Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2
CONFESSION OF SIN
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.
Evening Examen: When, today, did I sense being drawn away from God? When, today, did I feel most touched by the presence of God?
O God, make speed to save us. *
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Israel made a bull-calf at Horeb *
and worshiped a molten image;
And so they exchanged their Glory *
for the image of an ox that feeds on grass.
They forgot God their Savior, *
who had done great things in Egypt,
Wonderful deeds in the land of Ham, *
and fearful things at the Red Sea.
So he would have destroyed them,
had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, *
to turn away his wrath from consuming them.
They refused the pleasant land *
and would not believe his promise.
They grumbled in their tents *
and would not listen to the voice of the LORD.
So he lifted his hand against them, *
to overthrow them in the wilderness,
To cast out their seed among the nations, *
and to scatter them throughout the lands.
They joined themselves to Baal-Peor *
and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
They provoked him to anger with their actions, *
and a plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and interceded, *
and the plague came to an end.
This was reckoned to him as righteousness *
throughout all generations for ever.
Again they provoked his anger at the waters of Meribah, *
so that he punished Moses because of them;
For they so embittered his spirit *
that he spoke rash words with his lips.
They did not destroy the peoples *
as the LORD had commanded them.
They intermingled with the heathen *
and learned their pagan ways,
So that they worshiped their idols, *
which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons *
and their daughters to evil spirits.
They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters, *
which they offered to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was defiled with blood.
Thus they were polluted by their actions *
and went whoring in their evil deeds.
Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against his people *
and he abhorred his inheritance.
He gave them over to the hand of the heathen, *
and those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them, *
and they were humbled under their hand.
Many a time did he deliver them,
but they rebelled through their own devices, *
and were brought down in their iniquity.
Nevertheless, he saw their distress, *
when he heard their lamentation.
He remembered his covenant with them *
and relented in accordance with his great mercy.
He caused them to be pitied *
by those who held them captive.
Save us, O LORD our God,
and gather us from among the nations, *
that we may give thanks to your holy Name
and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting; *
and let all the people say, "Amen!"
God our Father, remembering your covenant, you graciously pardoned those who rebelled against you. Grant that, where sin abounds, grace may abound more; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Glory 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.
There was a man in the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Micah. He said to his mother, “The eleven hundred pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and even spoke it in my hearing, —that silver is in my possession; I took it; but now I will return it to you.” And his mother said, “May my son be blessed by the Lord!” Then he returned the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother; and his mother said, “I consecrate the silver to the Lord from my hand for my son, to make an idol of cast metal.” So when he returned the money to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into an idol of cast metal; and it was in the house of Micah. This man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and teraphim, and installed one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.
Now there was a young man of Bethlehem in Judah, of the clan of Judah. He was a Levite residing there. This man left the town of Bethlehem in Judah, to live wherever he could find a place. He came to the house of Micah in the hill country of Ephraim to carry on his work. Micah said to him, “From where do you come?” He replied, “I am a Levite of Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to live wherever I can find a place.” Then Micah said to him, “Stay with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, a set of clothes, and your living.” The Levite agreed to stay with the man; and the young man became to him like one of his sons. So Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. Then Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will prosper me, because the Levite has become my priest.”
“Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God directed when he spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. Our ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, who found favor with God and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’
”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.”
When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.
And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.
In the evening, pray for:
- individuals and their needs
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer and/or the following Collect:
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of this redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord. *
Thanks be to God!
The Almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.