Friday, September 30, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read: Romans 8:31-39 and Psalm 80:7-15

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” St. Paul gives one of his most stirring and beautiful passages here. He is sure that nothing can come between us and God’s love. No matter how far we have fallen, God is always ready to pick us back up, dust us off, and go back to leading us toward perfection.

The first part of today’s reading is also a source for hope. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Look back over the things we have covered this week. Sometimes God asks us to do things that seem to be daunting. But if God is for us, who can be against us? God didn’t even spare his own Son. That’s how much importance God places on taking care of his people.

How can you be a conduit of God’s love? In what ways can you show the people in your community that God loves them? Ask God to show you. You may find the following prayer helpful:

God, give us hope, that we might remain faithful. Give us peace, that we might hear you. Give us grace, that we might do all you command. Give us love, that we might shine your light to all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Thursday

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read: Exodus 23:1-9 and Psalm 80:7-15

Today we read God’s commandments about social justice. God expects us to treat others fairly and to attack injustice. We are to be pure, not taking bribes or getting involved in falsehoods or perverting justice.

What are some ways you can apply this to your life and ministry? Ask God to help you see some ways to put this into practice. Write your own prayer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Wednesday

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read: Matthew 9:2-8 and Psalm 28

Jesus was impressed with the faith of the man and his friends. “Your sins are forgiven you,” he said. His listeners didn’t like that, however. “A blasphemer,” they muttered. But by doing this, Jesus was making an important point. In Jewish thought, a man could not be healed of his infirmities until his sins were blotted out. Normally, that required a trip to the temple and some sacrifices. However, Jesus simply spoke forgiveness to the man. Jesus was making the point that he was God, and that he could and would forgive sins.

Next Jesus told him to take up his bed and walk. Not only was the man forgiven, but he was also restored. After that, the people who saw it were amazed. Who was this guy that he could forgive sins and heal the lame?

Take a few moments to pray about how you can continue Jesus’ ministry in your community. You may find the following prayer helpful:

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us with in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, might bring those that do not know you into the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Tuesday

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Purity:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read: Philippians 1:15-21 and Psalm 28

Imagine putting your own life aside to the extend St. Paul did. Imagine counting martyrdom as a reward. To be beheaded surely isn’t a treat, is it? And yet Paul writes that if he lives it will be in Christ, and if he dies it will be a reward.
Take some time to pray about this. Would you give your life for Jesus? Would you follow him to the cross? Or would you betray him along the way, like Peter did? Ask God to help you give your whole self over to him. Write your own prayer.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Saturday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Read: Mark 11:27-33 and Psalm 25:1-9

Jesus pulls no punches when going after the Pharisees.  The day before this takes place, Jesus was in the temple and became angry at all of the traders and moneychangers.  He took a whip and started flipping tables, beating people, and driving them out.  “My house shall be a house of prayer!” he roared.  “You’ve gone and made it a den of thieves!”  He wasn’t exactly meek and mild at that moment.

The Pharisees were not too pleased with all this.  They came to him the next morning and demanded to know by whose authority he had done this.  But Jesus was too smart to be caught in their trap.  “Let me ask you a question first.  By whose authority did John baptize?”  Having been caught in their own trap, the Pharisees had to withdraw. “We don’t know.”  Jesus’ response probably was quietly spoken: “Then I’m not answering your question.”

Sometimes Jesus comes in and cleans house.  Sometimes he gets rather violent with it, flipping our tables, hitting us with a whip, driving us out.  Sometimes he has to do drastic things in order to get our attention.  Jesus knows that sometimes we have to have our cage rattled in order to see how deeply we’ve messed up.  But then we demand to know why he’s done it.

Sometimes Jesus shakes up the status quo.  He doesn’t have to answer to us, because he is the king.  He doesn’t have to explain himself to us.  But he does it, not out of hatred or vindictiveness, but out of his extreme love for us.  Sometimes he has to pull our chains before we’ll listen to him.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.


Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Ezekiel 18:5-18 and Psalm 25:1-9

The prophet Ezekiel was a contemporary of Jeremiah and Daniel, and was among the first 3,000 Jews to be exiled to Babylon.  Tradition holds that he was the one that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came to in order to ask what to do about Nebucchadnezzer’s order to worship the golden idol (Daniel 3).

God wants us to live righteously.  He wants us to treat others with respect and love.  He wants us to avoid evil, and to do good.  Ezekiel prophesies that if we will do these things, we will find life.  On the other hand, if we live a life of evil, harming others, living from selfishness instead of love, doing evil things to each other, we will not find life, but death.  Further, if a father is evil but his son is righteous, the son will find life, but his father will not.  This is significant because of the Jewish idea that the sins of the father are visited out on his children as far as three or four generations (Exodus 20:4, et. al.).

