I have a book to highly recommend to you. I instagram this book, quote this book, and make statuses about this book constantly and people always ask what its from – well, I’ll tell you. Because some things are too good to be secrets.
But first a back story.
My Dad owns a lawn business and the day I was born my Mom had to call around to different costumer’s houses to tell him, since cell phones weren’t all the rage just yet. He ended up being at a woman’s house named Ms. Kileen. Ms. Kileen RAN out of her house and started excitedly screaming to my Dad that he needed to rush to the hospital because, hollla, lucky him was the new father of a beautiful baby girl (ahem). Ms. Kileen always remembered my birthday because of this and each year she would mail me a birthday present. Now, she’s a peach – truly the sweetest, but because she didn’t actively know me the presents were a little.. all over the place. In fact I think she was under the impression that I turned 7 at least nine years in a row because most 16 year olds don’t use fuzzy diaries. But it’s truly the thought that counts in this case and it was sweet every year. One year, maybe when I turned 18, she got me this book. It had one of those typical cheesy Christian book covers and it was called “A Diary of Private Payer”. I didn’t even open it up. I just added it to the mental list of gifts I had been given that I had no need for.
But my Mother darling opened it up. She opened it and I don’t think she has ever closed it. It quickly became one of her favorite books and eventually she bought me my own copy (I don’t think it was a coincidence that the cover on this second book was far more aesthetically pleasing and more my taste – she knows I’m shallow) maybe two years later. It is now, easily, one of my most prized books.
“May this day be for me a day of obedience and of charity, a day of happiness and of peace. May all my walk and conversation be such as becometh the gospel of Christ.”
It’s exactly what the title sounds like – it has a prayer for the morning and a prayer for the evening of every day of the month. It was written back in the 40’s by a scottish theologian named John Baillie but it’s age doesn’t at all mark against it. This book is just as applicable now as it was when it was written.
“Let every fleeting loveliness I see speak to me of a loveliness that does not fade.”
I’ve mentioned this book to many many people and sometimes people are very skeptical of using someone else’s prayers. They feel it lacks authenticity and frankly is lazy. Okay, calm down for a second. I completely agree that stalely reading prayers written by someone else is a waste of your time. Don’t for a moment think that substitutes personal prayer time with God. But, I have found it to be a beautiful aid when praying. Baillie is more a poet than a writer in this book – every page is more alluring than the one before it. I almost like to think of his prayers as prompts. His words open my mind up to many facets I wouldn’t normally have explored on my own and because of this I feel that a lot of the time my prayers thrive more so because of the state of mind I’m in. Are his words holy? No, he was a sinner like me. Does God like listening to beautiful prose far more than the fumbling prayer of someone struggling? No, not even a little bit. But if you like listening to beautiful prose written by a man so madly in love with God that he just has to write about it… get this book.
“Thou has willed it that through labour and pain I should walk in the upward way; be Thou then my fellow traveler as I go.”