Reading: “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”—Psalm 40:17
Lord, when I look to my inner self I have good cause indeed for misgivings and despondency. Conscience repeats, over and over again, a sentence of condemnation, and I have nothing to extenuate my guilt or excuse my sin. Where can I flee? Where can I look but to You, O Lamb of God, sin-bearing and sin-forgiving Saviour!
Enable me to be living more from moment to moment on Your grace, to rely on Your guiding arm with more childlike confidence, to look with a more simple faith to Your finished work, disowning all trust in my own doings, and casting myself, as a poor needy pensioner, on the bounty of Him who has done all, and suffered all, and endured all, for me. Thus relying on the unseen arm of a covenant-God, when the hour of darkness and discouragement overtakes me, when trials multiply, and comforts fail, and streams of earthly blessings are dried up, may I have what compensates for the loss of all— “Your favor, which is life, and Your loving-kindness, which is better than life.” “I will go in the strength of the Lord God.”
Be the God of all near and dear to me. May all my relatives be able to claim a spiritual relationship with You, that so those earthly bonds of attachment, which sooner or later must snap asunder here, may be renewed and perpetuated before the throne. Pity all who are in sorrow. Comfort the feeble-minded. May “the joy of the Lord be their strength.” May those appointed unto death be prepared for their great change. And all I ask is for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.