Do you live righteously?  Or do you live selfishly?  T ake some time to think about this.  Ask God to help you live right before him.  Ask him to show you where you’ve failed.  You may find the following prayer helpful:
Merciful God, you have commanded us in your word to follow your commands and to live at peace with you and with one another: Grant us grace that we might live righteously before you, so that we might find life and peace instead of death and turmoil; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Thursday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: James 4:11-16 and Psalm 25:1-9
St. James is usually pretty direct.  Today’s passage goes along well with the other things we’ve been thinking about this week.  Don’t speak evil about each other.  Do not judge.  Remember that you cannot know the future.

Take a few moments to think about this.  Are you guilty of any of the things James warns about?  What do you need to do differently?  Ask God to forgive you and help you.  Write your own prayer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Wednesday

St. Matthew, Evangelist and Apostle
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.


Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Proverbs 3:1-6, Psalm 119:33-40, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, and Matthew 9:9-13

Tax collectors were the lowest of the low.  Lower even than people who took care of hogs.  Lower than Roman soldiers.  Tax collectors were traitors, people who had contracted with the hated Romans to collect taxes from their own people.  The ability to charge whatever they wanted was soon abused.


Jesus called Matthew (also known as Levi) away from his lucrative racket.  He followed Jesus throughout his ministry, to the cross, and was present in the upper room on Pentecost.  From there, tradition holds that he preached in Judea for about fifteen years before going to Ethiopia.  At some point in his ministry he wrote the Gospel, speaking as a Jew to other Jews, and presenting Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.  We are not sure where or how he died, but tradition holds that he was martyred for his faith.

Take a few moments to pray about St. Matthew.  How can his life be an example to yours?  You may find the following prayer helpful:

We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Tuesday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Read: Matthew 18:1-5 and Psalm 106:1-12

Jesus told his disciples that they had to convert and become as small children.  Too often we choose to act as small children, pitching a temper tantrum whenever we don’t get our way at church.  We think that everything is supposed to revolve around us, completely forgetting the fact that the whole entire reason for having a church in the first place is to do God’s will, not our own.  That’s what clubs are for.

One has to wonder if the reason so many churches are in decline these days is because God has them on time out for misbehaving.  We seem to think that we can get things our way just by withholding our tithes (or earmarking them away from the pastor’s salary), or by not paying our apportionments, or by talking about Sister Bertha behind her back.  The thing is, God is not amused.  Jesus was pretty adamant that the Church’s job is to make disciples, not a ruckus.

Jesus told his disciples, good Jewish boys, that they had to convert and become like a small child.  What he meant was that the old way of doing things wouldn’t work anymore.  Just simply giving lip service or doing things because they’d always done them that way wouldn’t cut the mustard.  Instead, we are to have a child-like faith in God.  Children have very strong faith.  Ever try to convince a child that Santa Claus isn’t real?  Children are also more open to seeing things that adults miss.  For instance, children sometimes report having seen angels in various places.  Perhaps their eyes are open in a way that life in the world closes as we grow older and less innocent.

Take some time to pray about this.  Are you guilty of throwing a temper tantrum because you didn’t get your way?  Do you try to make church into your own image? Ask God to help you to become like a small child so you can enter the kingdom of God.  Write your own prayer.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Monday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
 

Read: Romans 16:1-16 and Psalm 106:1-12

While today’s reading has little practical application to life for most of us, it is still important.  It is clear from reading this that St. Paul considered certain women to be fellow apostles and church leaders.  While there are many people who believe strongly that women have no place in church leadership, evidence of the early Church suggests otherwise.  Paul relied on the leadership of many women in the local churches which he planted as he moved throughout the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Methodists have been affirming the ordination of women since the 1920s, in the Methodist Episcopal Church.  In 1939, the MEC joined with the Methodist Protestant Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South to form The Methodist Church.  Women were not ordained after the merger until 1956, when the General Conference voted to give women full clergy rights and benefits.  Today the UMC has over 8,500 women serving as deacons, elders, and bishops.

Some people believe that women should not be ordained.  If this is your belief, take a few moments to consider why.  Is it just because you’ve always believed this?  Is it because of your interpretation of certain Bible verses?  Ask God to help you see clearly in this matter.  Whatever your belief about the ordination of women may be, take care that you do not throw rocks at those who believe differently from you.  Take a few moments to pray for the clergywomen in our Annual Conference.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Sunday

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloud.  Parts in bold are spoken by all.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."     John 8:12

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.


