I recently bought a used book entitled "George Washington: The Christian," by William J. Johnston. It is an old book, first published in 1919...but filled with riches. It basically traces textual and personal evidence of the deep faith of George Washington. Hopefully I'll share more on this subject later, but I'll just say this for now: I've been stirred, powerfully challenged the life of Washington -- a life of such deep discipline, faith and commitment that I've seldom seen among living men. Here, for this evening, is a prayer from his journal entitled, "Tuesday evening." Perhaps it will reach your soul as it [and others] reached mine...
Prayer for Tuesday evening
From the journal pages of George Washington
Most gracious God and heavenly Father, we cannot cease, but must cry unto thee for mercy, because my sins cry against me for justice. How shall I address myself unto thee, I must with the publican stand and admire at thy great goodness, tender mercy, and long suffering towards me, in that thou hast kept me the past day from being consumed and brought to naught. O Lord, what is man, or the son of man, that thou regardest him; the more days pass over my head, the more sins and iniquities I heap up against thee. If I should cast up the account of my good deeds done this day, how few and small would they be; but if I should reckon my miscarriages, surely they would be many and great. O, blessed Father, let thy Son's blood wash me from all impurities, and cleanse me from the stains of sin that are upon me. Give me grace to lay hold upon his merits; that they may be my reconciliation and atonement unto thee, -- That I may know my sins are forgiven by his death & passion. Embrace me in the arms of thy mercy; vouchsafe to receive me unto the bosom of thy love, shadow me with thy wings, that I may safely rest under thy protection this night; and so into thy hands I commend myself, both soul and body, in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ, beseeching Thee, when this life shall end, I may take my everlasting rest with thee in thy heavenly kingdom. Bless all in authority over us, be merciful to all those afflicted with thy cross or calamity, bless all my friends, forgive my enemies and accept my thanksgiving this evening for all the mercies and favors afforded me; hear and graciously answer these my requests, and whatever else thou see'st needful grant us, for the sake of Jesus Christ in whose blessed name and words I continue 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 trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever.