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Prayer for the Sabbath Eve.
I thank Thee, oh merciful Father,
for permitting me to behold
the close of another week
in health and peace.
I thank Thee
for allowing me to look upon the Sabbath
as a day of holy and blessed rest,
mercifully granted to Thy people Israel.
We may not assemble to worship Thee
in Thy Holy Temple, oh Lord,
yet let the prayer of the son of David,
when he dedicated his house to Thee,
still be acceptable to our God —
“and hearken Thou
to the supplication of Thy servant
and of Thy people Israel,
when they turn toward this place…”
however distant they may be,
“…and hear Thou in heaven, Thy dwelling-place,
and when Thou hearest, forgive;” (2 Chronicles 6:21 part)
“and forgive Thy people
that have sinned against Thee,
and all their transgressions
wherein They have transgressed against Thee,” (Cf. 1 Kings 8:50 part)
“for there is no man that sinneth not.” (1 Kings 8:46 part, 2 Chronicles 6:36 part, Ecclesiastes 7:20)
Oh permit me to pray in these words, oh Lord,
for though removed from Thy House,
I acknowledge my transgression,
and will praise and worship Thee.
I thank Thee for the great mercies
Thou hast vouchsafed me
during the past week,
for enabling me to do my duty in that station
where it has pleased Thee to place me;
for the divine assistance Thou hast given me
in Thy mercy, Lord,
in the cultivation of my talents, Thy gifts, oh my God;
for guarding me from evil temptations
and presumptuous sins.
And I thank Thee more particularly, oh my God,
for the kind parents Thou hast bestowed on me,
to whom, under Thee, I owe all enjoyments of this life:
do Thou bless them, oh Lord,
bestow on them Thy holy spirit,
and preserve them in health,
long to guard their children.
Have mercy on my brothers;
bless them, oh Lord;
forgive them the sins and faults
they may have committed
during the past week,
either in deed or thought;
and in thine infinite mercy
make them good and acceptable
in Thy sight, Father of Mercy!
I have sinned during the past week,
either in thought, word, or deed.
I have failed in duty;
my thoughts have wandered continually,
as I prayed to Thee.
Thy spirit yet dwelleth not in me;
my moments of devotion are too weak and tame;
the thoughts of this world too frequently occupy my mind.
Oh, merciful Father,
forgive these manifold sins.
Thou readest my heart,
and knowest the humble penitence
with which I would confess my sins to Thee.
What am I but a worm,
an atom in Thy sight?
Less than the smallest particle of dust
on which I tread is to me;
and yet I lean on the infinite,
never-failing mercy of my God.
I trust in Thee, oh my Father.
Thou art my stay,
my hope, my trust;
and I fear not man,
for I feel that Thou art with me.
Thou listenest to my cry,
oh forgive my sins.
I pray before Thee, oh Lord,
bowed down beneath
the sense of my own nothingness.
Prostrate before Thee,
I implore Thy mercy,
not for my own sake, oh Lord,
but for that great and awful Name,
by which Thou hast promised
to show mercy unto thousands of them
that love Thee and keep Thy commandments.
Unworthy as I am,
withdraw not Thy great mercies from me;
still extend Thy protecting arm over me,
and guard me from my sins.
Impress my every action,
my every thought,
with Thy Holy Spirit.
Sanctify Thy servant in Thy sight, oh Lord.
Cleanse me from my impurities and sins.
Let me feel that Thou art with me
wherever I may go.
Strengthen my soul,
that should the future bring with it
trials and sorrows now unknown,
I may not sink beneath them,
but perform my duty,
painful as it may be,
aided and encouraged by Thee.
Whatever may befall me,
let not the spirit of religion
depart from my soul.
Great God of Israel,
Father of life, and love, and mercy,
make me but worthy in Thy sight,
and under all circumstances,
in Thine infinite mercy,
teach, oh teach me Thy will be done. —
“Prayer for the Sabbath Eve” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 230-233. In the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853) the prayer appears with small variations of spelling and punctuation on pages 138-140.
“Prayer for the Sabbath Eve, by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.
Works of related interest:
Universal Intercessory Prayer, a prayer for Queen Victoria and the United Kingdom by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1837)