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[Prayer for] Saturday night, by Grace Aguilar (14 January 1837)


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Meditations—Saturday night, Jan. 14, 1837.
Merciful Father!
I thank Thee for permitting me
to devote this day to Thee.
Thou hast given me grace to pray,
to meditate on Thy Word,
to read Thy Holy Law,
to give pleasure to my mother
in my humble effort to explain Thy Word.
Blessed art Thou, oh Lord!
blessed be Thy name!
Glory, glory, glory unto Thee!
Teach me how to praise Thee, my God.
My lips refuse to utter the thanksgivings due to Thee.
Teach me how to frame words of praise acceptable to Thee.
A fortnight of the new year hath passed away,
and Thy blessings are yet extended over me.
Thy spirit, oh Lord my God,
hath been granted me during that short interval.
Thy grace alone enabled me to conquer depression
during my mother’s renewed attack.
Thy mercy alone removed anxiety.
I did implore Thy blessing in a decision — Thy guidance;
and both were beneficently granted me.
Oh, how can I praise and thank Thee sufficiently
for that mercy, which hath given me
so many enjoyments at home!
I pine not to leave my mother,
when duty bids me stay.
Oh, merciful God,
Thou seest how I dread
my religious feelings should ever change.
I know not the events of one hour;
I shrink from the dreadful thought
that the close of the year may find me sunk in guilt,
or at least retrograding, not advancing, in Thy holy path,
where Thy right hand may lead me.
The dawning year is to me as wide,
as unmarked a blank as the pages of this little book.[1] Written at the commencement of a new book of Sacred Communings and Prayer. 
Oh, merciful and gracious God,
may this year be spent in Thy service,
even as I dedicate this book most solemnly to Thee.
Oh guide my thoughts that they may be of Thee,
my words that they may glorify Thee,
my actions that they may prove,
in sorrow or in joy,
in health or disease,
in life or death,
how good it is to trust in Thee.
Oh, merciful Father,
I fear to fall;
my soul shrinketh in dread
lest my actions should deny my words,
lest goodness should dwell upon my lips,
and not within my heart.
Thou alone canst enable me
to live up to the spirit of the religion I profess.
Blessed Lord, oh permit me to do so.
Let me be a chosen servant of Thy Law.
Let me ever feel that wherever I may be.
Thou, oh God, art near me;
Thou wilt protect me while I call upon Thee.
“Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble;
Thou wilt cause thinner ear to hear.” (Psalms 10:17)
“Whither shall I go from Thy spirit?
whither shall I flee from Thy presence.” (Psalms 139:7)
Oh, how blessed is the thought
that I cannot fly from Thee!
Thou knowest my heart;
Thou readest my thoughts;
“there is not a word on my lips,
but lo, Thou, Lord, knowest it.” (Psalms 139:4)
“I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God,
hear the voice of my supplications, oh Lord,” (Psalms 140:7)
and graciously permit
my meditations this day
to be pleasing in Thy sight. —

“Meditations—Saturday night, Jan. 14, 1837” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 200-202. In the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853) the prayer appears with small variations of spelling and punctuation on pages 123-124. The US edition includes a note by Sarah Aguilar that this prayer was offered at the beginning of a new book intended as a record for her “sacred communings and prayers.” This suggests that the prayers written before this date were recorded in other journals, possibly also dedicated to her personal prayers.







1Written at the commencement of a new book of Sacred Communings and Prayer.



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