Prayers suitable for the Times in which we Live.
Mr. Editor: The following prayers have been circulated in manuscript, and used for some time past by many who, believing firmly in an over-ruling Providence, and in the righteousness of our cause, have daily poured out their hearts to Him who sitteth in the throne judging right.
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They have now been printed for distribution, and may be had at Russell & Jones, King-street, by all those who value the privilege of intercessory prayer. Filia.
A Prayer for the Times.
Compiled from an old writer, with alterations and additions suitable to the present condition of the Confederate States of America.
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Gracious Father, the life of man is a warfare upon earth, and the dangers which assault us are diversely pointed against us. We humbly beseech Thee be present with us in all the course and passages of our lives, but especially in the Secession we have undertaken, and the hostilities in which it has involved us. Suffer no malice, or treachery, or stratagem — whether civil, diplomatic, or military, to hurt us; no cunning to circumvent us; no surprises to come upon us unawares; no falsehood to betray us. That which we cannot foresee we beseech Thee to prevent; that which we cannot withstand we beseech Thee to master; that which we do not fear we beseech Thee to unmask and frustrate — that being delivered from all dangers of spirit, soul and body, we may praise Thee, our Deliverer, and experience how secure and happy a thing it is to make the Lord of Hosts our Protector and Helper in the day of fear and trouble, or peril and distress.
O, our God, though mighty and numerous States gather together on heaps, yet let them be driven away from our borders as the smoke before the wind; and though they take counsel together, bring it to nought. For though they pronounce a decree, yet it shall not stand, if Thou, O God, be with us. Be with us, therefore, O God, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Almighty and merciful Father, at this time we need Thy more especial assistance, both by land and by sea, and for the mercy of Christ deny us neither. Defeat, we implore Thee, the designs and confound the machinations of our enemies; abate their pride and assuage their fury; soften their hearts and change their unnatural hatred into Christian love, and forgive them all their sings against Thee and against us. Grant that their ships may find no way in our seas, nor any path in our floods; may their spies be speedily detected and effectually banished from our midst; preserve us from war and tumult; from battle, murder and sudden death; guard us from sedition, conspiracy and rebellion; defend our soil from invasion and our ports from blockade — that we may glorify Thee for these deliverances, no less than for Thy signal presence and power in the mercies of our bloodless victory; and thus being sheltered by Thy grace and favor from every spiritual and temporal evil, and from all personal and national calamities, we may ever obey and serve Thee in purity of heart and holiness of life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, to whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all praise, worship and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
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A Prayer for Our Enemies.
[From the same writer]
O God, we beseech Thee, forgive and pardon our enemies, and give us that measure of Thy grace, that for their hatred we may love them, for their cursing we may bless them, for their injury we may do them good, and for their persecution we may pray for them. They have laid a net for our steps, and have digged a pit before us. Lord; we desire not that they themselves should fall into the midst of these, but, we beseech Thee, keep us out of them, and deliver, establish, bless and prosper us for Thy mercy’s sake in Jesus Christ our Saviour, to whom, with Thee and the Holy Spirit, we desire to consecrate ourselves and our country, now and forever, imploring Thee to be our God and to make us Thy people. Amen.
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[From McGuire’s Religious Opinions and Character of Washington.]
Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavors to fear and obey Thee. Bless us with wisdom in our councils, success in battle, and let all victories be tempered with humanity. Endow, also, our enemies with enlightened minds, that they may become sensible of their injustice, and willing to restore our liberty and peace. Grant the petition of Thy servant for the sake of Him whom Thou hast called Thy beloved Son; nevertheless, not our will but Thine be done. Amen.
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A Prayer for Our Armies.
[By Bishop Green, of Mississippi.]
Almighty God, whose Providence watcheth over all things, and in whose hands is the disposal of all events, we look up to Thee for Thy protection and blessing amidst the apparent and great dangers with which we are encompassed. Thou hast, in Thy wisdom, permitted us to be threatened with the many evils of an unnatural and destructive war. Save us, we beseech Thee, from the hands of our enemies. Watch over our fathers and brothers and sons who, trusting in Thy defence and in the righteousness of our cause, have gone forth to the service of their country. May their lives be precious in Thy sight. Preserve them from all the dangers to which they may be exposed. Enable them successfully to perform their duty to Thee and to their country, and do Thou, in Thine infinite wisdom and power, so overrule events, and so dispose the hearts of all engaged in this painful struggle, that it may soon end in the safety, honor and welfare of our Confederate States, but to the good of Thy people, and the glory of Thy great name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
— Charleston Mercury, 13 June 1861, p. 1, c. 4.