Govern everything by Your wisdom, O Lord, so that my soul may always be serving You in the way You will and not as I choose. Let me die to myself so that I may serve You; let me live to You who are life itself. Amen.
-Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Prayer of the Bible
O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
-from Psalm 143:1, 5-8
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Book of Common Prayer
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayer for Ourselves and Others
Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.