John Wesley’s Saturday Evening Prayer for Families

Wesley’s written prayer for families for Saturday Evening. John wrote morning and evening prayers for families, I am offering paraphrases to my Family Ministry class

Lord, our God, You are infinitely good and You show us what is good in our world. You send Your light and truth, so they may guide us and make quite plain Your way before our very faces. You give us many opportunities and advantages to encourage and empower us in Your service. We have instructions and commands, Your messengers all day long, to help us open Your word so it can patiently invite or warn, direct and exhort us.  Yet look how little we have improved all the precious abilities You have placed into our hands! Lord, You might be justified in taking away the good news of Your Kingdom from us and giving it away to another, more fruitful, people. Because You have called, yet we refused, You might just leave us to our own perverse, stubborn, ways till our sins become the ruin of us all.

But… Oh God, do not enter this judgment to Your servants. Pardon all our contempt of Your word, and our failure to grow as a result. Help us in the future to put to good use those opportunities set before us. Just as the rain descends from the heavens, but does not return the way it arrives (since rain waters the earth and makes it fruitful), don’t let Your word return void. Instead, let Your word prosper in the work You send it to do. Make Your word effective in the building up of us all in the true reverence and love of God, and in the right understanding and faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gracious God, may Your Holy Spirit cause Your word to work completely and successfully in all our hearts. As we daily learn how we ought to walk and please You our God, help us to “walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in every way” (Colossians 1:10), so we may abound much more in every good work, which is pleasing in Your sight through Jesus Christ.

At His hands, dear Lord our God, we beg Your gracious acceptance of our humble praise and thanksgiving for all Your blessings, spiritual and daily, so freely bestowed on us. We praise You for all the comforts and conveniences of this life, and all the means and hope for a better life. We praise You particularly for what we received this day: the food of our souls set before us, the word of salvation sounding in our ears, and the Spirit of God striving with our hearts. Do not withdraw Your tender mercies from us. Instead continue your customary goodness and increase Your grace and heavenly blessings. Let your Joy over us do us good.

In love, disregard all that Your most pure and holy eyes have seen that is wrong in us this day. Forgive the shortcomings of our holy endeavors; overlook all our sins and failings through our great Mediator and Redeemer, who is always at Your right hand to intercede for us. To Jesus Christ, and all which You are please to give us together with Him… not on our merits but, Lord, on Your name…. be all the praise, honor, and glory which is humbly offered by us, and all Your church, now and forevermore as we pray:

“Our Father
Which art 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 trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
For yours is the Kingdom, power, and glory forever
“Amen”

About Dean G. Blevins

Dr. Dean G. Blevins currently serves as Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship at Nazarene Theological Seminary. An ordained elder, Dean has ministered in diverse settings and currently also serves at the USA Regional Education Coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene. A prolific author, Dr. Blevins recently co-wrote the textbook Discovering Discipleship and edits Didache: Faithful Teaching, a journal for Wesleyan Education.
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