An Evening Prayer
By Jane Austen
ive us grace, Almighty Father, so to pray, as to deserve
to be heard, to address Thee with our Hearts, as with our lips. Thou art every where
present, from Thee no secret can be hid. May the knowledge of this, teach us to fix
our Thoughts on Thee, with Reverence and Devotion that we pray not in vain.
Look with Mercy on the Sins we have this day committed, and in Mercy make us feel
them deeply, that our Repentance may be sincere, & our resolutions stedfast of
endeavouring against the commission of such in future. Teach us to understand the
sinfulness of our own Hearts, and bring to our knowledge every fault of Temper and
every evil Habit in which we have indulged to the discomfort of our fellow-creatures,
and the danger of our own Souls. May we now, and on each return of night, consider
how the past day has been spent by us, what have been our prevailing Thoughts, Words,
and Actions during it, and how far we can acquit ourselves of Evil. Have we thought
irreverently of Thee, have wedisobeyed Thy commandments, have we neglected any known
duty, or willingly given pain to any human being? Incline us to ask our Hearts these
questions Oh! God, and save us from deceiving ourselves by Pride or Vanity.
Give us a thankful sense of the Blessings in which we live, of the many comforts
of our lot; that we may not deserve to lose them by Discontent or Indifference.
Be gracious to our Necessities, and guard us, and all we love, from Evil this night.
May the sick and afflicted, be now, and ever thy care; and heartily do we pray for
the safety of all that travel by Land or by Sea, for the comfort & protection
of the Orphan and Widow and that Thy pity may be shewn upon all Captives and Prisoners.
Above all other blessings Oh! God, for ourselves, and our fellow-creatures, we implore
Thee to quicken our sense of thy Mercy in the redemption of the World, of the Value
of that Holy Religion in which we have been brought up, that we may not, by our own
neglect, throw away the salvation thou hast given us, nor be Christians only in name.
Hear us Almighty God, for His sake who has redeemed us, and taught us thus to pray.
Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
An abridged version of this poem resides at St. Nicholas
Church where Jane's father and oldest brother were rectors.