Make good use of opportunity
Merciful God, and Heavenly Father, we thank you that we can draw near to you this night, in peace and safety, no man daring to make us afraid; that we can read together your holy Word, and worship you without obstruction or hindrance. As our outward circumstances are favorable, so let our hearts be disposed to make good use of this sacred opportunity.
O God, our fathers have told us, and we have read in your holy Word, how persecutions and troubles have followed those who in old time testified for you, and who, by their faithful testimony, have secured for us the blessed freedom, and the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, which we in these days enjoy. May we remember how dearly these privileges have been bought; may we value them more highly, and use them more thankfully. We praise you, O God, that your truth has triumphed ... and that all who resist it must fall before it and perish. We thank you that, notwithstanding all the craft of the wicked one, and the malice of ignorant men, your Gospel is still extending its sway over the hearts of men, and the time fast approaching when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas. [Isaiah 11:9]
Oh, take out of the way everything that opposes and exalts itself against the Lord Jesus; bring back into the way of truth all who have erred or are deceived; shed forth upon all the church your Holy Spirit; remove the fears of the doubtful, and give faith and strength to the wavering.
We confess that when we ought to have obeyed you alone, the fear of man has often been a snare to us; and in seeking to please men we have forgotten our duty to you. Oh, pardon us for this; make us truly sorry for such folly and ingratitude, and make us henceforth bold and unflinching in doing what is pleasing to you, and in obeying God, rather than men. We pray for all who may be called to suffer for so doing, and to witness for you, either at home or abroad. Strengthen them according to their need; suffer not the enemy to obtain an advantage over them, but bring them out of the fiery trial, rejoicing that they are counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ. Almighty Lord and Savior, give us grace to be faithful unto death; to suffer with you, Lord, for your sake; to be ready not only to be bound, but to die for the Lord Jesus. Acknowledge us as yours; confess us before your Father; and, though unworthy, vouchsafe to us, in accordance with your gracious promise, the crown of life which fades not away. We ask all in the name of Jesus. Amen.
About the author and the source
The above prayer is for Wednesday evening, week thirty, from Edward Garbett’s Family Prayer Book. The Rev. Edward Garbett and Rev. Samuel Martin were ministers in the Church of England who compiled prayers from about two hundred Church of England religious leaders. They arranged these by week and weekday for a full year’s cycle.
The Family Prayer Book, or, Morning and Evening Prayers for Every Day in the Year, edited by Edward Garbett and Samuel Martin. London: Cassell, Peter, and Galpin, 1864.