The Family being together, a little before bedtime, let the Father or Mother, or any other who may be appointed, say as follows, all kneeling, and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.
All: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Read Psalm 19
Leader: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
All: In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Leader: 7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
All: 12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
A Heart Aflame — John Calvin on Psalm 19:13-14
It is to be observed, that while [the psalmist] calls himself the servant of God, he nevertheless acknowledges that he has need of the bridle, lest he should arrogantly and rebelliously break forth in transgressing the law of God. Being regenerated by the Spirit of God, he groaned, it is true, under the burden of his sins; but he knew, on the other hand, how great is the rebellion of the flesh, and how much we are inclined to forgetfulness of God, from which proceed contempt of his majesty and all impiety.
All mankind are naturally enslaved to sin, and the faithful themselves would become the bond-slaves of sin also, if God did not watch over them without ceasing, to guide them in the path of holiness, and to strengthen them for persevering in it. We ought never to pray for pardon, without, at the same time, asking to be strengthened and fortified by the power of God for the time to come, that temptations, in future, may not gain advantage over us. The remedy to which we should have recourse is to pray to God to restrain us.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. David asks still more expressly to be fortified by the grace of God, and thus enabled to live an upright and holy life. We know how difficult it is, even for the most perfect, so to bridle their words and thoughts, as that nothing may pass through their heart or mouth which is contrary to the will of God; and yet this inward purity is what the law chiefly requires of us. Now, the rarer this virtue – the rarer this strict control of the heart and of the tongue is, let us learn so much the more the necessity of our being governed by the Holy Spirit, in order to regulate our life uprightly and honestly.
Response — Brief Discussion
Prayers for the sick, lonely, and needy of our church and community.
Prayer for Grace to reform and grow Better.
Leader: Most merciful God, we ask you to keep us safe under the hand and help of your Holy Spirit, lest, through our own frailty, or the temptations which encompass us, we be drawn again into sin. Reform whatever is amiss in the attitude and disposition of our souls; that no unclean thoughts, unlawful designs, or inordinate desires, may rest there. Purge our hearts from envy, hatred, and malice; that we may never allow the sun to go down upon our anger; but may always go to our rest in peace, love, and good-will, with a conscience void of offence towards you and towards our fellow man; so that we may be kept pure and blameless, unto the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer for God’s Protection through the Night following.
All: O Lord, we ask you in particular to continue your gracious protection to us this night. Defend us from all dangers and mischiefs, and from the fear of them; that we may enjoy such refreshing sleep as may fit us for the duties of the coming day. And grant us grace always to live in such a state that we may never be afraid to die; so that, living and dying, we may be yours, through the merits and satisfaction of your Son Christ Jesus, in whose Name we offer up our prayers. Amen.
Adapted for Use by JMT for MC