Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Morning Prayer - Wednesday 14 June 2017

Richard Baxter, Puritan Divine, 1691

Psalm 119.1-32
Blessed are those whose way is pure, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies and seek him with their whole heart,
Those who do no wickedness, but walk in his ways.

You, O Lord, have charged that we should diligently keep your commandments.
O that my ways were made so direct that I might keep your statutes. Then should I not be put to shame, because I have regard for all your commandments.

I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, when I have learned your righteous judgements.
I will keep your statutes; O forsake me not utterly.
How shall young people cleanse their way to keep themselves according to your word?

With my whole heart have I sought you; O let me not go astray from your commandments.
Your words have I hidden within my heart, that I should not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord; O teach me your statutes.

With my lips have I been telling of all the judgements of your mouth.
I have taken greater delight in the way of your testimonies than in all manner of riches.
I will meditate on your commandments and contemplate your ways.
My delight shall be in your statutes and I will not forget your word.
O do good to your servant that I may live, and so shall I keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see the wonders of your law.

I am a stranger upon earth; hide not your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed at all times with fervent longing for your judgements.
You have rebuked the arrogant; cursed are those who stray from your commandments.
Turn from me shame and rebuke, for I have kept your testimonies.

Rulers also sit and speak against me, but your servant meditates on your statutes.
For your testimonies are my delight; they are my faithful counsellors.

My soul cleaves to the dust; O give me life according to your word.
I have acknowledged my ways and you have answered me; O teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your commandments, and so shall I meditate on your wondrous works.

My soul melts away in tears of sorrow; raise me up according to your word.
Take from me the way of falsehood; be gracious to me through your law.
I have chosen the way of truth and your judgements have I laid before me.
I hold fast to your testimonies; O Lord, let me not be put to shame.
I will run the way of your commandments, when you have set my heart at liberty.

Job 9
Then Job answered:
‘Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God?
 If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand.
 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength — who has resisted him, and succeeded?
 he who removes mountains, and they do not know it, when he overturns them in his anger;
 who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble;
 who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;
 who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the Sea;
 who made the Bear and Orion,  the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
 who does great things beyond understanding, and marvellous things without number.

 Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
 He snatches away; who can stop him?
 Who will say to him, “What are you doing?”

 God will not turn back his anger; the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him.
 How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him?
 Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
 If I summoned him and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
 For he crushes me with a tempest, and multiplies my wounds without cause;
 he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness.
 If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
 If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
 Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
 though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
 I am blameless; I do not know myself; I loathe my life.
 It is all one; therefore I say, he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
 When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.
 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;  he covers the eyes of its judges -
 if it is not he, who then is it?

 My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.
 They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey.
 If I say, “I will forget my complaint; I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer”,
 I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know you will not hold me innocent.
 I shall be condemned; why then do I labour in vain?
 If I wash myself with soap and cleanse my hands with lye,
 yet you will plunge me into filth, and my own clothes will abhor me.
 For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together.
 There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand on us both.
 If he would take his rod away from me, and not let dread of him terrify me,
 then I would speak without fear of him, for I know I am not what I am thought to be.

Romans 5.1-11
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

The Collect
Holy God, faithful and unchanging: enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth, and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love, that we may truly worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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