Season of Epiphany
As you enter into this Evening Prayer, remember that God is with you and ready to speak to you because he loves you. Enjoy the presence of your Lord and Savior. Pray as you are able: use the entire email or for a shorter time of prayer, be led through all five sections but focus on one element in each of the sections.
- Calling -
Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as the incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141:2)
- Confession -
Prayer of Repentance
All powerful and most merciful Father, your grace is sufficient for us. Therefore we confess to you our sin and the sin of this world:
We confess that our sin and pride
hide the brightness of your light.
We turn away from those in need;
we ignore the spiritual complacency in our own lives;
and we do not seek peace with those at odds with us.
In your mercy, cleanse us of our sin;
baptize us once again with your Spirit,
that, forgiven and renewed, we may show forth your glory, shining in the face of Jesus Christ.
(Pause for a time of silent confession)
Words of Assurance - Matthew 5:3-4; 11:28-30
Leader: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(An invitation to praise God after confession and prior to the daily Psalm(s) and Lessons)
O 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 for ever. Amen. Alleluia!
The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.
Hymn for Evening Prayer - O Gracious Light
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified though all the worlds.
- Constitution -
Evening Psalm(s) - Psalm 138
I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Gospel - Mark 7:1–23
Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)—then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Slowly read one or more of the lessons again... did a word or phrase catch your eye or move your heart...mediate on it and pray your thoughts, desires, needs, and feelings.
A Song of Response - Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2:29-32)
Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
For mine eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared before the face of all people,
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles,
and to be the glory of your people Israel.
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.
- Communion -
The Lord's Prayer
Our 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 debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving & Petitions
Take this time to offer personal prayers.
Where have you seen the Lord faithfully at work this past week?
Where do you hope to see the Lord's help and healing this coming week?
What prayers can you offer for our church, neighborhood, nation, and world?
A Collect for the Third Sunday After Epiphany
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- Commission -
The 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. 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.
Blessing - Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that you may abound in hope,
through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
- Family Devotion-
If you have children, below are two suggestions to help your family create a daily habit of prayer and Bible reading, meditation, and application. Use these suggestions as guides for your specific family situation and the ages of each of your children. Corporate times around the table (like breakfast or dinner) or during bedtime routines may be good times for your family.
For a family devotion follow the Calling - Commission flow:
Calling - Remind your children that God loves them and is with them.
Cleansing - Together and/or individually pray your own prayer of repentance or use the corporate prayer of repentance. Remind them that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and rose from the dead, that their sins are forgiven and Jesus now reigns as their king.
Constitution - Read one or more of the appointed readings. Then ask them some follow up questions like: (Read) What does this passage say? (Think) What does this passage mean? (Live) How does this passage apply to us today? In addition to an appointed reading, you can also read a children's Bible, like The Jesus Storybook Bible.
Communion - Then pray thanksgivings & petitions and/or The Lord's Prayer.
Commission - Close by saying the Blessing over your children.
For those families going through the 10-minute family devotional Old Story New, this week we are on Week 16, Pages 128-134 .
Close your time with prayers of repentance, thanksgiving, petitions, and/or The Lord's Prayer.