Season of Lent
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
O Spirit of God, help our weakness and unbelief. If you see in us any wrong thing encouraged, any evil desire cherished, any delight that is not your delight, any habit that grieves you, any nest of sin in our heart, then grant us the kiss of forgiveness, and teach our feet to walk the way of your commandments. Help us to walk the holy life with firm and brave steps, and to wrestle successfully against self-centeredness. Teach us to praise, adore, and magnify you, and make us a perfume of praiseful gratitude to you. We do not crouch at your feet as a slave before a tyrant, but exult before you as children with a father. Give us power to live as your children, and root our hope in Christ.
(Pause for a time of silent confession)
Words of Assurance - Psalm 103:11-13
Leader: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him.”
(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 is full of compassion and mercy: 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 142
A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.
With my voice I cry out to the LORD;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see:
there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me.
A Psalm of David.
Hear my prayer, O LORD;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.
For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.
I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
Answer me quickly, O LORD!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD!
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Gospel - John 17
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
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 Maundy Thursday
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now 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.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you, and remain with you always. Amen.
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 29, Pages 203-210.
Close your time with prayers of repentance, thanksgiving, petitions, and/or The Lord's Prayer.