Table of Contents

close

The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

Calendar

Home

Top

close

Wednesday, proper 15
Morning Prayer
John Bunyan

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite." Isaiah 57:15

Hymn: The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd, no want shall I know;
I feed in green pastures, safe-folded I rest;
He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow,
Restores me when wandering, redeems when oppressed.
Restores me when wandering, redeems when oppressed.
Through the valley and shadow of death though I stray,
Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear;
Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay;
No harm shall befall me: my Comforter near.
No harm shall befall me: my Comforter near.
Let goodness and mercy, my bountiful God,
Still follow my steps till I meet thee above:
I seek by the path which my forefathers trod,
Through the land of their sojourn, Thy kingdom of love.
Through the land of their sojourn, Thy kingdom of love.

Singers: Mennonite Hour Men's Chorus

Confession

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

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 us 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.

Versicle and Response

Lord, open our lips.

And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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 Spirit of the Lord renews the face of the earth:
Come let us adore him.

Jubilate

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Antiphon

The Spirit of the Lord renews the face of the earth:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalm

Psalm 119:1-24 or
Coverdale

Aleph Beati immaculati

1Happy are they whose way is blameless, *
who walk in the law of the LORD!

2Happy are they who observe his decrees *
and seek him with all their hearts!

3Who never do any wrong, *
but always walk in his ways.

4You laid down your commandments, *
that we should fully keep them.

5Oh, that my ways were made so direct *
that I might keep your statutes!

6Then I should not be put to shame, *
when I regard all your commandments.

7I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, *
when I have learned your righteous judgments.

8I will keep your statutes; *
do not utterly forsake me.

Beth In quo corrigit?

9How shall a young man cleanse his way? *
By keeping to your words.

10With my whole heart I seek you; *
let me not stray from your commandments.

11I treasure your promise in my heart, *
that I may not sin against you.

12Blessed are you, O LORD; *
instruct me in your statutes.

13With my lips will I recite *
all the judgments of your mouth.

14I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees *
than in all manner of riches.

15I will meditate on your commandments *
and give attention to your ways.

16My delight is in your statutes; *
I will not forget your word.

Gimel Retribue servo tuo

17Deal bountifully with your servant, *
that I may live and keep your word.

18Open my eyes, that I may see *
the wonders of your law.

19I am a stranger here on earth; *
do not hide your commandments from me.

20My soul is consumed at all times *
with longing for your judgments.

21You have rebuked the insolent; *
cursed are they who stray from your commandments!

22Turn from me shame and rebuke, *
for I have kept your decrees.

23Even though rulers sit and plot against me, *
I will meditate on your statutes.

24For your decrees are my delight, *
and they are my counselors.

Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Amen.

The Lessons

The Old Testament Reading

Job 6: 1,7: 1-21

Job 6

1 Then Job answered:

Job 7

1 "Do not human beings have a hard service on earth, and are not their days like the days of a laborer? 2 Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like laborers who look for their wages, 3 so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me. 4 When I lie down I say, 'When shall I rise?' But the night is long, and I am full of tossing until dawn. 5 My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out again. 6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and come to their end without hope.

7 "Remember that my life is a breath; my eye will never again see good. 8 The eye that beholds me will see me no more; while your eyes are upon me, I shall be gone. 9 As the cloud fades and vanishes, so those who go down to Sheol do not come up; 10 they return no more to their houses, nor do their places know them any more.

11 "Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 12 Am I the Sea, or the Dragon, that you set a guard over me? 13 When I say, 'My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,' 14 then you scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions, 15 so that I would choose strangling and death rather than this body. 16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone, for my days are a breath. 17 What are human beings, that you make so much of them, that you set your mind on them, 18 visit them every morning, test them every moment? 19 Will you not look away from me for a while, let me alone until I swallow my spittle? 20 If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity? Why have you made me your target? Why have I become a burden to you? 21 Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 11 The Third Song of Isaiah

Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19
Surge, illuminare

Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.

For behold, darkness covers the land; *
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.

But over you the Lord will rise, *
and his glory will appear upon you.

Nations will stream to your light, *
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.

Your gates will always be open; *
by day or night they will never be shut.

They will call you, The City of the Lord, *
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Violence will no more be heard in your land, *
ruin or destruction within your borders.

You will call your walls, Salvation, *
and all your portals, Praise.

The sun will no more be your light by day; *
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.

The Lord will be your everlasting light, *
and your God will be your glory.
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.

New Testament Reading

Acts 10: 1-16

1 In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called. 2 He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God. 3 One afternoon at about three o'clock he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius." 4 He stared at him in terror and said, "What is it, Lord?" He answered, "Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa for a certain Simon who is called Peter; 6 he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside." 7 When the angel who spoke to him had left, he called two of his slaves and a devout soldier from the ranks of those who served him, 8 and after telling them everything, he sent them to Joppa. 9 About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the ground by its four corners. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 Then he heard a voice saying, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat." 14 But Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean." 15 The voice said to him again, a second time, "What God has made clean, you must not call profane." 16 This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 16 The Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79
Benedictus Dominus Deus

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 Gospel

John 7: 1-13

1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2 Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. 3 So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; 4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world." 5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.) 6 Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come." 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee. 10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, "Where is he?" 12 And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, "He is a good man," others were saying, "No, he is deceiving the crowd." 13 Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Bunyan was born in 1628 near Bedford, in the agricultural midlands of England. He was the son of a tinker (a maker and mender of metal pots). He had little schooling. During the English Civil War, he served in the Parliamentary Army. He underwent a period of acute spiritual anxiety, and finally found peace in a Baptist congregation. He became a lay preacher, while earning his living as a tinker.