Psalm 145:1-8
1     I will exalt you, O God my King, *
    and bless your Name for ever and ever.

2     Every day will I bless you *
    and praise your Name for ever and ever.

3     Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *
    there is no end to his greatness.

4     One generation shall praise your works to another *
    and shall declare your power.

5     I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty *
    and all your marvelous works.

6     They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *
    and I will tell of your greatness.

7     They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *
    they shall sing of your righteous deeds.

8     The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, *
    slow to anger and of great kindness.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Jonah 3:10—4:11, Philippians 1:21-30, and Matthew 20:1-16.

Glory to God (Gloria in excelsis)

Glory to God in the highest,
    and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
    we worship you, we give you thanks,
    we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
    have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
    receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
    Jesus Christ,
    with the Holy Spirit,
    in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.

Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

Lord God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ triumphed over the powers of death and prepared for us our place in the new Jerusalem: Grant that we, who have this day given thanks for his resurrection, may praise you in that City of which he is the light, and where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

The leader says one or more of the following prayers:
A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for Protection


O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Collect for the Presence of Christ
Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.
A Collect for Mission

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.
The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.    Ephesians 3:20,21

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Saturday

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloud.  Parts in bold are spoken by all.

Seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth: The Lord is his name.    Amos 5:8

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.


Psalm 145:1-8
1     I will exalt you, O God my King, *
    and bless your Name for ever and ever.

2     Every day will I bless you *
    and praise your Name for ever and ever.

3     Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *
    there is no end to his greatness.

4     One generation shall praise your works to another *
    and shall declare your power.

5     I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty *
    and all your marvelous works.

6     They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *
    and I will tell of your greatness.

7     They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *
    they shall sing of your righteous deeds.

8     The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, *
    slow to anger and of great kindness.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying
A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Zephaniah 2:13-15 and Matthew 19:23-30.

The Song of Zechariah (Benedictus Dominus Deus) Luke 1: 68-79

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
    he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
    born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old, that he would save us from our enemies, *
    from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
    and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, *
    to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear, *
    holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation *
    by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
    the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the  shadow of death, *
    and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.

Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship on the morrow give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The leader says one or more of the following prayers:

A Collect for Peace
Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Collect for Mission


Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving


Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.     Romans 15:13

Morning Prayer Guide - Saturday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Read: Matthew 19:23-30 and Psalm 145:1-8

We alluded to today’s passage on Wednesday.  Jesus tells his disciples that stuff gets in the way of being a disciple.  We get so attached to our stuff that when Jesus calls on us to lay it aside, we go sadly go away, just like the rich young ruler.  We get so attached to stuff that we twist the message of the Gospel into a get rich quick scheme.

When we work diligently to obey God, when we remain faithful to his calling, when we work to bless others while giving no thought to repayment, when we love fiercely, remain in prayer, show hospitality, and build up others with our gifts, and when we have a servant’s heart, then God will reward us.  But the reward should not be our motivation.  The calling itself should be.

Seek to live a lifestyle of servanthood.  Never be above doing the most menial of tasks.  Always follow God’s leading.  There will be times when you must be vigilant that the evil one does not lead you astray, even with things that seem to be good.  There will be other times when you want to do one thing, but God wants you to do another.  Give up your agenda and take Christ’s.  You may find the following prayer helpful:
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Friday

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloudParts in bold are spoken by all.

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall.    Psalm 16:7,8

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.


Psalm 145:1-8
1     I will exalt you, O God my King, *
    and bless your Name for ever and ever.

2     Every day will I bless you *
    and praise your Name for ever and ever.

3     Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *
    there is no end to his greatness.

4     One generation shall praise your works to another *
    and shall declare your power.

5     I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty *
    and all your marvelous works.

6     They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *
    and I will tell of your greatness.

7     They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *
    they shall sing of your righteous deeds.

8     The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, *
    slow to anger and of great kindness.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Nahum 2:3-13 and 2 Corinthians 13:5-10.

A Song of Penitence (Kyrie Pantokrator) Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
    God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
    and of all their righteous offspring:

You made the heavens and the earth, *
    with all their vast array.

All things quake with fear at your presence; *
    they tremble because of your power.

But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
    it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.

O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
    long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.

You hold back your hand; *
    you do not punish as we deserve.

In your great goodness, Lord, you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
    that they may repent of their sin and be saved.

And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
    and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.

I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
    and I know my wickedness only too well.

Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
    Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.

Do not let me perish in my sin, *
    nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.

For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
    and in me you will show forth your goodness.

Unworthy as I am, you will save me, in accordance with your great mercy, *
    and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.

