Daily Devotionals: (May 7th): Prayer for the Sweet Assurance of His Presence

by Aaron Dunlop

Reading: “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3

Most gracious God, give me grace to begin a new morning with You. Before entering on the world, I invoke Your blessing. Before I hear the voice of earthly friend, or mingle in earthly society, may I have a conscious filial nearness to You, my Father in heaven. O You, who are better, more tender and dearer than all on earth, give me the sweet assurance of Your presence and favor. With this, all the day’s joys will be joys indeed—with this, the sting will be extracted from the day’s sorrows.

In quiet confidence I will repose on Your covenant faithfulness. I need no other benediction, Lord, if I have Yours. Other portions may fail me, but I am independent of all, if “[you are] the strength of my heart, and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).

I adore and bless Your holy name for every past token of Your kindness and forbearance. The retrospect of life is a retrospect of love. I am a wonder to myself that You have spared me—that mercy is remembered when nothing but wrath is deserved. “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had long before now dwelt in silence.” On that same arm I would desire still to lean. Give me to know what it is to dismiss all my own guilty misgivings, and to rest by simple faith on a tried Redeemer. All this I ask is for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.

John Ross Macduff was born at Bonhard, near Perth, on May 23, 1818. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, he became parish minister of Kettins, Forfarshire,  in 1842. In 1849 he moved to St. Madoes, Perthshire, and in 1855 to Sandyford, Glasgow. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1862, and from the University of New York about the same time. He retired from pastoral work in 1871, moved to Chislehurst, Kent where he died in 1887.

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