John Baillie: “My First Thought”
John Baillie (1886-1960) was born in Scotland. He was a professor, theologian, and author. I first became aquainted with him through his little book A Diary of Private Prayer. My good friend, Chris Bullard, and I were in Steele’s Christian Bookstore (used books) in Kansas City where our family was living at the time. We were browsing through the store when Chris found a copy of Baillie’s work. "This is a great book," he said. He already owned a copy. I purchased it upon his recommendation and have enjoyed it for many years.
The following is an excerpt from A Diary of Private Prayer:
Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of You, let my first impulse be to worship You, let my first speech be Your name, let my first action be to kneel before You in prayer.
For Your perfect wisdom and perfect goodness:
For the love with which You love mankind:
For the love with which You love me:
For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life:
For the indwelling of your Spirit in my heart:
For the sevenfold gifts of your Spirit:
I praise and worship You, O Lord.
Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said, think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of You. Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day;
Keeping me chaste in thought:
Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech:
Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work:
Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself:
Keeping me honorable and generous in my dealings with others:
Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past:
Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Yours.
Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.
(Taken from Richard Foster’s Devotional Classics, pp. 126-127.)