While you sleep, others still pray

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall hallow now our rest.

We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun, that bids us rest, is waking
Our brethren ‘neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
But stand, and rule, and grow for ever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

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A hymn to accompany you in your day’s work

Forth in your name, O Lord, I go,
my daily labour to pursue,
you, Lord, alone resolved to know,
in all I think, or speak, or do.

Each task your wisdom has assigned
still let me cheerfully fulfil,
in all my works your presence find,
and prove your good and perfect will.

You may I set at my right hand,
whose eyes my inmost substance view,
and labour on at your command,
and offer all my works to you.

Give me to bear your easy yoke,
and every moment watch and pray,
and still to things eternal look,
and hasten to your glorious day;

for you delightfully employ
all that your bounteous grace has given,
and run my course with even joy
and closely walk with you to heaven.

(TIS 571)

Have this on your mind and lips

‘[God] solemnly commands in Deuteronomy 6:6-8 that we should always meditate on His precepts, sitting, walking, standing, lying down, and rising. We should have them before our eyes and in our hands as a constant mark and sign. Clearly He did not solemnly require and command this without a purpose. For he knows our danger and need, as well as the constant and furious assaults and temptations of devils. He wants to warn, equip, and preserve us against them, as with a good amor against their fiery darts [Ephesians 6:10-17] and with good medicine against their evil infection and temptation.’

Martin Luther, Large Catechism, Longer Preface

Suffering and rejoicing

‘It is this suffering which burns and consumes evil with the flame of love and draws forth even from sin a great flowering of good. All human suffering, all pain, all infirmity contains within it a promise of salvation: a promise of joy. “I am now rejoicing in my suffering for your sake,” writes Saint Paul (Col 1:24).’

John Paul II, Memory and Identity

The cycle of a Christian Life

“The Christian life is a continuous cycle of prayer, meditation on God’s Word, and temptation. Luther often said he knew he was a Christian because the devil taunted him. The devil wouldn’t waste his time with anyone far from the faith. The irony of the devil’s taunts is that it drives us back to the Word for refuge.”

Paraphrasing Dr John Kleinig

Let your heart be tested and redirected

“If you have a heart that can expect of Him nothing but what is good – especially in need and distress – and a heart that also renounces and forsakes everything that is not God, then you have the only true God. If, on the contrary, your heart clings to anything else from which it expects more good and help than from God, and if your heart does not take refuge in Him but flees from Him when in trouble, then you have an idol, another god.”

Martin Luther, Large Catechism, Explanation on the First Commandment “You shall have no other gods”.

Fix your heart and confidence on this

“A person’s entire heart and all his confidence must be placed in God alone and in no one else. For to “have” God, you can easily see, is not to take hold of Him with our hands or to put Him in a bag <like money> or to lock Him in a chest <like silver vessels>. Instead, to “have” Him means that the heart takes hold of Him and clings to Him. To cling to Him with the heart is nothing else than to trust in Him entirely. For this reason God wishes to turn us away from everything else that exists outside him and to draw us to Himself [John 6:44]. For He is the only eternal good [Matthew 19:17].”

Martin Luther, Large Catechism, Explanation of the First Commandment “You shall have no other gods”.