Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

A Prayer for Households

In 1916, the Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath School Work published A Book of Family Worship, which includes, among other things, a cycle of morning and evening prayers for five weeks, thus designed to cover one month.

The prayer for each morning or evening consists of an invocation, supplication, and intercession, and is then followed by the Lord’s Prayer or another appropriate prayer (e.g., in the evening: “Lighten our darkness, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and by Thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of Thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.”). These tend to be quite good and useful.

Here, for instance, is the intercession of the morning prayer for Thursday of the second week in the cycle, which, despite its use of the infelicitously redundant and extra-terrestrial-sounding locution “human homes,” is nevertheless a salutary prayer for households:

And now we bring before Thee the whole company of mankind, and ask Thy blessing upon them. Especially we pray for human homes: for children, that they may be obedient to their parents; for parents, that they may rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; for servants, that they may be faithful to those who are their masters; for masters, that they may forbear threatening. Teach all men to remember that there is a Master in heaven who is no respecter of persons, with whom there is neither high nor low. Strengthen us to do our duty to those with whom we are associated. May we so serve as to please Thee, and come at last to the joy of Thy heavenly kingdom, through Thy mercy in Jesus Christ.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.

One reply on “A Prayer for Households”

[…] Once again, from A Book of Family Worship, this time a good example of how to pray for one’s society and political order. Herewith the intercession from the prayer for Monday evening of the third week in the cycle–a prayer that assumes that God is the Lord of both heaven and earth and, as such, cares what happens on earth and in human polities: […]

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