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Prayer for the Sabbath Morn, by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)


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Prayer for the Sabbath morn.
Father Almighty!
may it please Thee in Thine infinite mercy,
to pour Thy blessing on Thy Sabbath day,
and grant us that grace which will enable us
to employ it in a manner acceptable to thee.
Removed far from our own land,
scattered as fugitives among the nations,
as a just punishment for our sins against Thee;
oh my God, Thou knowest the many things
which combine to render the task so difficult,
to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy;
the many interruptions which disturb us,
and prevent the sacred day from retaining that holiness
which alone can render it acceptable to Thee.
Oh remember these things, merciful Father.
Remember Thou hast visited us in Thy wrath,
and taken Thy Holy Spirit from us,
and have compassion,
for without the fulness of Thy grace within us,
how can we address Thee with constancy and fervour?
Worldly thoughts,
earthly objects,
mingle with our prayers,
and turn them away from Thee.
Our weak and corrupted natures
cannot fix attention on things relating to Thee alone,
without the help of those outward forms,
of which, in our exiled and destitute state,
we are now deprived.
Oh, my God, permit then
Thy righteousness to be at work within us.
Let Thy grace fix our hearts and souls on Thee this day,
which by miracle and precept
Thou hast sanctified unto Thyself.
Let Thy blessing be amongst us this day, oh my God,
more particularly on the members of this family;
and so sanctify us that Thy mercy
may form Thy temple in the midst of us,
where Thy spirit will dwell for evermore.
Oh teach us
to pray to Thee, to bless Thee
for the innumerable blessings granted, us this week.
Enlighten our eyes
that we may look well within ourselves,
to know and to confess our sins;
and give us Thy divine help to depart from them,
and become more worthy in Thy sight,
in the week that is now dawning.
Let Thy spirit rest upon Thy Word, oh Lord,
that we may understand it better;
and each Sabbath day improve us
in the knowledge of Thee,
and of Thy Law.
Grant us that holy temper
which will turn our thoughts to Thee,
even if worldly interruptions occur
to distract our attention from those studies
most acceptable to Thee.
Oh sanctify us and bless us, Almighty Father;
we would devote this day to Thee.
Oh guard us from all temptation
to turn aside from seeking Thee;
and, in Thine infinite mercy,
teach us those things most acceptable to Thee.
Blessed be Thy Name,
merciful and beneficent Father,
now and evermore. —
Amen and Amen.

“Prayer for the Sabbath morn” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 234-236. In the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853) the prayer appears with small variations of spelling and punctuation on pages 140-142.








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