Morning Prayer 26th December 2016

Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. St. Matthew 5.10

Psalm 28

To thee, O Lord, I call;
    my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if thou be silent to me,
    I become like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my supplication,
    as I cry to thee for help,
as I lift up my hands
    towards thy most holy sanctuary.

Take me not off with the wicked,
    with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors,
    while mischief is in their hearts.
Requite them according to their work,
    and according to the evil of their deeds;
requite them according to the work of their hands;
    render them their due reward.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
    or the work of his hands,
he will break them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord!
    for he has heard the voice of my supplications.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
    and with my song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
    he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
O save thy people, and bless thy heritage;
    be thou their shepherd, and carry them for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world
without end. Amen.

Psalm 30

I will extol thee, O Lord, for thou hast drawn me up,
    and hast not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to thee for help,
    and thou hast healed me.
O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol,
    restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
By thy favor, O Lord,
    thou hadst established me as a strong mountain;
thou didst hide thy face,
    I was dismayed.

To thee, O Lord, I cried;
    and to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise thee?
    Will it tell of thy faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
    O Lord, be thou my helper!”

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    thou hast loosed my sackcloth
    and girded me with gladness,
that my soul may praise thee and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world
without end. Amen.

2 Chronicles 24.17-22

Now after the death of Jehoi′ada the princes of Judah came and did obeisance to the king; then the king harkened to them. And they forsook the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Ashe′rim and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt. Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord; these testified against them, but they would not give heed.

Then the Spirit of God took possession of Zechari′ah the son of Jehoi′ada the priest; and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’” But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord.Thus Jo′ash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoi′ada, Zechari′ah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the Lord see and avenge!”

Acts 6.1-7

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch′orus, and Nica′nor, and Timon, and Par′menas, and Nicola′us, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.

And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr

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 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 Collect

We give the thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to thy Son Jesus Christ, who standeth at thy right hand; where he liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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