Thursday morning September 15

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.


Light of Those Whose Dreary Dwelling

Charles Wesley
Light of those whose dreary dwelling
Borders on the shades of death,
Come, and by thy love's revealing
Dissipate the clouds beneath.

The new heaven and earth's Creator,
In our deepest darkness rise,
Scattering all the night of nature,
Pouring eyesight on our eyes.

Still we wait for thine appearing;
Life and joy thy beams impart,
Chasing all our fears, and cheering
Every poor benighted heart.

Come, and manifest the favor
God hath for our ransomed race;
Come, thou universal Savior,
Come, and bring the gospel grace.

Save us in thy great compassion,
O thou mild, pacific Prince;
Give the knowledge of salvation,
Give the pardon of our sins.

By thine all restoring merit
Every burdened soul release;
Every weary, wandering spirit
Guide into thy perfect peace.

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 56

I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.

God, have mercy on me because I’m being trampled.
    All day long the enemy oppresses me.
My attackers trample me all day long
    because I have so many enemies.
Exalted one, whenever I’m afraid,
    I put my trust in you—
        in God, whose word I praise.
        I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.
    What can mere flesh do to me?
All day long they frustrate my pursuits;
    all their thoughts are evil against me.
They get together and set an ambush—
    they are watching my steps,
    hoping for my death.
Don’t rescue them for any reason!
    In wrath bring down the people, God!
You yourself have kept track of my misery.
    Put my tears into your bottle—
    aren’t they on your scroll already?
Then my enemies will retreat when I cry out.
    I know this because God is mine.
    God: whose word I praise.
        The Lord: whose word I praise.
I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.
    What can anyone do to me?
I will fulfill my promises to you, God.
    I will present thanksgiving offerings to you
    because you have saved my life from death,
    saved my feet from stumbling
        so that I can walk before God in the light of life.

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.

I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.

Psalm prayer

Faithful God,
your deliverance is nearer than we know;
free us from fear
and help us to find courage in your Word,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 57

Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Have mercy on me, God;
    have mercy on me
    because I have taken refuge in you.
    I take refuge
    in the shadow of your wings
        until destruction passes by.
I call out to God Most High—
    to God, who comes through for me.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me,
    rebukes the one who tramples me.
        God sends his loyal love and faithfulness.
My life is in the middle of a pack of lions.
    I lie down among those who devour humans.
        Their teeth are spears and arrows;
        their tongues are sharpened swords.
Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!
They laid a net for my feet to bring me down;
    they dug a pit for me,
    but they fell into it instead!
My heart is unwavering, God—
    my heart is unwavering.
I will sing and make music.
    Wake up, my glory!
    Wake up, harp and lyre!
    I will wake the dawn itself!
I will give thanks to you,
my Lord,
    among all the peoples;
I will make music to you among the nations
    because your faithful love
        is as high as heaven;
    your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!

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.

Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm prayer

Tender God,
gentle protector in time of trouble,
pierce the gloom of despair
and give us, with all your people,
the song of freedom and the shout of praise;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 63

My whole being thirsts for God.

God! My God! It’s you—
    I search for you!
    My whole being thirsts for you!
    My body desires you
        in a dry and tired land,
        no water anywhere.
Yes, I’ve seen you in the sanctuary;
    I’ve seen your power and glory.
My lips praise you
    because your faithful love
    is better than life itself!
So I will bless you as long as I’m alive;
    I will lift up my hands in your name.
I’m fully satisfied—
    as with a rich dinner.
My mouth speaks praise with joy on my lips—
    whenever I ponder you on my bed,
    whenever I meditate on you
        in the middle of the night—
    because you’ve been a help to me and I shout for joy in the protection of your wings.
My whole being clings to you;
    your strong hand upholds me.
But what about those people who want to destroy me?
    Let them go into the bowels of the earth!
    Let their blood flow by the sword!
    Let them be food for wild jackals!
But the king should rejoice in God;
    everyone who swears by God should give praise
        when the mouths of liars are shut for good.

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.

My whole being thirsts for God.

Psalm prayer

To you we come, radiant Lord,
the goal of all our desiring,
beyond all earthly beauty;
gentle protector, strong deliverer,
in the night you are our confidence;
from first light be our joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
1 Kings 18:1-20

After many days, the Lord’s word came to Elijah (it was the third year of the drought): Go! Appear before Ahab. I will then send rain on the earth. So Elijah went to appear before Ahab.

