Morning and Evening Prayers

Here are two prayers—the first a morning prayer from Wendell Hawley and the second an evening prayer from Ellen Elwell. May these prayers frame your day.

Blessed and glorious God,
Author of our salvation, sustainer of our life, giver of all that we have—
incline our hearts to believe your Word.
We are so obsessed with trivial things, but we want to be captivated with things eternal.
So much of little worth gets our attention.
We confess inattention to your Word.
We confess the fickleness of our affections, and our unbelief limits our trust that you, O God,
are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.

We don't see our prayers answered with such abundance, and we doubt.
We know our problems are greater than we can solve.
But we are afraid to go out on a limb and really cast our care on you.
What if you don't answer as we want?
What if a much-needed job doesn't appear?
What if family relationships don't improve—but get worse?
What if loved ones remain disinterested in spiritual things?
What if my desperate heart's cry goes unanswered?

Lord, I'm not like Habakkuk,
who witnessed everything crashing around him and still rejoiced in the Lord.

I confess that I'm like Asaph,
who realized how bitter he had become at the bewildering events of life.
But like the psalmist, we've come to the house of the Lord . . .
It is here that we see things more clearly,
You will guide me,
counsel me,
strengthen my resolve,
shelter me in the storms,
steady my footsteps,
meet my needs,
quiet my soul.
My prayer from the depths of my heart is . . .
Deliver us from foolish charges, senseless complaints, ignorant doubts.
Saturate our souls with the greatness of Christ!
Make our faith in Christ and his goodness unshakable.
Make our trust in Christ so absolute that nothing can erode it.

We believe; help thou our unbelief.
May we not stagger at the promises of God. . .

(from A Pastor Prays for His People by Wendell C. Hawley)

Dear Father,
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep." These words, plucked from a familiar children's prayer, still resonate with me. Somewhere deep inside me, they tap into adult-sized fears that sometimes surface in the night. Though my slumber might be disturbed by bumps and creaks, it's more often my uncertainties of the future or fears of complicated tasks and relationships that leave me tossing and turning. Yet all the while, Lord, you quietly and sovereignly watch over me. No problem or situation is unknown to you or too big for you to solve. No care or fear I have is beyond the scope of your understanding. Tonight instead of counting my worries or even counting sheep, may I rest in the countless ways you provide for me. For you are the Good Shepherd, I am your lamb, and you have promised to be with me.

(from Timeless Grace: Prayers for Every Occasion by Ellen Elwell)

Note: both their books are available at the church book stall between services on  Sunday morning.