for his peace and salvation. May his government remain peaceful and prosperous among us. Just as you have made him the breath of our nostrils and a gracious instrument for the salvation of many thousand souls, let his own soul be saved on the day of your Son Christ.
Bless His Majesty's most honourable privy counsellors and grant success to all their counsels and policies in matters of state, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Bless all the nobility, instill in them a desire to glorify Your name in their positions, make them faithful to You and faithful to the land. Guide with Your Holy Spirit all those who bear the sword of justice, that they may wield it to punish the wicked and defend the righteous, and may they fulfill the duties of their positions with care and integrity. Increase the number of faithful and zealous ministers in this church. Send Your Gospel to places where it is not yet known, and bless it where it is present. Remember, O Lord, all those who are under any cross or affliction; bring them comfort, heal their wounds, and collect their tears in Your bottle. Provide solace in all their sorrows and bring an end to their troubles in a manner that brings glory to You and advances their own salvation. In the meantime, grant them patience and steadfastness to endure whatever Your merciful hand may lay upon them. Lastly, we pray for Your blessings upon the government, the ministry, and the people. Bless all Your people and show favour to those who are true and upright in their hearts. And so, dear Father, we entrust ourselves, our souls, and our bodies into Your hands for this day and for the rest of our lives. We ask You to take care of us, keep us from all evil, watch over us for our well-being, and let Your angels encamp around us. Let Your holy hand be upon us and guide us in all our ways, so that we may live to Your praise and glory here on earth, maintaining faith and a good conscience in all our actions. May we be crowned by You in Your kingdom after this life. Grant these things, good Father, to us who are present here and to all those who are absent. We also pray, in Your special favour, that You remember our friends and relatives in the flesh, our good neighbours and well-wishers, and all those for whom we are obligated to pray by nature, by deserving, or by any duty whatsoever, for the sake of Jesus Christ our only mediator, to whom, along with You and the Holy Spirit, all praise and glory is given, both now and forevermore.