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 FOR A PILGRIM SPIRIT - By John MacDuff, 1852 Morning Watches

FOR A PILGRIM SPIRIT , [url=http://www.gracegems.org/JM/Morning_watches.htm]Taken from this 31 day morning devotional, The Morning Watches[/url]


"O Lord, in the morning I will direct my prayer to You."

"And confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."—Heb. 11:13

O God, again, in the multitude of Your mercies, You are permitting me to approach the footstool of Your throne. I am another day nearer death—oh, may I be a day nearer You! With a new morning's dawn may I hear the pilgrim summons—"Arise, for this is not your rest." Before I mingle with the world, give me to feel I am not of it, but born from above, and for above; and cherishing more of a pilgrim spirit, may my prayer and watchword be—"I desire a better country."

Lord, I bless You for the rich provision You have made for the wilderness journey—for all Your mercies, temporal, providential, and spiritual. Forbid that the many gifts of Your love should draw me away from Yourself, the bountiful Giver, or obliterate the solemn impression—"I am a stranger with You and a sojourner, as all my fathers were." May I "use the world without abusing it." By the varied discipline of Your providence, may I be led to feel that all my well-springs are in You. May the world's fascinations be becoming more powerless—sin more hated—holiness more loved—heaven more realized—God more "the exceeding joy" of my soul. Driven from all creature supports and earthly refuges, may Jesus be the prop and staff of my pilgrimage. When the world is bright, may I rest upon Him, and seek that He sanctify my prosperity. When the wilderness is dreary, and the way dark, may He hallow adversity. When friends are removed, may I feel that I have One left more faithful than the best of all earthly friends; and when death comes, and the pilgrim warfare ceases, leaning confidingly on that same arm, may I enter the pilgrim's rest.

O adorable Savior!—You who were once Yourself a pilgrim—the lonely, weary, homeless, afflicted One—who had often no arm to lean upon, and no voice to cheer You—an outcast wanderer and sojourner in Your own creation—I rejoice to think that You have trodden all this wilderness-world before me—that You know its dreariest paths. I take comfort in the assurance that there is at the right hand of the Majesty on high, a fellow-Sufferer, who has drunk of every "brook in the way"—shed every tear of earthly sorrow—heaved every sigh of earthly suffering—and who, being Himself the "tried and tempted One," is able and willing to support every pilgrim who is tried and tempted too.

I beseech You this day to look down in great kindness on all my beloved friends. Seal to them a saving interest in Your great salvation. Wash them all in Your blood—sanctify them all by Your Spirit. May not one be missing on "the day when You make up Your jewels."

Pity a fallen world. Your Church is slumbering—the enemy is all vigilant—souls are perishing. Arise, Lord, and plead Your own cause. Promote greater unity and love and concord among Your own people. Let us be nearer Jesus, and then we shall be nearer one another. Give us all more of the single eye to Your glory. Make us more self-sacrificing—more heavenly-minded—more Savior-like. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

"Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for in You do I trust."


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 Re: FOR A PILGRIM SPIRIT - By John MacDuff, 1852



FOR GROWTH IN HOLINESS

"O Lord, in the morning I will direct my prayer to You."

"Grow in grace."—2 Pet. 3:18

O God, draw near to me in fullness in Your great mercy. Another peaceful morning has dawned upon me. May it be mine to know the happiness of those who walk all the day in the light of Your countenance.

O best and kindest of Beings, teach me to know, amid the smiles and the frowns, the joys and the sorrows, of an ever-changing world, what it is to have an unchanging refuge and portion in You. I can mourn no blank, I can feel no solitude, when I have Your presence and love. If I have nothing beside—stripped and divested of every other blessing—I have the richest of all, if I am at peace with God.

