The Worship Quote of the Week for (07/04/2006):

Washington's Morning Prayer
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is taken from the hand-written prayer journal of the twenty-year-old George Washington.

O Lord our God, most mighty and merciful father, I, thine unworthy creature and servant, do once more approach thy presence. Though not worthy to appear before thee, because of my natural corruptions, and the many sins and transgressions which I have committed against thy divine majesty; yet I beseech thee, for the sake of him in whom thou art well pleased, the Lord Jesus Christ, to admit me to render thee deserved thanks and praises for thy manifold mercies extended toward me, for the quiet rest & repose of the past night, for food, raiment, health, peace, liberty, and the hopes of a better life through the merits of thy dear son's bitter passion; and, O kind father, continue thy mercy and favor to me this day, and ever hereafter; purpose all my lawful undertakings; let me have all my directions from thy holy spirit; and success from thy bountiful hand. Let the bright beams of thy light so shine into my heart, and enlighten my mind in understanding thy blessed word, that I may be enabled to perform thy will in all things, and effectually resist all temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil; preserve and defend our rulers in church & state; bless the people of this land, be a father to the fatherless, a comforter to the comfortless, a deliverer to the captives, and a physician to the sick; let thy blessings guide this day and forever through J. C. in whose blessed form of prayer I conclude my weak petitions—Our Father, & c.

— George Washington, age 20, as recorded in William J. Johnson's GEORGE WASHINGTON, THE CHRISTIAN (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35.

[NOTE: This is something I came across in a web search. I wish the information were more complete. Perhaps someone out there knows more about it. The little book is a priceless piece of George Washington that gives us a little known side of the man's character, and perhaps the greatest clue to his great strength as a leader. The book contained handwritten prayers. Mr. Henkels writes: "This gem is all in the handwriting of George Washington, when about twenty years old, and is, without exception, the most hallowed of all his writings. It is neatly written on twenty-four pages of a little book about the size of the ordinary pocket memorandum." The first page has the title "The Daily Sacrifice." The prayers were for Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Monday morning, Monday evening, Tuesday morning, Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. The manuscript ended not long after the prayers for Thursday morning had begun. Whether there had been more, or whether it just ended there, has never been determined, to my knowledge. But what is there is priceless! The prayer for Sunday morning is included in its entirety. Mr. W. E. Benjamin of New York purchased the manuscript for $1250.]

Have a great week.

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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