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Family Morning Prayer, by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)


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Family morning prayer.
Almighty God, Creator of all things
in heaven and earth, and air and sea,
Father and Lord over all people,
more especially the Father, Preserver,
and Saviour of Thy people Israel,
we beseech Thee to have mercy upon all here present,
and to pour Thy Holy Spirit upon our hearts,
that we may turn aside from all evil inclinations,
and walk humbly and faithfully before Thee,
and in the law thou hast given us
through Thy servant Moses.
We thank and bless Thee, our Father,
for the calm and quiet sleep
Thou didst mercifully bestow on us
in the night just past.
We gratefully acknowledge
that Thy mighty arm alone
could guard us from the terrors of the night,
and raise us up again in health and life.
We beseech Thee in Thy infinite love
to make us grateful for this,
and for all Thine abundant goodness;
teach, O, teach us how to thank Thee
for the health and food,
kind friends,
and the many other blessings Thou hast granted us;
blessing us far above many of our fellow creatures,
though we are equally undeserving in Thy sight.
We merit nothing, Lord,
but Thou hast given us all that is good for us,
all that we can desire,
and therefore we wish to love and serve Thee
more and more each day;
O, teach us how to do so acceptably to Thee!
We beseech Thee, our Father,
to take away from us the evil inclinations,
sinful passions,
and rebellious tempers of our hearts,
that we may learn to love, fear, and serve Thee
with all our heart, and soul, and might.
Make us good and obedient to all our superiors,
be they parents, guardians, or teachers.
Give us Thy help
to become forbearing and affectionate
to all our companions,
more particularly to all our brothers and sisters.
Enable us to keep holy
all Thy Commandments
and the statutes of Thy laws,
to do our duty
however contrary it may seem to our wishes,
and bow submissively to Thy will,
whatever it may be.
Guard us, merciful Father,
this day from all temptation to sin,
from all thoughts of pride,
or disobedience;
grant us patience and wisdom
to improve the talents Thou hast given us,
and teach us in all things
to pray to Thee.
Bless us, our God,
this day and evermore
with the fulness of Thy love,
and engrave upon our hearts
the words of Thy faithful servant Moses,
which he proclaimed unto Thy people Israel
in the wilderness —
“Hear, Israel,
the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
(blessed be
the name of the glory of His kingdom
for ever and evermore),[1] Mishna Yoma 3:8, Pesachim 56a, Bereishit Rabba 98:3, Midrash Tanchuma Buber Kedoshim 6, et al. 
“and thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy might;
and these words which I command you this day
shall be in thy heart,
and thou shalt teach them
diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up;
and thou shalt bind them
as a sign upon thy hands,
and they shall be
as frontlets between thine eyes,
and thou shalt bind them
upon the door-posts of thy house,
and upon thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)

“Family morning prayer” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 153-155. In the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853) the prayer appears with small variations of spelling and punctuation on pages 164-166.







1Mishna Yoma 3:8, Pesachim 56a, Bereishit Rabba 98:3, Midrash Tanchuma Buber Kedoshim 6, et al.



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