For the beginning of each day’s activities
“A Collection of Private Devotions for the Hours of Prayer,” 1627
These prayers, largely short aspirations drawn from the Psalms, form a pattern for consecrating the ordinary things of our day to God. They were selected by Bishop John Cosin from Early Church writings and the scriptures as an aid in recollection—the practice of remaining consciously in the presence of God. They are presented here in their original 17th century form; contemporary Christians may choose more modern translations of these verses.
Having a brief prayer accompany an action is not meant to be a form of spiritual compulsiveness. Rather, it is a way of making intentional that action, linking it to the underlying holiness of all our life. If there are other verses or prayers that serve the same purpose for you, use them. The point is simply to raise all our actions to a holy consciousness, finding Christ to be “all in all,” and standing before God consciously in love, peace, and joy.
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When first awake
† Lighten my eyes, O Lord, that I sleep not in death. (Ps. 13, v. 3)
† Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from death, and Christ shall give thee light. (Eph. 5:14)
† Open Thou mine eyes, O Lord, that I may see the wonders of Thy Law. (Ps. 119:18)
When rising from bed
† In the X Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Blessed be the holy and undivided Trinity, now and for evermore.
† In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified for me, I arise from mine own rest, to do Him service. May He by His Cross and Passion, save me, bless me, govern me, and keep me this day and forever. Amen.
† I laid me down and slept, and rose up again, for the Lord sustained me. (Ps. 3:5)
† Clothe me, O Lord, with the ornaments of Thy heavenly grace, and cover me with the robes of righteousness.
† Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. (Rom. 13:14)
When washing our hands and body
† Wash me clean, O Lord, from my wickedness, and purge me from my sins (Ps. 51:2)
† Cleanse me, O Lord, by the bright fountain of Thy mercy, and water me with the dew Thine abundant grace, that, being purified from my sins, I may grow up in good works, truly serving Thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of my life.
Before entering into the work of the day
† Into the hands of Thy blessed protection and unspeakable mercy, O Lord, I commend this day my soul and my body, with all the faculties, powers, and actions of them both, beseeching Thee to be ever with me, to direct, sanctify, and govern me in the ways of Thy laws, and in the words of Thy commandments; that through Thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, I may be preserved in body and soul, to serve Thee the only true God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
When setting out on the day’s activities
† Shew me Thy ways, O Lord, and teach my Thy paths. (Ps. 25:3)
† Lead me, O God, in the way of Thy truth, and guide me for Thy mercies’ sake. (Ps. 5:8)
† O give Thine Angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways. (Ps. 91:11)
When we look upon a clock or timepiece at any hour of the day
† Teach me, O Lord, to number my days, that I may apply my heart to wisdom (Ps. 90:12)
† Our time passeth away like a shadow, and we bring our days to an end like a tale that is told.
† Have mercy upon me, O Lord, now, and at the hour of death.
When entering a church
† As for me, I will go into Thy house, O Lord, in multitude of Thy mercies; and in Thy fear will I worship Thee in Thy holy temple. (Ps. 5:7)
† Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thine house, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth. (Ps. 26:8)
† My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord. (Ps. 84:2)
When coming before the altar
† Oh, how amiable are thy dwellings, Thou Lord of Hosts! One day in thy courts is better than a thousand [in my own room] (Ps. 84 1, 10)
† Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they will be always praising Thee.
When we fall down to worship and adore before the presence of God
† Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Which was, and is, and is to come: we worship Him that liveth forever, and cast ourselves before His throne.
† Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy will’s sake they are and were created. (Rev. 4:3,10,11)