Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:15, 16
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: Was there any time today when I felt discouraged? When did I feel most free? Let God guide you as you reflect on your day by asking him for light, grace, and gratitude.
O God, make speed to save us. *
O Lord, make haste to help us.
I have done what is just and right; *
do not deliver me to my oppressors.
Be surety for your servant's good; *
let not the proud oppress me.
My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation *
and for your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your loving-kindness *
and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; grant me understanding, *
that I may know your decrees.
It is time for you to act, O LORD, *
for they have broken your law.
Truly, I love your commandments *
more than gold and precious stones.
I hold all your commandments to be right for me; *
all paths of falsehood I abhor.
Your decrees are wonderful; *
therefore I obey them with all my heart.
When your word goes forth it gives light; *
it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant; *
I long for your commandments.
Turn to me in mercy, *
as you always do to those who love your Name.
Steady my footsteps in your word; *
let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Rescue me from those who oppress me, *
and I will keep your commandments.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant *
and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears, *
because people do not keep your law.
You are righteous, O LORD, *
and upright are your judgments.
You have issued your decrees *
with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
My indignation has consumed me, *
because my enemies forget your words.
Your word has been tested to the uttermost, *
and your servant holds it dear.
I am small and of little account, *
yet I do not forget your commandments.
Your justice is an everlasting justice *
and your law is the truth.
Trouble and distress have come upon me, *
yet your commandments are my delight.
The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; *
grant me understanding, that I may live.
Lord, you are just and your commandments are eternal. Teach us to love you with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves, for the sake of Jesus 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.
1 Samuel 7:2-17
From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
Then Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Astartes from among you. Direct your heart to the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So Israel put away the Baals and the Astartes, and they served the Lord only. Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord. They fasted that day, and said, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.
When the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it they were afraid of the Philistines. The people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, and pray that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” So Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel; but the Lord thundered with a mighty voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion; and they were routed before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as beyond Beth-car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. He went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all these places. Then he would come back to Ramah, for his home was there; he administered justice there to Israel, and built there an altar to the Lord.
Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
In the evening, pray for:
individuals and their needs
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer and/or the following Collect:
O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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.