For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
    and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies' sake. Amen.

The leader says one or more of the following prayers:

A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Collect for Mission


Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.


Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following


May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.     Romans 15:13

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: 2 Corinthians 13:5-10 and Psalm 145:1-8

Are you in the faith?  Test yourself.  Are you really following Jesus, or are you just pretending?  It is easy to grow tired and just sit down.  It is easy to give lip service to being a disciple while going through the motions.  We even manage to deceive ourselves into thinking that a whole list of things is what God wants when actually he doesn’t want us to do those things at all.

Have you given up?  Do you do all that you can do to be a good disciple?  Do you put your self aside and take up your cross daily?  Take some time to talk to God about this.  You may find the following prayer helpful:

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name.  Amen.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Thursday

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloud.  Parts in bold are spoken by all.
Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.    Psalm 74:15,16

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.


Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.


Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.


Psalm 145:1-8
1     I will exalt you, O God my King, *
    and bless your Name for ever and ever.

2     Every day will I bless you *
    and praise your Name for ever and ever.

3     Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *
    there is no end to his greatness.

4     One generation shall praise your works to another *
    and shall declare your power.

5     I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty *
    and all your marvelous works.

6     They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *
    and I will tell of your greatness.

7     They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *
    they shall sing of your righteous deeds.

8     The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, *
    slow to anger and of great kindness.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Nahum 1:1, 14-2:2 and 2 Corinthians 13:1-4.

A Song of Praise (Benedictus es, Domine) Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34


Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
    you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of you holy Name; *
    we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you in the splendor of you temple; *
    on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
    we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
    in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
    we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.

Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

The leader says one or more of the following prayers:

A Collect for Peace


Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Collect for Mission

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.    2 Corinthians 13:14

Morning Prayer Guide - Thursday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Mark 11:20-25 and Psalm 145:1-8

The “I believe I receive” movement, also known as the “prosperity Gospel”, has done a great disservice to the Church.  Certain preachers who have television programs and write books on the subject have completely missed what Jesus was saying in this passage and have built a whole theology around getting rich quick.  This is a dangerous way to make a living, because it’s based on something that Jesus didn’t actually say.

For starters, Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 19 that it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  He also told people to sell all they had, give the money to the poor, and to come and follow him.  So the idea that Jesus was all about getting rich fast has no basis in Jesus’ own practice.

Second, this passage is about listening and obeying.  Jesus told his listeners that the withered fig tree was nothing.  “Have faith in God,” he replied.  If we have faith, just a little bit, we can tell a mountain to move into the ocean and it will happen.

But here’s the rub: Faith is obedience.  Not presumption.  If God tells us to tell the mountain to move, it will move.  But if we just decide on our own to believe the mountain will move, then we better get out our shovels – it’s going nowhere.  God is not obligated to give us every wish and whim.  He is not going to move if we think up something (a new car, a new house, a new boat, etc.) and then say “I believe I receive!”  The kingdom doesn’t operate that way.  God will move when we are obedient to his commands, not when we think up some new magic trick for him to do.  What’s more, when we pray, we should forgive those who have wronged us, so that God can forgive us for our wrongdoings.  We’re too quick to leave that part off.

Take a few moments to think about this.  Are you guilty of using this passage the wrong way?  Ask God to forgive you.  Write your own prayer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Wednesday

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloud.  Parts in bold are spoken by all.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.    Philippians 1:2

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.


Psalm 133
1     Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *
    when brethren live together in unity!

2     It is like fine oil upon the head *
    that runs down upon the beard,

3     Upon the beard of Aaron, *
    and runs down upon the collar of his robe.

4     It is like the dew of Hermon *
    that falls upon the hills of Zion.

5     For there the LORD has ordained the blessing: *
    life for evermore.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Genesis 50:22-26 and Mark 11:20-25.

The First Song of Isaiah (Ecce, Deus), Isaiah 12:2-6


Surely, it is God who saves me; *
    I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
    and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
    from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
    Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
    see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
    and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
    for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

The leader says one or more of the following prayers:
A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.
A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for Protection


O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Collect for Mission

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving


Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following


Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.    Ephesians 3:20,21

Morning Prayer Guide - Wednesday

Holy Cross Day

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.


Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Isaiah 45:21-25, Psalm 98, Philippians 2:5-11, and John 12:31-36a

Holy Cross Day is one of several celebrations throughout the year which focus on the cross itself.  This is the oldest one, dating back to ad335.  Legend has it that St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, discovered pieces of the true cross in Jerusalem while she was on a pilgrimage there.  A church was built on the spot, and nine years later it was dedicated on September 13th, 335.  The next day, the relics were brought out of the church so people could pray before the true cross. This is the basis for the holiday.