After the Restoration in 1660, Bunyan (under suspicion for having fought on the anti-Anglican side) was ordered to preach no more, and, since he refused to desist, he was several times sentenced to jail, where he spent his time studying, preaching to his fellow prisoners, and writing. His first substantial work was an autobiography, Grace Abounding To the Chief of Sinners. This was followed by other works, of which by far the most read and most loved is his The Pilgrim's Progress From This World To That Which Is To Come, usually called Pilgrim's Progress. The work recounts in allegorical form the experience of a person (called Christian), from his his first awareness of his sinfulness and spiritual need, to his personal conversion to Christ, to his walk as a believer. He is shown as a pilgrim in this world on his way to the "Celestial City," which will be his true home forever. The work was an immediate sensation, and its popularity endured. For a century and more thereafter, there were many English-speaking Christians who were thoroughly familiar with only two books, The Bible and Pilgrim's Progress. (Those who have read the book or seen the movie Little Women, portraying the life of an American family in the 1860's, will remember that the book was a family favorite.)

Three extracts follow:

The Pilgrim's Progress

In the Similitude of A Dream

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on A certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?

In this plight, therefore, he went home and refrained himself As long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased. Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: O my dear wife, said he, and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in my self undone by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered. At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed. But the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning was come, they would know how he did. He told them, Worse and worse: he also set to talking to them again; but they began to be hardened. They also sought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriages to him; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them, and also to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he spent his time.

Now, I saw, upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, That he was, as he was wont, reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and, as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, What shall I do to be saved?

I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would Run; yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him, who asked, Wherefore dost thou cry? He answered, Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand, at I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment; and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second.

Then said Evangelist, Why not willing to die, since this life Is attended with so many evils? The man answered, Because I fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet. And, Sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to go to judgment, and from thence to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry.

Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why standest Thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, Flee from the wrath to come.

Now when he [Christian] was got up to the top of the Hill, There came two men running up against him amain; the name of the one was Timorous, and the name of the other Mistrust. To whom Christian said, "Sirs, what's the matter you run the wrong way?" Timorous answered that they were going to the city of Sion, and had got up that difficult place; "But," said he, "the further we go, the more danger we meet with, wherefore we turned, and are going back again."

"Yes," said Mistrust, 'for just before us lie a couple of Lions in the way, whether sleeping or waking we know not and we could not think, if we came within reach, but they would presently pull us in pieces."

Then said Christian, "You make me afraid, but whither Shall I fly to be safe? If I go back to mine own country, that is prepared for fire and brimstone, and I shall certainly perish there. If I can get to the Celestial City, I am sure to be in safety there. I must venture: to go back is nothing but death, to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward." So Mistrust and Timorous ran down the Hill, and Christian went on his way.

Now I saw in my dream, that these two men [Christian and Hopeful] went in at the Gate; and lo, as these entered they were transfigured, and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There was also that met them, with harps and crowns, and gave them to them, the harp to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the City rang again for joy; and that it was said unto them, "Enter Ye Into the Joy of Your Lord." I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, "Blessing, Honour, Glory, and Power, Be To Him That Sitteth Upon the Throne and To the Lamb For Ever and Ever."

Now just as the Gates were opened to let in the men, I Looked in after them; and behold, the City shone like the sun, the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many men with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.

There were also of them that had wings, and they answered One another without intermission, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Is The Lord. And after that, they shut up the Gates: which when I had seen, I wished myself among them.

Bunyan died 31 August 1688, and is remembered on the 30th. [August 29th in the Episcopal Church.]

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

God of peace, you called John Bunyan to be valiant for truth: Grant that we, having endured as strangers and pilgrims on this earth, may at last rejoice with all the faithful in your heavenly city; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 49:4-15
Job 33:14-19, 26-28
Hebrews 4:12-15
Matthew 7:12-14

The Creed

The Apostle's Creed

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

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He 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,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He 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.

The Prayers

The Lord's Prayer

or traditional

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.

Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Suffrages

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 with your Holy Spirit.

Collect of the Day: Proper 16

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirt, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Ecuador.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.

A Collect for Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn: To my humble supplication

To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

Birthdays
Anniversaries
For Recovery from Sickness
For Travelers
For a Person in Trouble or Bereavement
For Those to be Baptized
For the Departed
Full list of prayers

For Our Country

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion us into one united people. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the President of the
United States
and all in Civil Authority

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State (or, Commonwealth), and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Hymn: Lord, I want to be a Christian

Lord, I want to be a Christian
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.

Lord, I want to be more loving
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.

Lord, I want to be like Jesus
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.

Traditional spiritual

A Prayer of Self-Dedication

Almighty and eternal God,
so draw our hearts to you,
so guide our minds,
so fill our imaginations,
so control our wills,
that we may be wholly yours,
utterly dedicated unto you;
and then use us, we pray you, as you will,
and always to your glory and the welfare of your people;
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

The Ending

Benediction

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

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

Hymn: God Be With You

God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide, uphold you;
With his sheep securely fold you.
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

return to the August calendar

return to the Home Page