Thursday morning August 18

Friday morning
Wednesday 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.


Away, My Needless Fears

Charles Wesley
Away, my needless fears
And doubts no longer mine!
A ray of heavenly light appears,
A messenger divine.

Thrice comfortable hope,
That calms my troubled breast;
My Father's hand prepares the cup,
And what he wills is best.

He knows whatever I want;
He sees my helplessness,
And always readier is to grant
Than I to ask his grace.

My fearful heart he reads,
Secures my soul from harms,
And underneath his mercy spreads
Its everlasting arms.

If what I wish is good,
And suits the will divine,
By earth and hell in vain withstood,
I know it shall be mine.

Here is firm footing; here,
My soul, is solid rock,
To break the waves of grief and fear,
And trouble's rudest shock:

This only can sustain
When earth and heaven remove:
O turn thee to thy rest again,
Thy God's eternal love!

Here then I doubt no more,
But in his pleasure rest,
Whose wisdom, love, and truth and power
Engage to make me blest.

Confession of sin

O King enthroned on high,
filling the earth with your glory:
holy is your name,
Lord God almighty.

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

In our sinfulness we cry to you
to take our guilt away,
and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw us to himself,
and cleanse us from all our sins
that we may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 113

From sunrise to sunset, let the Lord’s name be praised!

Praise the Lord!
    You who serve the Lord—praise!
    Praise the Lord’s name!
Let the Lord’s name be blessed
    from now until forever from now!
From sunrise to sunset,
    let the Lord’s name be praised!
The Lord is high over all the nations;
    God’s glory is higher than the skies!
Who could possibly compare to the Lord our God?
    God rules from on high;
    he has to come down to even see heaven and earth!
God lifts up the poor from the dirt
    and raises up the needy from the garbage pile
        to seat them with leaders—
        with the leaders of his own people!
    God nests the once barren woman at home—
        now a joyful mother with children!
Praise the Lord!

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.

From sunrise to sunset, let the Lord’s name be praised!

Psalm prayer

From sunrise to sunset,
we praise your name, Lord;
may your promise to raise the poor from the dust
and turn the fortunes of the needy upside down
be fulfilled in our time also,
as it was in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 115

The Lord remembers us and will bless us.

Not to us, Lord, not to us—
    no, but to your own name give glory
        because of your loyal love and faithfulness!

Why do the nations say,
    “Where’s their God now?”
Our God is in heaven—
    he can do whatever he wants!
Their idols are just silver and gold—
    things made by human hands.
    They have mouths, but they can’t speak.
    They have eyes, but they can’t see.
    They have ears, but they can’t hear.
    They have noses, but they can’t smell.
    They have hands, but they can’t feel.
    They have feet, but they can’t walk.
    They can’t even make a noise in their throats!
Let the people who made these idols
    and all who trust in them
    become just like them!

But you, Israel, trust in the Lord!
    God is their help and shield.
Trust in the Lord, house of Aaron!
    God is their help and shield.
You who honor the Lord, trust in the Lord!
    God is their help and shield.
The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
    God will bless the house of Israel;
    God will bless the house of Aaron;
God will bless those who honor the Lord—
    from the smallest to the greatest.

May the Lord add to your numbers—
    both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth!
The highest heaven belongs to the Lord,
    but he gave the earth to all people.
The dead don’t praise the Lord,
    nor do those who go down to silence.
But us? We will bless the Lord
    from now until forever from now!

Praise the Lord!

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.

The Lord remembers us and will bless us.

Psalm prayer

Living God,
defend us from the idols which our hearts enthrone,
that we may not go down into silence
but be raised to our heaven of heavens
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
2 Samuel 15:13-37

A messenger came to David, reporting, “The hearts of the Israelites have gone over to Absalom.” Then David told all the servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come on! We have to run for it, or we won’t be able to escape Absalom. Hurry, or he will catch up with us in no time, destroy us, and attack the city with the sword.”

The king’s servants said to him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our master the king decides.” So the king left, with his entire household following him, but he left ten secondary wives behind to take care of the palace.

So the king left, with all his people following him, and they stopped at the last house. All the king’s servants marched past him, as did all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath. The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you coming with us too? Go back! Stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner and an exile from your own country. You just got here yesterday. So today should I make you wander around with us while I go wherever I have to go? No. Go back, and take your relatives with you. May the Lord show you loyal love and faithfulness.”

But Ittai answered the king, “As surely as the Lord lives and as surely as my master the king lives, wherever my master the king may be, facing death or facing life, your servant will be there too.”

“Okay then,” David replied to Ittai. “Keep marching!”

So Ittai the Gittite and all of his men and all the little children with him marched past. The whole countryside cried loudly as all the troops marched past. The king crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the troops passed by on the Olive road into the wilderness.

Zadok was there too, along with all the Levites carrying the chest containing God’s covenant. They set God’s chest down, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the troops had finished marching out of the city. Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry God’s chest back into the city. If the Lord thinks well of me, then he will bring me back and let me see it and its home again. But if God says, ‘I’m not pleased with you,’ then I am ready. Let him do to me whatever pleases him.”

“Do you understand?” the king said to the priest Zadok. “Go back to the city in safety—you and Abiathar with your two sons, your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. I will be waiting in the desert plains until you send word telling me what to do.” So Zadok and Abiathar took God’s chest back to Jerusalem and stayed there.

But David, his head covered, walked barefoot up the slope of the Mount of Olives crying. All the people who were with him covered their heads too and cried as they went up. David was told that Ahithophel was also among the conspirators with Absalom, so he prayed, “Please, Lord, make Ahithophel’s advice foolish.”

When David came to the summit where people used to worship God, Hushai from Erek met him. Hushai’s clothes were ripped, and dirt was on his head. David said to him, “If you come with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘King, I am your servant! Please spare my life! I was your father’s servant in the past, but now I am your servant,’ then you can help me by countering Ahithophel’s advice. The priests Zadok and Abiathar will be with you there. So report everything you hear in the king’s palace to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. Their two sons, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan, are also there. Use them to report to me everything you hear.”

So David’s friend Hushai went into Jerusalem, just as Absalom was entering the city.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 9:32-43

After eating, he regained his strength.

He stayed with the disciples in Damascus for several days. Right away, he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues. “He is God’s Son,” he declared.

Everyone who heard him was baffled. They questioned each other, “Isn’t he the one who was wreaking havoc among those in Jerusalem who called on this name? Hadn’t he come here to take those same people as prisoners to the chief priests?”

But Saul grew stronger and stronger. He confused the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

After this had gone on for some time, the Jews hatched a plot to kill Saul. However, he found out about their scheme. They were keeping watch at the city gates around the clock so they could assassinate him. But his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the city wall.

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t believe he was really a disciple. Then Barnabas brought Saul to the apostles and told them the story about how Saul saw the Lord on the way and that the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them about the confidence with which Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. After this, Saul moved freely among the disciples in Jerusalem and was speaking with confidence in the name of the Lord. He got into debates with the Greek-speaking Jews as well, but they tried to kill him. When the family of believers learned about this, they escorted him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. God strengthened the church, and its life was marked by reverence for the Lord. Encouraged by the Holy Spirit, the church continued to grow in numbers.

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


Father, by your Spirit
Bring in your kingdom.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray
and to give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid
and giving us those good things
      which we are not worthy to ask
but through the merits and mediation
of 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.