I desire to dwell with devout contemplation on the infinite loveliness of Your moral nature. Lord, I long to have this guilty, erring soul, molded and fashioned in increasing conformity to Your blessed mind and will. Let my great concern henceforth be, to love and serve and please You more and more. May all Your dealings with me, of whatever kind they be, contribute in promoting this growth in holiness. May prosperity draw forth a perpetual thank-offering of praise for unmerited mercies. May adversity purify away the dross of worldliness and sin. May every day be finding the power of sin weaker and weaker, and the dominion of grace stronger and stronger. Living under the powers of a world to come, may I look forward with joyful expectation to the time when sin shall no longer impede my spiritual growth—when Satan shall be disarmed of his power, and my own heart of its deceitfulness—when every faculty of a glorified and exalted nature shall be enlisted in Your service in a world of eternal joy.

O blessed Advocate within the veil—You who are even now interceding for Your tried and tempted saints, "that their faith fail not"—Impart to me a constant supply of Your promised grace. Not only sprinkle my heart with Your blood, but conquer it by Your love. Fill me with deep contrition for an erring past—inspire me with purposes of new obedience for the future. May I know, in my sweet experience, that "Your yoke is easy and Your burden light"—that, growing in holiness, I am growing in happiness too. Give me an increasing tenderness of conscience about sin—lead me, with more filial devotedness, to cultivate a holy fear of offending so gracious a Father. Habitually realizing my new covenant relationship to You, may I ever be ready to exclaim, with joyful sincerity "O Lord, truly I am Your servant!"

Revive, blessed God, Your own work everywhere. "Take to Yourself Your great power, and reign." Remove all hardness and blindness of heart—all contempt of Your Word. May it have free course and be glorified.

Bless my dear friends. However far separated from one another, we can ever meet at the same throne of the heavenly grace, pleading the same "exceeding great and precious promises." May we all be following the same path of grace now, and meet amid the endless joys of glory hereafter. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

"Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for in You do I trust."



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 Re: FOR A PILGRIM SPIRIT - By John MacDuff, 1852 Morning Watches



FOR CONSISTENCY OF WALK

"O Lord, in the morning I will direct my prayer to You."

"Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing."—Col. 1:10

O Lord, You are the heart-searching and the thought-trying God. To You all hearts are open—from You no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of my heart this day, by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit. I would seek to begin its hours with You. May all its business and employments be perfumed with the fragrance of "the morning sacrifice."

O You who are the great origin and end of all things, be to me the Alpha and the Omega of my daily being. May I feel existence to be a blank without You. May I feel that I can only be truly happy when a sense of Your favor and friendship, and love is sweetly intermingled with life's duties—thus lessening every burden—hallowing every trial—diminishing every cross!

I come to You once more, an unworthy sinner, to cast myself at my Savior's feet. What am I, that You should have borne with me so long! The ax "laid at the root of the trees" might long ago have cut me down; but I, a guilty cumberer, am still spared. The retrospect of existence, while a retrospect of patience and forbearance on Your part, is one of mournful rebellion and ingratitude on mine. I have had a "name to live," but how much spiritual death in my best frames! I have had a form of godliness; how little have I lived out and acted out its power! More careful have I been to appear to be a Christian than really to be a Christian. How much unevenness in my walk—how much proclaimed and professed by the lip has been undone and denied in the life!

I come this morning to ask anew for mercy to pardon, and grace to help me. Especially give me the grace of a holy consistency, doing all for Your glory, having boldness to speak for You in the world. May my walk and conversation be the living evidence and expression of the sincerity and reality of the inner life.

For this end may I live more on Jesus. May my life be "hidden with Christ in God." May I grow more and more out of myself and into my living Head. Self-humbled and self-emptied, may I be ever resorting to the all-fullness of an all-sufficient Savior. May this be my habitual feeling—"Without Him I can do nothing." May this be my constant prayer—"Help me, Savior, or I die."

May I be enabled this day, in His strength, to do something for God. However lowly my lot, however humble my abilities, may I feel, Lord, that You have work for me in Your vineyard. Let me not bury my talent in the earth; may I "occupy it until You come," that "You may receive Your own with interest."

Have mercy on Your whole Church. Pour out on all its members and office-bearers the spirit of meekness and zeal, of power and love, and of a sound mind. May "Holiness to the Lord" be written on its portals!

Hasten the blessed period when the love of Jesus, being enthroned in every heart and every Church, "we all shall be one." And all I ask is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.

"Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for in You do I trust."


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