Readings and Prayers, August 23, 2020

Title:Readings and Prayers, August 23, 2020

Tonight’s service is Night Prayer from A New Zealand Prayer Book

Hymn – Be still for the presence of the Lord.


The angels of God guard us through the night,

and quieten the powers of darkness. 

The Spirit of God be our guide

to lead us to peace and to glory. 

It is but lost labour that we haste to rise up early, and so late take rest, and eat the bread of anxiety.  For those beloved of God are given gifts even while they sleep. 


My brothers and sisters, our help is in the name of the eternal God,

who is making the heavens and the earth. 

Dear God, thank you for all that is good, for our creation and our humanity, for the stewardship you have given us of this planet earth, for the gifts of life and of one another, for your love which is unbounded and eternal. 

O thou, most holy and beloved, my Companion, my Guide upon the way, my bright evening star. 

We repent of the wrongs we have done: 


We have wounded your love. 

O God, heal us. 

We stumble in the darkness. 

Light of the world, transfigure us.

We forget that we are your home.

Spirit of God, dwell in us. 

Eternal Spirit, living God,

in whom we live and move and have our being,

all that we are, have been, and shall be is known to you,

to the very secret of our hearts

and all that rises to trouble us. 

Living flame, burn into us,

cleansing wind, blow through us,

fountain of water, well up within us,

that we may love and praise in deed and in truth. 


Eternal Spirit, flow through our being and open our lips,

that our mouths may proclaim your praise. 

Let us worship the God of love. 

Alleluia, alleluia. 

The Readings

Psalm 138  Confitebor tibi

1 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; *
before the gods I will sing your praise.

2 I will bow down toward your holy temple
and praise your Name, *
because of your love and faithfulness;

3 For you have glorified your Name *
and your word above all things.

4 When I called, you answered me; *
you increased my strength within me.

5 All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord, *
when they have heard the words of your mouth.

6 They will sing of the ways of the Lord, *
that great is the glory of the Lord.

7 Though the Lord be high, he cares for the lowly; *
he perceives the haughty from afar.

8 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; *
you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies;
your right hand shall save me.

9 The Lord will make good his purpose for me; *
O Lord, your love endures for ever;
do not abandon the works of your hands.

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 51:1-6

Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
you that seek the Lord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;

for he was but one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many.

For the Lord will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord;

joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song. 

Listen to me, my people,
and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.

I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
my salvation has gone out
and my arms will rule the peoples;

the coastlands wait for me,
and for my arm they hope.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;

for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and those who live on it will die like gnats;

but my salvation will be for ever,
and my deliverance will never be ended.

The Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God. 

A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God– what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

The Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God. 

A Reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 16:13-20

When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

The Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God. 

Sermon and Discussion


Hymn    Make me a channel of your peace


We give thanks to you, O Lord, with our whole hearts, and praise your Holy Name.

Your love and faithfulness are with us always.  

We give thanks that with you there is no end to our hope.  By your power, all exiles will come to an end; all things will be restored.  Therefore, we pray with confidence to you who are above all things, knowing that you take notice of those who are bent low.

Your strong arm takes hold and rescues those who are in the midst of trouble.  

To all in despair, send your deliverance swiftly.  For those who long for a home, make for them, we pray, a place of safety and love.  For those estranged from each other, we pray that reconciliation may be accomplished or that an ending may become the pathway to a new beginning.  Loving God, you promise to comfort those who sorrow, and to help those in trouble. We pray especially for those on our prayer list.  We pray that you would heal them of every affliction.  

Lift us all up so we can see your salvation.  

Help us and help the nations to learn your justice and to practice it.  Guide us in the election of all officials and representatives; that by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes.  We pray for those who serve in the armed forces of this nation, especially those on our prayer list, Cheyenne, Cliff, Alexis, Scott, Steven, Michael, George and Greg, that they may serve faithfully and return home when their work is done, safe in mind, body and spirit. 

Grant us your kingdom and your peace on this earth as it is in heaven. 

We give your thanks for your good creation.  Before the world wears out like a garment, before we turn your Eden into a wasteland, correct our habits. 

We desire to be better caretakers of the garden of the Lord.   

We thank for you for the gift of the Church and for the varied gifts and perspectives that you have given to us.  Help us to welcome the diversity of your design in ways that enlarge our witness to the world.  We thank you especially for Jesus Christ, who has called us to be his body in the world, and we pray all things in his name. 


Into your hands, O God, I commend my spirit,

for you have redeemed me, O God of truth and love. 

Keep me, O God, as the apple of your eye.

Hide me under the shadow of your wings. 

Preserve us, O God, while waking,

and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ,

and asleep may rest in your peace.  

Song of Simeon

Praise be to God, I have lived to see this day. 

God’s promise is fulfilled, and my duty done. 

At last you have given me peace,

for I have seen with my own eyes

the salvation you have prepared for all nations-

a light to the world in its darkness,

and the glory of your people Israel.  

Glory be to God, sustaining, redeeming, sanctifying,

as in the beginning, so now, and for ever.  Amen. 

Preserve us, O God, while waking,

and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ, 

and asleep may rest in your peace. 

Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy. 

Eternal Spirit,

Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,

Source of all that is and that shall be,

Father and Mother of us all,

Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! 

The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! 

Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! 

Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

For the bread we need for today, feed us. 

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. 

In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. 

From trials too great to endure, spare us. 

From the grip of all that is evil, free us. 

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.  Amen.

I will lie down in peace and take my rest,

for it is in God alone that I dwell unafraid. 

Let us bless the Earth-maker, the Pain-bearer, the Life-giver. 

Let us praise and exalt God above all forever. 

May God’s name be praised beyond the furthest star,

glorified and exalted above all for ever. 

Be present, Spirit of God, within us, your dwelling place and home, that our homes may be ones where all darkness is penetrated by your light, all trouble calmed by your peace, all evil redeemed by your love, all pain transformed in your suffering, and all dying glorified in your risen life.  Amen. 

Lord, it is night. 

The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God. 

It is night after a long day.  What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be. 

The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.

The night is quiet.  Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace. 

The night heralds the dawn.  Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities. 

In your name we pray.  Amen.

May God’s goodness be yours:  and well, and seven times well, may you spend your lives:  May you be an island of rest in the restless sea; may you be a stalwart hill on the shifting shore, may you be a shining star in the darkest darkness; may you be a strong staff to the weak and the weary;  may the light of Christ Jesus fill every heart for you; may the Light of Christ Jesus fill you for every heart. 

And the blessing of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always.  Amen. 

Hymn  Deep Peace of the Running wave

Oh God of love and mercy, grant us, with all your people, rest and peace.