VIII. On the Lordís day, after every one of the family apart, and the whole family together, have sought the Lord (in whose hands the preparation of menís hearts are) to fit them for the public worship, and to bless to them the publick ordinances, the master of the family ought to take care that all within his charge repair [go customarily] to the publick worship, that he and they may join with the rest of the congregation: and the publick worship being finished, after prayer, he should take an account what they have heard; and thereafter, to spend the rest of the time which they may spare in catechising, and in spiritual conferences upon the word of God: or else (going apart) they ought to apply themselves to reading, meditation, and secret prayer, that they may confirm and increase their communion with God: that so the profit which they found in the publick ordinance may be cherished and promoved [promoted], and they more edified unto eternal life.
IX. So many as can conceive prayer, ought to make use of that gift of God; albeit those who are rude and weaker may begin at a set form of prayers but so as they be not sluggish in stirring up in themselves (according to their daily necessities) the spirit of prayer, which is given to all the children of God some measure to which effect they ought to be more fervent and frequent in secret prayer to God, for enabling of their hearts to conceive, and their tongues to express, convenient [fitting] desires to God for their family. And, in the meantime, for their greater encouragement, let these materials of prayer be meditated upon, and made use of, as followeth.
"Let them confess to God how unworthy they are to come in his presence, and how unfit to worship his Majesty; and therefore earnestly ask of God the spirit of prayer.
"They are to confess their sins, and the sins of the family; accusing, judging, and condemning themselves for them, till they bring their soul to some measure of true humiliation.
"They are to pour out their soul to God, in the name of Christ, by the Spirit, for forgiveness of sins; for grace to repent, to believe, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly; and that they may serve God with joy and delight, walking before him.
"They are to give thanks to God for his many mercies to his people, and to themselves, and especially for his love in Christ, and for the light of the gospel.
"They are to pray for such particular benefits, spiritual and temporal, as they stand in need of for the time, (whether it be morning or evening,) as anent [when facing] health or sickness, prosperity or adversity.
"They ought to pray for the kirk of Christ in general, for all the reformed kirks, and for this kirk in particular, and for all that suffer for the name of Christ; for all our superiors, the kingís majesty, the queen, and their children; for the magistrates, ministers, and the whole body of the congregation whereof they are members, as well for their neighbors absent in their lawful affairs, as for those that are at home.
"The prayer may be closed with an earnest desire that God may be glorified in the coming of the kingdom of his Son, and in doing of his will, and with assurance that themselves are accepted, and what they have asked according to his will shall be done."
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