Good Evening, Lord!
Words of Comfort
Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20 ESV)
Prayer of Confession
O God, You are the creator of all things, and I am your creature. I come before you in peaceful gratitude for this day’s blessings:
- For the mere joy of living.
- For all the sights and sounds around me.
- For the stillness of nature and the busy-ness of the city.
- For all things bright and beautiful.
- For friendship and good company.
- For work to do, and for the skill and strength to do it.
- For a time to play when the day’s work is done, and for health and a glad heart to enjoy it.
As good as all these things are, and as grateful as I am for them, O Father, never let me think that I am here to stay. Help me see that I am an alien and stranger here; a pilgrim traveling to the eternal home Jesus has prepared for me. So do not let me lose myself in the pleasures of earth, so that my heart stops longing for the eternal pleasures of the New Creation. And if today has brought me sorrows, sighing, hurt, loneliness, sickness, or disappointment, give me grace to accept it from your hand as a loving reminder that this is not my home.
I thank you, O Lord, for the dissatisfaction with this world that rests in my heart. I thank you for the joys that are mixed with sadness and unrest because these lead my mind upward to think of your promised life in the resurrection on the Last Day, when all will be made right, and good, and holy. Above all, I thank you for the sure hope and promise of eternal life which you have given to me through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Amen.
What is Confession?
Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.
Questions for Meditation
What does this reading teach you?
What does this reading lead you to be thankful for?
What behavior, thought, or attitude does this reading challenge? What sin does it lead you to confess?
How might you pray for God to have a richer impact on your life through this reading?
Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer
The Third Petition: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
O God, Your will is done even without our prayers, but we pray that it may be done among us also. Please break and hinder every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow Your name or let Your kingdom come. Strengthen and keep us firm in Your Word and faith until we die. Let Your good and gracious will be done. Amen.
Verse of Benediction
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Rom. 15:13 ESV)
 This prayer is adapted from John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer, 1949 – an evening prayer for the 21st day of the month. Baillie wrote wonderful prayers for the morning and evening of each day of the month. They have inspired, educated, and assisted many in their prayer lives. It was updated in 2014 by Susanna Wright. That edition is available from Amazon here. I personally prefer the 1949 edition with the older style of language. Those can still be found if you search for it.