Besides your systematic meditation and your other vocal prayers,
there are five shorter kinds of prayer, which are as aids and
assistants to the great devotion, and foremost among these is your
morning prayer, as a general preparation for all the day's work.
It should be made in this wise.
- Thank God, and adore Him for His Grace which has kept you
safely through the night, and if in anything you have offended
against Him, ask forgiveness.
- Call to mind that the day now beginning is given you in
order that you may work for Eternity, and make a stedfast
resolution to use this day for that end.
- Consider beforehand what occupations, duties and occasions
are likely this day to enable you to serve God; what temptations
to offend Him, either by vanity, anger, etc., may arise; and
make a fervent resolution to use all means of serving Him and
confirming your own piety; as also to avoid and resist whatever
might hinder your salvation and God's Glory. Nor is it enough to
make such a resolution,--you must also prepare to carry it into
effect. Thus, if you foresee having to meet some one who is
hottempered and irritable, you must not merely resolve to guard
your own temper, but you must consider by what gentle words to
conciliate him. If you know you will see some sick person,
consider how best to minister comfort to him, and so on.
- Next, humble yourself before God, confessing that of
yourself you could carry out nothing that you have planned,
either in avoiding evil or seeking good. Then, so to say, take
your heart in your hands, and offer it and all your good
intentions to God's Gracious Majesty, entreating Him to accept
them, and strengthen you in His Service, which you may do in
some such words as these: "Lord, I lay before Thee my weak
heart, which Thou dost fill with good desires. Thou knowest that
I am unable to bring the same to good effect, unless Thou dost
bless and prosper them, and therefore, O Loving Father, I
entreat of Thee to help me by the Merits and Passion of Thy Dear
Son, to Whose Honour I would devote this day and my whole life."
All these acts should be made briefly and heartily, before you
leave your room if possible, so that all the coming work of the
day may be prospered with God's blessing; but anyhow, my daughter,
I entreat you never to omit them.