O eternal, everlasting God—Author of my being, my continual, unwearied benefactor—I desire to come anew this morning into Your presence, thanking You for Your sparing mercies. Instead of making my last night’s pillow a pillow of death, I am again among the living to praise You. Oh that I were enabled to live every day and to rise every morning as if it were to be my last, as if my next waking were to be in the morning of immortality!
Lord, how little am I influenced and impressed by the solemn records of death all around me! Friend after friend is departing; the circle of acquaintance is narrowed. The proclamation is ever sounding with fresh emphasis in my ears, “You also be ready”; and yet how prone to disregard the solemn admonitions, how apt to peril my preparation on the peradventures of a dying hour!
Blessed God, my prayer is that I may have my loins girded and my lamp burning. Let me not wait to have my vessel replenished until the voice of the Bridegroom is heard and I am summoned to meet Him. May I now so repose my every confidence in Jesus that the hour which to the unwary and unwatchful is one of darkness and terror may be to me the eve of the blessed Sabbath of eternity, the threshold and the portal of a world of endless joy.
Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.