Call to Worship
Receive God’s gracious call to worship.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp, With the harp and the sound of a psalm, With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King. (Psalm 98:1–6)
Offer this praise to God:
Not one good thing has failed of all that You have promised.
You have given to us exceeding abundantly above what we asked or even thought, for there was a day when our present condition would have been regarded as much too high for us ever to reach, and in looking back we are surprised that those who did lie among the pots of Egypt should now sit every man under his vine and fig-tree, that those who wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way should now find a city to dwell in, that we who were prodigals in rags should now be children in the Father’s bosom; that we who were companions of swine should now be made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
Oh! what encouragement we have to pray to such a prayer-hearing God who far exceeds the request of His children.
Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever, our inmost heart is saying. Amen, blessed be His name. If it were only for answered prayer or even for some unanswered prayers we would continue to praise and bless You as long as we have any being.
Hear God’s perfect requirements.
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:10–20)
Confession of Sin
Confess and repent of sins before God.
We might…flee from Your face if we only remembered our sinfulness. Lord! we do remember it with shame and sorrow; we are grieved to think we should have offended You, should have neglected so long Your sweet love and tender mercy; but we have now returned unto the “shepherd and bishop of our souls.” Led by such grace, we look to Him whom we crucified, and we have mourned for Him and then have mourned for our sin.
Now, Lord, we confess our guilt before You with tenderness of heart, and we pray You seal home to every believer that full and free, that perfect and irreversible charter of forgiveness which You give to all them that put their trust in Jesus Christ. Lord! You have said it: “If we confess our sins, You are merciful and just to forgive us our sins and to save us from all unrighteousness.” There is the sin confessed: there is the ransom accepted: we therefore know we have peace with God, and we bless that glorious one who has come “to finish transgression, to make an end of sin,” to bring in everlasting righteousness, which righteousness by faith we take unto ourselves and You do impute, unto us.
Now, Lord, will You be pleased to cause all Your children’s hearts to dance within them for joy?
Assurance of Pardon
Hear the promise of grace:
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5)
Offer this praise to God:
Blessing and honour and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever! (Revelation 5:13)
Testify what you believe of Christian truth:
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:44–47).
Learn from Spurgeon’s catechism.
42. Which is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
43. What is required in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment requires us to know (1 Chr 28:9) and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God (Deu 26:17), and to worship and glorify him accordingly (Mat 4:10).
Prayer for Illumination
Ask for spiritual understanding before reading God’s Word:
Lord Jesus, You are gone from us. We rejoice that this is the fact, for You have taught us that it is expedient for us that You should go, and that the Comforter should be with us; but, oh! let us not miss that promised presence of the Comforter.
May He be here to help and succor in all works of faith and labors of love, and may we feel that He has come among us and is dwelling with us because He is convincing the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come.
We beseech You now, Lord, to look upon all Your people, and grant every one a blessing.
Read Scripture with dependence and a desire to obey.
Day 17: Psalm 84 (Longing for God’s Presence)
Prayer of Intercession
Make your requests with thanksgiving, and pray this prayer.
And now, Lord, listen to the voice of Your children’s cry. Wherever there is a sincere heart seeking for greater holiness answer You that request, or wherever there is a broken spirit seeking for reconciliation with You be pleased to answer it now. You know where there is prayer, though it be un-uttered, and even the lips do not move.
Oh! hear the publican who dares not lift his eye to heaven. Hear him while he cries, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Hear such as seem to themselves to be appointed unto death. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before You! Oh! that You would grant peace and rest to every troubled spirit all over the world who now desires to turn his face to the cross and to see God in Christ Jesus. O Lord, if there are any of Your servants exercised about the cases of others we would thank You for them.
Raise up in the Church many intercessors who shall plead for the prosperity of Zion, and give You no rest till You establish her and make her a joy in the land. Oh! there are some of us that cried to You about our country. You know how in secret we groaned and sighed over evil times, and You have begun to hear us already, for which we desire to praise and bless Your name. But we would not cease to pray for this land that You would roll away from it all its sin, that You would deliver it from the curse of drunkenness, rescue it from infidelity, from popery, from ritualism, from rationalism and every form of evil, that this land might become a holy land.
Close with the blessing of God.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you .To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet. 5:10-11)