SATURDAY EVENING

     A Prayer for the Holy Spirit

      Lord God, I thank Thee heartily that Thou hast led me throughout this week of preparation, and that I can now cherish the hope of eating with Thee and Thy Son on the morrow at the Table of the Covenant. I thank Thee for every opportunity of meditation and prayer, so that I may not thoughtlessly appear in the sanctuary. In this quiet evening hour, I come once more to Thee to beseech Thee for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

      Lord God, Thou hast taught us to say that without Him there can be no true prayer, no real fellowship with Thyself. Therefore hast Thou given to every one of Thy children the Holy Spirit, by whom they may have access in Christ to the Father. Lord, what I would entreat of Thee is this: that the Spirit may now work mightily in me, so as to impart to me all the dispositions by which I may draw near to Thee in the holy adornment of Thy chosen ones. I know that I have only been all too unfaithful to Him. Father, forgive me, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

      May He convince me anew of sin. May He work in me true penitence, so that I may remember my sinfulness with a contrite heart. O Lord, my God, I desire this evening to remember, to confess, and to cast away every sin that still cleaves to me. (Here the believing suppliant may think of his own special sins, confess them, and abjure them before God.) I would think with loathing on myself and the deep aversion of my nature from God, and would forever renounce all confidence in myself, and all satisfaction with myself. Lord God, let the Holy Spirit so work in me, and spiritually so renew me, that all sin shall become more and more hateful and intolerable; and that in like manner, through the spiritual acknowledgement of my corrupt nature, I may meet with Thee in a more humble and tender spirit. May a sweet, blessed lowliness of mind be the fruit of a rich indwelling of the Spirit in my heart.

      And Lord, in like manner may the result of Thine own Spiritís operation in me be a strong, a joyful faith, that a full Christ, with all His promises and all His blessings, is inwardly appropriated and enjoyed. Yea, my God, may the Spirit bring out in me that fruit which in the sight of man seems so undesirableóthe humility of one who feels himself worthy only of rejection, coupled with the gladness of one who is redeemed, who is a beloved child.

      May He also discover to me, and shed abroad in me, the eternal love of our God, so that my experience of His personal affection for me may be a thousandfold clearer and more certain than the affection of any man on earth. O Lord, the Holy Spirit can effect this. He can bring down from heaven into my soul the love of God as a real gift: grant that this gift may be near at this time of communion. Lord, I depend upon Thy promise; I wait for the mighty working of the Spirit.

      Then shall my love burst out into a flame at the Table. Then shall I behold the countenance of my Lord, and my whole heart shall be won by Him. Then shall my surrender to the Lord be a real and effectual one. Blessed God, withhold not from me, but bestow on me in large measure, the mighty operations of Thy Holy Spirit. Thou hast given Him to be in me: may He now fill me. Then shall my observance of the Supper be truly a fellowship of the Spirit with the Father and the Son. Then shall I have not only heavenly blessing around me and in me, but also heavenly life in me, both to know and to receive all His blessing.

      Lord, I depend upon Thy promises: I set myself now in silence before Thee to wait for the Spirit: I give myself to Him in the faith that He will work in me. I ask this One boon besides: that in Thy servant who presides over the congregation, and in the congregation itself, Thy blessed Spirit, with His silent heavenly power, may be mightily at work, so that this festal time may be for all a time of great blessing. Would that some who are still dead may now be made alive.

      Lord, grant this for the sake of Thy Son. Amen.