The following is adapted from a prayer written by Matthew Henry on New Year’s Day in the Year of our Lord 1704. I have modified it to flow more like a daily prayer, for as such do I commonly use it. On Friday of last week Bill Hybels entreated all the participants at the Leadership Summit to pray daily for thirty days a prayer of very similar content, which I have so far done. The repetition of the Hybels prayer has prompted me to make note of this prayer of Matt Henry, which for many years now I have seen tacked to the wall next to the desk at which I perform most of my daily work.
The prayer, then, is this:
This Day I do in much Weakness, and compassed about with many Infirmities, upon my Knees make a fresh Surrender of myself, my whole self, all I am, all I have, all I can do, to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, my Creator, Owner, Ruler and Benefactor; all my Affections to be ruled by the Divine Grace, and all my Affairs overruled by the Divine Providence, so as I may not come short of glorifying God in this World, and being glorified with Him in a better World.
Confirming and ratifying all former Resignations of myself to God, and lamenting all the Disagreeableness of my Heart and Life therewith, and depending upon the Merit of the Redeemer to make this and all my other Services acceptable, and the Grace of the Sanctifier to enable me to make good these engagements, I again bind my Soul with a Bond to the Lord, and commit myself entirely to Him; particularly, as to the Events of this Day which I am now entering upon, not knowing the Things that may abide me in it.
If this Day should be a Day of continued Health and Comfort, I commit myself to the Grace of God to be preserved from carnal Security, and to be enabled in a Day of Prosperity to serve God with joy.
If my Opportunities as a Minister should be this Day continued, I commit my Studies, and my Ministerial Labours at home and abroad, to the Blessing of God; having afresh consecrated them all to His Service and Honor, earnestly desiring Mercy of the Lord to be Faithful and Successful.
If I should be this Day at any time tried with Doubts concerning my Duty, I commit myself to the Divine Conduct, with an unbyass’d Desire, praying to know what God will have me to do, with a fixed Resolution by His Grace to follow His Direction in the Integrity of my Heart.
If I should this Day be afflicted in my Body, Family, Name or Estate, I commit my All to the Divine Dispose; the Will of the Lord be done; only begging that the Grace of God may go along with the Providence of God in all my Afflictions, to enable me both to bear them well and to use them well.
If this Day I should be disturbed or molested in the Exercise of my Ministry, if I should be silenced, or otherways suffer for well-doing, I commit the keeping of my Soul to God as to a faithful Creator; depending upon Him to guide me in my Call to suffer, and to make that clear, and to preserve me from perplexing Snares; depending upon Him to support and comfort me under my Sufferings, and to bring Glory to Himself out of them, and then welcome His whole Will.