Friday, April 18, 2008
A Diary of Private Prayer
My package from Amazon.com came today, bringing with it the last two books of my order: Writer's Market 2008 and A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie. I came across John Baillie's prayers in a devotional book, and was drawn to them immediately. He is straightforward in expression, but almost poetic in the beauty of his phrasing. There are two prayers for each day of the month, and space beside them for notes.
Here is the prayer for the morning of the seventh day:
"O Lord and Maker of all things, from whose creative power the first light came forth, who didst look upon the world's first morning and see that it was good. I praise Thee for this light that now streams through my windows to rouse me to the life of another day.
I praise Thee for the life that stirs within me:
I praise Thee for the bright and beautiful world into which I go:
I praise Thee for eart and sea and sky, for scudding cloud and singing bird:
I praise Thee for the work Thou hast given me to do:
I praise Thee for all that Thou hast given me to fill my leisure hours:
I praise Thee for my friends:
I praise Thee for music and books and good company and all pure pleasures.
O Thou who Thyself art everlasting Mercy, give me a tender heart to-day towards all those to whom the morning light brings less joy than it brings to me:
Those in whom the pulse of life grows weak:
Those who must lie abed through all the sunny hourse:
The blind, who are shut off from the light of day:
The overworked, who have no joy of leisure:
The unemployed, who have no joy of labour:
The bereaved, whose hearts and homes are desolate:
And grant Thy mercy on them all.
O Light that never fades, as the light of day now streams through these windows and floods this room, so let me open to Thee the windows of my heart, that all my life may be filled by the radiance of Thy presence. Let no corner of my being be unillumined by the light of Thy countenance. Let there be nothing within me to darken the brightness of the day. Let the Spirit of Him whose life was the light of men rule within my heart till eventide.