Now the famine had become especially bad in Samaria. Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace affairs. (Obadiah greatly feared the Lord. When Jezebel killed the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah took one hundred of them and hid them, fifty each in two caves. He supplied them with food and water.) Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go throughout the land and check every spring of water and every brook. Perhaps we can find some grass to keep our horses and mules alive so we don’t have to kill any of them.” To search, they divided the land between themselves. Ahab went one way by himself, while Obadiah went a different way by himself.

While Obadiah was out searching, suddenly Elijah met up with him. When Obadiah saw him, he fell on his face. “My master!” he said. “Are you Elijah?”

Elijah replied, “I am. Go and say to your master, ‘Elijah is here!’”

Then Obadiah said, “How have I sinned that you are handing me, your servant, over to Ahab so he can kill me? As surely as the Lord your God lives, there’s no nation or kingdom where my master Ahab hasn’t looked for you. They would insist, ‘He’s not here,’ but Ahab would make them swear that they couldn’t find you. And now you are commanding me: ‘Go and say to your master, “Elijah is here”?’ But here’s what will happen: As soon as I leave you, the Lord’s spirit will carry you off somewhere—I don’t know where—then I’ll report to Ahab, but he won’t be able to find you. Then he will kill me! But your servant has feared the Lord from my youth. Wasn’t my master told what I did when Jezebel killed the Lord’s prophets? I hid one hundred of the Lord’s prophets, fifty each in two caves. I also supplied them with food and water. But even after all that, you tell me, ‘Say to your master, “Elijah is here!”’ Ahab will kill me!”

Elijah said, “As surely as the Lord of heavenly forces lives, the one I serve, I will appear before Ahab today.”

So Obadiah went to meet Ahab. He told him what had happened. Then Ahab went to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, the one who troubles Israel?”

Elijah answered, “I haven’t troubled Israel; you and your father’s house have! You did as much when you deserted the Lord’s commands and followed the Baals. Now send a message and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel. Gather the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Ahab sent the message to all the Israelites. He gathered the prophets at Mount Carmel.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 20:17-38

When the riot was over, Paul sent for the disciples, encouraged them, said good-bye, and left for the province of Macedonia. He traveled through that region with a message of encouragement. When he came to Greece, he stayed for three months. Because the Jews hatched a plot against Paul as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided instead to return through Macedonia. He was accompanied by Sopater, Pyrrhus’ son from Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. They went on ahead and waited for us in Troas. We sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread and met them five days later in Troas, where we stayed for a week.

On the first day of the week, as we gathered together for a meal, Paul was holding a discussion with them. Since he was leaving the next day, he continued talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we had gathered. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window. He was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell from the third floor and died. Paul went down, fell on him and embraced him, then said, “Don’t be alarmed. He’s alive!” Then Paul went back upstairs and ate. He talked for a long time—right up until daybreak—then he left. They took the young man away alive, and they were greatly comforted.

We went on to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we intended to take Paul on board. Paul had arranged this, since he intended to make his way there by land. When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. The next day we sailed from there and arrived opposite Chios. On the day after, we sailed to Samos, and on the following day we came to Miletus. Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so that he wouldn’t need to spend too much time in the province of Asia. He was hurrying to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by Pentecost Day.

From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus calling for the church’s elders to meet him. When they arrived, he said to them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time I was with you, beginning with the first day I arrived in the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears in the midst of trials that came upon me because of the Jews’ schemes. You know I held back nothing that would be helpful so that I could proclaim to you and teach you both publicly and privately in your homes. You know I have testified to both Jews and Greeks that they must change their hearts and lives as they turn to God and have faith in our Lord Jesus. Now, compelled by the Spirit, I’m going to Jerusalem. I don’t know what will happen to me there. What I do know is that the Holy Spirit testifies to me from city to city that prisons and troubles await me. But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace.

“I know that none of you will see me again—you among whom I traveled and proclaimed the kingdom. Therefore, today I testify to you that I’m not responsible for anyone’s fate. I haven’t avoided proclaiming the entire plan of God to you. Watch yourselves and the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as supervisors, to shepherd God’s church, which he obtained with the death of his own Son. I know that, after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and won’t spare the flock. Some of your own people will distort the word in order to lure followers after them. Stay alert! Remember that for three years I constantly and tearfully warned each one of you. I never stopped warning you! Now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all whom God has made holy. I haven’t craved anyone’s silver, gold, or clothing. You yourselves know that I have provided for my own needs and for those of my companions with my own hands. In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

After he said these things, he knelt down with all of them to pray. They cried uncontrollably as everyone embraced and kissed Paul. They were especially grieved by his statement that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.

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

Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers
      of your people who call upon you;
and grant that they may both perceive and know
      what things they ought to do,
and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill them;
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.