O ever-watchful Shepherd of Your flock—lead us, guide us, safely tend us this day. Without Your restraining rod—we shall err and stray like lost sheep. Hedge up our paths—lest we be misled into the unwholesome pastures of the world, and drink of its poisonous streams. Direct our feet—lest we be entangled by some secret snare of the devil, or stumble into his hidden pitfalls. Encircle Your fold by Your protecting power, that the roaring lion may not devour, nor any cruel foe assail. Remember Your ransomed flock. Protect, preserve it as the purchase of Your dear Son’s blood.
O Lord, we beseech You now to defend us, not only from outward adversaries—but especially from ourselves! We have foes which cleave closer to us than our very skin! We cannot escape them. Help us to elude their enticing wiles. In public and in private, when we come in or go out, whether we rise up or sit down—they cling to our heart. Deliver us from their constant baits and traps. The old man yet lives within us—and is powerful. Help us to nail him to the cross of Jesus! We earnestly desire to put him off with all his foul deeds—and to put on the new man, which is created in righteousness and true holiness. If You speak the word—the victory is ours!
Our best strength—is utter weakness. Our firmest resolves—are as fleeting as the morning cloud and early dew. In our flesh there dwells no good thing—it is the vile abode of every corrupt desire. It is the den in which all vile passions lurk. Left to ourselves, we fall. But Your Spirit is omnipotent. Oh! then, bid Your Spirit to arise in all His might—and crush our indwelling opponents!
How often do we mourn that, when we would do good, evil is present with us. The good that we would do—we cannot do; the evil that we would not do—that we do. We look to You to deliver us from the body of this death. Strengthen us with heavenly aid in the inner man, lest we faint and be weary in the conflict—and yield to our bosom-foes. The enemy is within the citadel! Come with Your almighty power and subdue him. Enable us, therefore, by Your Spirit, to mortify all the deeds of the body.
O Jesus, we are Yours! Other lords have had dominion over us—but now we are Your willing servants. Come, then, O You who are our Lord, pierce to the death—utterly destroy—abolish in us every particle of carnal self!