MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series THE DEVOTIONS of BISHOP ANDREWS

For the Evening.

HAVING passed over the day, I
render hearty thanks to thee, my God,
for thy good providence. The evening
now draws on, make thou it comforta-
ble.

But, as each day hath its evening, so
likewise hath human life. Life’s even-
ing is old age; make thou this also
comfortable.

O cast me not away in the time of
age; neither forsake me when my
strength faileth me. Even to hoary
hairs do thou carry me. Thou hast
made and hast sustained me hitherto,
continue still to support and to deliver
me.

Abide with me, my Jesus, for the
time is far spent; yea, the shadows of
the evening are stretched out, and the
day is declining upon me.

Let thy strength, now especially, be
made perfect in my weakness: For, as
the day, so life is near its end; a life
wherein we scarcely live.

The night posts on apace; so doth
that death, of which night is the image;
a night, after which, in this world, we
must expect no morning.

In constant remembrance, and due
sense whereof, I earnestly entreat thee,
blessed Lord, to order such an end of
this life for me, as may be truly Chris-
tian; acceptable to thee, perfectly void
of sin, and shame, and, so far as thou
seest fit, free from extreme pain. So
gathering me to the remainder of thy
elect, in peace and innocence, at thy
own time, and after thy own way; only
let it be free from guilt and from re-
proach.

Let me always be mindful, that the
days of darkness are many: And let
this thought excite me to finish my
work with diligence, before that night
overtake me, wherein no man can work.

Judgment moved also towards me;
grant me, good Lord, a favourable is-
sue at that most awful and important
tribunal.

I WILL lift up my hands by night in
the sanctuary, and will praise the Lord.

The Lord hath commanded his lov-
ing-kindness in the day-time, and in the
night season also my song shall be of
him, and my prayer unto the Lord of
my life.

As long as I live will I magnify thee
in this manner, and lift up my hands in
thy name.

O let my prayer be set forth in thy
sight as the incense, and the lifting up
of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

BLESSED art thou, O Lord our God,
and the God of our fathers, who hast
ordained the successions of light and
darkness; who makest thy saints to re-
joice upon their beds; who hast deli-
vered me from the perils of this day,
and not cut off my life like a weaver’s
web nor wasted me with pining sick-
ness from morning until night.

For Night.

WEARIED with the labours and
cares of the past day, I come to thee,
my God, for quiet and repose, and new
supplies of strength to drooping nature.

Lighten mine eyes, that I sleep not in
death. Defend me from the terrors of
the night, and from the pestilence that
walketh in darkness.

O thou keeper of Israel, that neither
slumberest nor sleepest, preserve me
this night from all manner of evil; yea,
do even thou preserve my soul.

Visit me also with the favour which
thou bearest unto thy chosen; and
teach me thy will in the visions of the
night.

Or if I be not (as I confess I am not)
worthy of so distinguishing a favour,
yet O most kind and merciful Lord, let
this season of rest be an entire cessation
to me, as well from sin as from labour
and sorrow; and suffer not any thought
to surprise my unguarded mind, which
is capable either of displeasing thee, or
of defiling me.

Let not the follies of sensual plea-
sure abuse me, but my reins rather
chasten me in the night season; that my
sleep may be perfectly composed and
pure, quiet from every worldly and
wicked imagination. And do thou,
Lord, drive away all suggestions of the
devil or the flesh.

Thou beholdest the wakefulness of
mine enemies, which attack me unseen,
and my weakness to resist them is not
hid from thee; who knowest whereof
my nature is made, and rememberest
that I am but feeble dust and ashes.

Take me then under the covering of
thy wings, and let thy loving-kindness
and thy truth always preserve me.

And, after such refreshment as thou
seest proper for me, raise thou me up
again to make my prayer in a time when
thou mayest be found; that so I may
begin my every day with thee, by set-
ting forth most thankfully thy praises,
and dedicating myself entirely to thy
service.

At Bed-Time.

Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend
myself, my spirit, my soul, and my bo-
dy; for thou hast created and redeemed
them, O Lord, thou God of truth.

Together with me, take also under
thy fatherly care and protection all that
are near or dear to me, all that thou
givest me leave to call mine: For all
these are the gifts of thy bountiful
hand to thy poor unworthy servant.

Preserve my lying down and my ris-
ing up, from this time forth, and even
for evermore.

Make me to remember thee on my
bed, and to think upon thee when I am
waking: Then let me commune with
my own heart, and search out my spirit;
for thou art about my path, and about
my bed, and when I awake I am pre-
sent with thee.

I will lay me down in peace, and
take my rest, for it is thou, Lord, only,
that makest me dwell in safety.

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