A Prayer for My SonBasil Manly, Sr. (1831)
The following is taken from the journal of Basil Manly, Sr., whose son grew up to be one of the leading denominational statesmen of the 19th century among Southern Baptists. Among his many other duties, he served as a charter member of the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Saturday, Sept. 17. My little son (Basil) came to me this morning of his own accord and asked me to write him a prayer which he might say every night, in which he might pray for his Father and Mother and everybody that is anything to him.
From some conversations I have had with him lately (now between five and six years old) I am surprised and pleased at his knowledge of the nature of the gospel and think he certainly is occasionally impressed to some degree with their force.
O may the Lord smile upon the child -- early lead to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and employ him in thy service. My own desire is that he may early become a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, and may live to the glory of Him who loved us and gave himself for us.
The following is a copy of the little prayer which I wrote for him (in printed letters) according to his request.
O Almightly God, who art a Spirit, grant me thy Holy Spirit that I may worship thee in Spirit and in truth.
Forgive all my sins through the merits of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, who is my only Saviour. For his sake, grant me a new heart, make me Thy child, and keep me from all evil:
And do thou so guide my mind and ways, that I may serve and please thee all the days of my life.--
Have mercy, O Lord, on my Father, my Mother, and all my dear relations -- my teachers, and all my friends:
Keep them in life, in health, and in thy fear continually;
And when our mortal lives are ended, May we all meet in thy Kingdom above, to love and praise thee forever. --
These blessings with all other good things which thou seest I need, I humbly ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, who is worthy, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, to receive all the praise and glory, both now and forever. -- Amen.