Daily Devotionals: (May 3rd): Prayer for Renewal of Heart

by Aaron Dunlop

Reading: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me”— Psalm 51:10

Almighty God, who has mercifully preserved me during the unconscious hours of slumber, I desire to dedicate my waking moments and thoughts to thee. Pre-occupy my mind with hallowed and heavenly things. May I be enabled throughout this day, by the help of Your Holy Spirit, to exclude all that is vain and frivolous and sinful—and to have my affections centered on You, as my best portion and chief joy. As Your Spirit of old brooded over the face of the waters, may that same blessed Spirit descend in all the plenitude of His heavenly graces, that the gloom of a deeper moral chaos may be dispersed, and that mine may be the beauty and happiness and gladness of a soul that has been transformed “from darkness to light.”

Forbid, blessed Lord, that I should be resting in anything short of this new creation. May my old nature be crucified; and, as one alive from the dead, may I “walk with Jesus in newness of life.” May the new life infused by Your Spirit urge me to higher attainments and more heavenly aspirations. May I be enabled to see the world in its true light — its pleasures fading, its hopes delusive, its friendships perishable. May I be more solemnly and habitually impressed by the surpassing magnitude of “the things not seen.” May I give evidence of the reality of a renewal of heart by a more entire and consistent dedication of the life. May my soul become a temple of the Holy Spirit; may “Holiness to the Lord” be its superscription. May I be led to feel that there can be no true joy but what emanates from thyself, the fountain and fullness of all joy— the God in whom “all my well springs” are.

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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