Evening Prayer on Thursday
Thursday, 9 February 2023

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
AllO Lord, make haste to help us.

The Blessing of Light (page 110) may replace the Preparation at Evening Prayer on any occasion.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

A prayer of thanksgiving (page 110),

Blessed are you, Lord God, creator of day and night:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As darkness falls you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
By the light of Christ, your living Word,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
that we may walk as children of light
and sing your praise throughout the world.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
AllBlessed be God for ever.

or a suitable hymn,

or A Song of God’s Chosen One

1There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

3The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

4He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

5But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

7The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

8They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11.1,2,3b-4a,6,9

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 39

Refrain: Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days.

1 I said, ‘I will keep watch over my ways, 
so that I offend not with my tongue.

2 ‘I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, 
while the wicked are in my sight.’

3 So I held my tongue and said nothing; 
I kept silent but to no avail. R

4 My distress increased, my heart grew hot within me; 
while I mused, the fire was kindled
and I spoke out with my tongue:

5 ‘Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days, 
that I may know how short my time is.

6 ‘You have made my days but a handsbreadth,
and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight; 
truly, even those who stand upright are but a breath.

7 ‘We walk about like a shadow
and in vain we are in turmoil; 
we heap up riches and cannot tell who will gather them. R

8 ‘And now, what is my hope? 
Truly my hope is even in you.

9 ‘Deliver me from all my transgressions 
and do not make me the taunt of the fool.’

10 I fell silent and did not open my mouth, 
for surely it was your doing.

11 Take away your plague from me; 
I am consumed by the blows of your hand.

12 With rebukes for sin you punish us;
like a moth you consume our beauty; 
truly, everyone is but a breath. R

13 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; 
hold not your peace at my tears.

14 For I am but a stranger with you, 
a wayfarer, as all my forebears were.

15 Turn your gaze from me, that I may be glad again, 
before I go my way and am no more.

Refrain: Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days.

O Christ, Son of the living God,
help us when we are too cast down to pray,
and grant that we may trust you all our days,
for you are with us in our living and our dying,
Jesus, Lord and God.

Psalm 40

Refrain: Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; 
he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2 He brought me out of the roaring pit,
out of the mire and clay; 
he set my feet upon a rock and made my footing sure.

3 He has put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God; 
many shall see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, 
who does not turn to the proud that follow a lie.

5 Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.
How great your designs for us! 
There is none that can be compared with you.

6 If I were to proclaim them and tell of them 
they would be more than I am able to express. R

7 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire 
but my ears you have opened;

8 Burnt offering and sacrifice for sin you have not required; 
then said I: ‘Lo, I come.

9 ‘In the scroll of the book it is written of me
that I should do your will, O my God; 
I delight to do it: your law is within my heart.’

10 I have declared your righteousness in the great congregation; 
behold, I did not restrain my lips,
and that, O Lord, you know.

11 Your righteousness I have not hidden in my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; 
I have not concealed your loving-kindness and truth
from the great congregation. R

12 Do not withhold your compassion from me, O Lord; 
let your love and your faithfulness always preserve me,

13 For innumerable troubles have come about me;
my sins have overtaken me so that I cannot look up; 
they are more in number than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails me.

14 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; 
O Lord, make haste to help me.

15 Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed
who seek after my life to destroy it; 
let them be driven back and put to shame
who wish me evil.

16 Let those who heap insults upon me 
be desolate because of their shame. R

17 Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad; 
let those who love your salvation say always,
‘The Lord is great.’

18 Though I am poor and needy, 
the Lord cares for me.

19 You are my helper and my deliverer; 
O my God, make no delay.

Refrain: Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.

Free us from our sins, O God,
and may our sacrifices be of praise
to the glory of your Son,
our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Genesis 26.34-27.40

When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite; and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.

When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, ‘My son’; and he answered, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me. Then prepare for me savoury food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.’

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, ‘I heard your father say to your brother Esau, “Bring me game, and prepare for me savoury food to eat, that I may bless you before the Lord before I die.” Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. Go to the flock, and get me two choice kids, so that I may prepare from them savoury food for your father, such as he likes; and you shall take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.’ But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, ‘Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.’ His mother said to him, ‘Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my word, and go, get them for me.’ So he went and got them and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared savoury food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the best garments of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob; and she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. Then she handed the savoury food, and the bread that she had prepared, to her son Jacob.

So he went in to his father, and said, ‘My father’; and he said, ‘Here I am; who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, so that you may bless me.’ But Isaac said to his son, ‘How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?’ He answered, ‘Because the Lord your God granted me success.’ Then Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.’ So Jacob went up to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.’ He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. He said, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ He answered, ‘I am.’ Then he said, ‘Bring it to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.’ So he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘Come near and kiss me, my son.’ So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said,
‘Ah, the smell of my son
   is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.
May God give you of the dew of heaven,
   and of the fatness of the earth,
   and plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
   and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
   and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
   and blessed be everyone who blesses you!’

As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau came in from his hunting. He also prepared savoury food, and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, ‘Let my father sit up and eat of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.’ His father Isaac said to him, ‘Who are you?’ He answered, ‘I am your firstborn son, Esau.’ Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, ‘Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him?—yes, and blessed he shall be!’ When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, ‘Bless me, me also, father!’ But he said, ‘Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.’ Esau said, ‘Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright; and look, now he has taken away my blessing.’ Then he said, ‘Have you not reserved a blessing for me?’ Isaac answered Esau, ‘I have already made him your lord, and I have given him all his brothers as servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?’ Esau said to his father, ‘Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me, me also, father!’ And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

Then his father Isaac answered him:
‘See, away from the fatness of the earth shall your home be,
   and away from the dew of heaven on high.
By your sword you shall live,
   and you shall serve your brother;
but when you break loose,
   you shall break his yoke from your neck.’

Canticle

Great and Wonderful, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 63 (page 621), may be said

Refrain:

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

1Great and wonderful are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty.

2Just and true are your ways,
O ruler of the nations.

3Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
for you alone are holy.

4All nations shall come and worship in your presence:
for your just dealings have been revealed.

Revelation 15.3, 4

AllTo the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

2 Timothy 1.15-2.13

You are aware that all who are in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain; when he arrived in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me —may the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! And you know very well how much service he rendered in Ephesus.

You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. The saying is sure:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned.
AllI have called you by name; you are mine.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

from Isaiah 43

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or A Song of Christ’s Appearing (page 621) may be said

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

3He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

4He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

6He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

8The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

Prayers

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs

Prayers may include the following concerns from the cycle on pages 362–363

Local government, community leaders
All who provide local services
Those who work with young or elderly people
Schools, colleges and universities
Emergency and rescue organizations

One of the forms of prayer found on pages 362–371 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty God,
who alone can bring order
to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity:
give your people grace
so to love what you command
and to desire what you promise,
that, among the many changes of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur 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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

All The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.
Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.