Evening Prayer on Thursday
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Richard Baxter, Puritan Divine, 1691 [Commemoration]

Preparation

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

One or more of the following is said or sung:
a prayer of thanksgiving (page 110),
a suitable hymn,
or A Song of God’s Chosen One

1There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

3The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

4He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

5But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

7The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

8They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11.1,2,3b-4a,6,9

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 61

Refrain: You are my refuge, O God,
a strong tower against the enemy.

1 Hear my crying, O God, 
and listen to my prayer.

2 From the end of the earth I call to you with fainting heart; 
O set me on the rock that is higher than I.

3 For you are my refuge, 
a strong tower against the enemy.

4 Let me dwell in your tent for ever 
and take refuge under the cover of your wings. R

5 For you, O God, will hear my vows; 
you will grant the request of those who fear your name.

6 You will add length of days to the life of the king, 
that his years may endure throughout all generations.

7 May he sit enthroned before God for ever; 
may steadfast love and truth watch over him.

8 So will I always sing praise to your name, 
and day by day fulfil my vows.

Refrain: You are my refuge, O God,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Risen Christ,
as you knew the discipline of suffering
and the victory that brings us salvation,
so grant us your presence in our weakness
and a place in your unending kingdom
now and for evermore.

Psalm 62

Refrain: Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul.

1 On God alone my soul in stillness waits; 
from him comes my salvation.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, 
my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.

3 How long will all of you assail me to destroy me, 
as you would a tottering wall or a leaning fence?

4 They plot only to thrust me down from my place of honour;
lies are their chief delight; 
they bless with their mouth, but in their heart they curse.

5 Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul; 
for in him is my hope.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, 
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken. R

7 In God is my strength and my glory; 
God is my strong rock; in him is my refuge.

8 Put your trust in him always, my people; 
pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.

9 The peoples are but a breath,
the whole human race a deceit; 
on the scales they are altogether lighter than air.

10 Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride; 
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.

11 God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same, 
that power belongs to God.

12 Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord, 
for you repay everyone according to their deeds.

Refrain: Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul.

O God, teach us to seek security,
not in money or theft,
not in human ambition or malice,
not in our own ability or power,
but in you, the only God,
our rock and our salvation.

Psalm 64

Refrain: The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.

1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; 
preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, 
from the gathering of evildoers.

3 They sharpen their tongue like a sword 
and aim their bitter words like arrows,

4 That they may shoot at the blameless from hiding places; 
suddenly they shoot, and are not seen.

5 They hold fast to their evil course; 
they talk of laying snares, saying, ‘Who will see us?’

6 They search out wickedness and lay a cunning trap, 
for deep are the inward thoughts of the heart. R

7 But God will shoot at them with his swift arrow, 
and suddenly they shall be wounded.

8 Their own tongues shall make them fall, 
and all who see them shall wag their heads in scorn.

9 All peoples shall fear and tell what God has done, 
and they will ponder all his works.

10 The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord
and put their trust in him, 
and all that are true of heart shall exult.

Refrain: The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.

Cut through the malice of our hearts, redeeming God,
with the Spirit’s sword,
wound the pride of our rebellion
with the grace that makes righteous
and bring near the day of Christ,
when love shall reign in joy;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Ezra 4.7-end

And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to King Artaxerxes of Persia; the letter was written in Aramaic and translated. Rehum the royal deputy and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes as follows (then Rehum the royal deputy, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the judges, the envoys, the officials, the Persians, the people of Erech, the Babylonians, the people of Susa, that is, the Elamites, and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River wrote—and now this is a copy of the letter that they sent):

‘To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the people of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now may it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city; they are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. Now may it be known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be reduced. Now because we share the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonour, therefore we send and inform the king, so that a search may be made in the annals of your ancestors. You will discover in the annals that this is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from long ago. On that account this city was laid waste. We make known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.’

The king sent an answer: ‘To Rehum the royal deputy and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, greeting. And now the letter that you sent to us has been read in translation before me. So I made a decree, and someone searched and discovered that this city has risen against kings from long ago, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it. Jerusalem has had mighty kings who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom tribute, custom, and toll were paid. Therefore issue an order that these people be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until I make a decree. Moreover, take care not to be slack in this matter; why should damage grow to the hurt of the king?’

Then when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and the scribe Shimshai and their associates, they hurried to the Jews in Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease. At that time the work on the house of God in Jerusalem stopped and was discontinued until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.

Canticle

Great and Wonderful, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 63 (page 621), may be said

Refrain:

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

1Great and wonderful are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty.

2Just and true are your ways,
O ruler of the nations.

3Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
for you alone are holy.

4All nations shall come and worship in your presence:
for your just dealings have been revealed.

Revelation 15.3, 4

AllTo the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Romans 10.11-end

The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.

But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for
‘Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
   and their words to the ends of the world.’
Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
‘I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
   with a foolish nation I will make you angry.’
Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
‘I have been found by those who did not seek me;
   I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.’
But of Israel he says, ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.’

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned.
AllI have called you by name; you are mine.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

from Isaiah 43

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or A Song of Christ’s Appearing (page 621) may be said

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

3He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

4He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

6He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

8The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

Prayers

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs

Prayers may include the following concerns from the cycle on pages 362–363

Local government, community leaders
All who provide local services
Those who work with young or elderly people
Schools, colleges and universities
Emergency and rescue organizations

One of the forms of prayer found on pages 362–371 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Lord, you have taught us
that all our doings without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ's sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur 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 for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur 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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

All 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.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.