While it is doubtful that the legend is true, Holy Cross Day does give us an opportunity to consider Christ’s work on the cross as a part of our salvation.  Without the cross, the resurrection is meaningless, and without the resurrection, the cross is just another tool of torture.  Further, when we allow life with all its sickness, suffering, and excuses to interfere with our walk with Jesus, we crucify Him all over again.

Jesus calls to us from the cross, “Follow me.”  Will you?

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Tuesday

Eve of Holy Cross Day

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloudParts in bold are spoken by all.

Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.    Psalm 141:2

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.


Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.


Psalm 133
1     Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *
    when brethren live together in unity!

2     It is like fine oil upon the head *
    that runs down upon the beard,

3     Upon the beard of Aaron, *
    and runs down upon the collar of his robe.

4     It is like the dew of Hermon *
    that falls upon the hills of Zion.

5     For there the LORD has ordained the blessing: *
    life for evermore.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Isaiah 45:21-25, Philippians 2:5-11, and John 12:31-36a.
 

The Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis), Luke 2:29-32
Lord, you now have set your servant free *
    to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
    whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
    and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

The leader says one or more of the following prayers:


A Collect for Peace


Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils


Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for Protection


O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Collect for Mission


Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.


Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following


May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.     Romans 15:13

Morning Prayer Guide - Tuesday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Read: Romans 14:13-15:2 and Psalm 133

St. Paul writes that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (v. 16).  He tells us that we should not be too worried about following the Mosaic laws on food, but that we also should not cause a brother or sister to stumble because of what we eat.  If we have a guest to dinner whom we know doesn’t eat pork for religious reasons, we should not serve pork.

This is not so much of a problem these days.  However, the principle is a good one.  For instance, some people drink a little wine or beer because they enjoy the taste.  Others drink because they like the “buzz” of alcohol.  Still others choose not to drink at all.  We should not judge those who drink moderately and safely.  Those who regularly drink to excess should not be judged, but helped.  If we are with someone who is a recovering alcoholic, we should be sensitive to that person’s needs and not drink an alcoholic beverage.  However, those of us who choose not to drink should not judge those who do.

How else might Paul’s exhortation be applied?  Have you judged others for doing or eating or drinking things that you chose not to do?  Take a few moments to pray about this.  Ask God to help you.  Write your own prayer.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Monday

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloud.  Parts in bold are spoken by all.

Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.    Psalm 74:15,16

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.


Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)
O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.


Psalm 133
1     Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *
    when brethren live together in unity!

2     It is like fine oil upon the head *
    that runs down upon the beard,

3     Upon the beard of Aaron, *
    and runs down upon the collar of his robe.

4     It is like the dew of Hermon *
    that falls upon the hills of Zion.

5     For there the LORD has ordained the blessing: *
    life for evermore.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying
A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Genesis 48:8-22 and Hebrews 11:23-29.

The Song of Mary (Magnificat), Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
    for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
    the Almighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
    in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
    he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
    and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
    for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
    to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

The leader says one or more of the following prayers:

A Collect for Peace


Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Collect for Mission

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.
The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.  Amen.    2 Corinthians 13:14

Morning Prayer Guide - Monday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity:

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Hebrews 11:23-29 and Psalm 133

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is commonly called the “faith hall of fame”.  In our passage today, the author is writing about how Moses was obedient to God’s leading through his life.  Faith is obedience: Looking into the spiritual dimension to see what God says about a matter and then doing your part.  By faith Moses did these things; faith is Moses listening to God and obeying him.

How is your faith?  Have you done all that God has asked you to do?  Ask God to help you with this.  Everyone gets tired and distracted.  God gives us grace to remain focused and on task.  You may find the following prayer helpful:

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Saturday

Read: Matthew 20:20-28 and Psalm 103:8-13

So you want to be great, eh? Well, then you’ve got to be the servant of all. Today’s reading fits in nicely with yesterday, and the entire week. When we work diligently to obey God, when we remain faithful to his calling, when we work to bless others while giving no thought to repayment, when we love fiercely, remain in prayer, show hospitality, and build up others with our gifts, and when we have a servant’s heart, then God will reward us. But the reward should not be our motivation. The calling itself should be. Seek to live a lifestyle of servanthood. Never be above doing the most menial of tasks. Always follow God’s leading. There will be times when you must be vigilant that the evil one does not lead you astray, even with things that seem to be good. There will be other times when you want to do one thing, but God wants you to do another. Give up your agenda and take Christ’s. You may find the following prayer helpful:
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.