Wednesday morning August 3

Thursday morning
Tuesday morning


Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God, creator of all,
to you be glory and praise forever.
You founded the earth in the beginning
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image,
and in these last days you have spoken to us
in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
As we rejoice in the gift of your presence among us
let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
your Spirit ever renew our lives
and your praises ever be on our lips.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


A Stranger in the World Below

Charles Wesley
A stranger in the world below,
I calmly sojourn here;
Nor can its happiness or woe
Provoke my hope or fear;
Its evils in a moment end;
Its joys as soon are past;
But O, the bliss to which I tend
Eternally shall last!

To that Jerusalem above,
With singing I repair;
While in the flesh, my hope and love,
My heart and soul are there.
There my exalted Savior stands,
My merciful High Priest;
And still extends his wounded hands
To take me to his breast.

Confession of sin

When we cry out to the Lord in our distress,
he will save us from our desperate circumstances.

God will bring us out of darkness
and out of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

May the Father forgive us
by the death of his Son
and strengthen us
to live in the power of the Spirit
all our days.

Let us thank the Lord for his faithful love,
and his wondrous works for all people.

Let us offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and declare what God has done in songs of joy.

cf Psalm 107

The Word of God

Psalm 77

God, your way is holiness!

I cry out loud to God—
    out loud to God so that he can hear me!
During the day when I’m in trouble I look for my Lord.
    At night my hands are still outstretched and don’t grow numb;
        my whole being refuses to be comforted.
I remember God and I moan.
    I complain, and my spirit grows tired. 
You’ve kept my eyelids from closing.
    I’m so upset I can’t even speak.
I think about days long past;
    I remember years that seem an eternity in the past.
I meditate with my heart at night;
    I complain, and my spirit keeps searching:
“Will my Lord reject me forever?
    Will he never be pleased again?
Has his faithful love come to a complete end?
    Is his promise over for future generations?
Has God forgotten how to be gracious?
    Has he angrily stopped up his compassion?” 
It’s my misfortune, I thought,
    that the strong hand of the Most High is different now.
But I will remember the Lord’s deeds;
    yes, I will remember your wondrous acts from times long past.
I will meditate on all your works;
    I will ponder your deeds.
God, your way is holiness!
    Who is as great a god as you, God?
You are the God who works wonders;
    you have demonstrated your strength among all peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people;
    redeemed the children of Jacob and Joseph. 
The waters saw you, God—
    the waters saw you and reeled!
        Even the deep depths shook!
The clouds poured water,
    the skies cracked thunder;
        your arrows were flying all around!
The crash of your thunder was in the swirling storm;
    lightning lit up the whole world;
        the earth shook and quaked.
Your way went straight through the sea;
    your pathways went right through the mighty waters.
        But your footprints left no trace!
You led your people like sheep
    under the care of Moses and Aaron.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

God, your way is holiness!

Psalm prayer

God our shepherd,
you led us and saved us in times of old;
do not forget your people in their troubles,
but raise up your power
to sustain the poor and helpless;
for the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
1 Samuel 28:3-25

Now Samuel had died, and all Israel mourned him and buried him in Ramah, his hometown. And Saul had banned all mediums and diviners from the land.

The Philistines gathered their forces and advanced to camp at Shunem. Saul gathered all Israel, and they camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was so afraid that his heart beat wildly. When Saul questioned the Lord, the Lord didn’t answer him—not by dreams, not by the Urim, and not by the prophets. So Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who communicates with ghosts! I’ll then go to her and ask by using her techniques.”

“There is such a medium in En-dor,” his servants replied.

So Saul disguised himself, dressing in different clothes. Then he and two men set out, going to the woman at nighttime.

“Please call up a ghost for me! Bring me the one I specify,” Saul said.

“Listen,” the woman said to him, “you know what Saul has done, how he has banned all mediums and diviners from the land. What are you doing? Trying to get me killed?”

But Saul promised to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you won’t get into trouble for this.”

So the woman said, “Who do you want me to bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed at Saul, “Why have you tricked me? You are Saul!”

“Don’t be afraid!” the king said to her. “What do you see?”

The woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up from the ground.”

“What does he look like?” Saul asked her.

“An old man is coming up,” she said. “He’s wrapped in a robe.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed low out of respect, nose to the ground.

“Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Samuel asked Saul.

“I’m in deep trouble!” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has turned away from me and no longer answers me by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what I should do.”

“Why do you ask me,” Samuel said, “since the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy? The Lord has done to you exactly what he spoke through me: The Lord has ripped the kingdom out of your hands and has given it to your friend David. The Lord has done this very thing to you today because you didn’t listen to the Lord’s voice and didn’t carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites. The Lord will now hand over both you and Israel to the Philistines. And come tomorrow, you and your sons will be with me! The Lord will hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.”

Saul immediately fell full length on the ground, utterly terrified at what Samuel had said. He was weak because he hadn’t eaten anything all day or night. The woman approached Saul, and after seeing how scared he was, she said, “Listen, your servant has obeyed you. I risked my life and did what you told me to do. Now it’s your turn to listen to me, your servant. Let me give you a bit of food. Eat it, then you’ll have the strength to go on your way.”

But Saul refused. “I can’t eat!” he said. But his servants and the woman urged him to do so, and so he did. He got up off the ground and sat on a couch. The woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly butchered it. She took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread. She served this to Saul and his servants, and they ate. They got up and left that very night.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 4:1-12

The council was caught by surprise by the confidence with which Peter and John spoke. After all, they understood that these apostles were uneducated and inexperienced. They also recognized that they had been followers of Jesus. However, since the healed man was standing with Peter and John before their own eyes, they had no rebuttal. After ordering them to wait outside, the council members began to confer with each other. “What should we do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem is aware of the sign performed through them. It’s obvious to everyone and we can’t deny it. To keep it from spreading further among the people, we need to warn them not to speak to anyone in this name.” When they called Peter and John back, they demanded that they stop all speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus.

Peter and John responded, “It’s up to you to determine whether it’s right before God to obey you rather than God. As for us, we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” They threatened them further, then released them. Because of public support for Peter and John, they couldn’t find a way to punish them. Everyone was praising God for what had happened, because the man who had experienced this sign of healing was over 40 years old.

After their release, Peter and John returned to the brothers and sisters and reported everything the chief priests and elders had said. They listened, then lifted their voices in unison to God, “Master, you are the one who created the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. You are the one who spoke by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant:

Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth took their stand
    and the rulers gathered together as one
    against the Lord and against his Christ.

Indeed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with Gentiles and Israelites, did gather in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and plan had already determined would happen. Now, Lord, take note of their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with complete confidence. Stretch out your hand to bring healing and enable signs and wonders to be performed through the name of Jesus, your holy servant.” After they prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking God’s word with confidence.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Lord, you have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued
from the power of our enemies
so that we could serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes,
for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Lord, you have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

Brief silence.

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


In faith we pray
We pray to you, our God.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Let your merciful ears, Lord, 
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.       

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life.