So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. (Number 16:46-48)
LORD, incense is the prayers of your saints (Revelation 5:8). Help us with Aaron carry that incense between the living and the dead and stop the plague which is afflicting the Episcopal Church.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: (Isaiah 65:13a)
Holy Spirit, help us hearken to what you are saying.
“Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry;” (Isaiah 65:13b)
LORD, your people wander here and there and are not fed by their shepherds.
“Behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty;” (Isaiah 65:13c)
LORD, the shepherds of the Episcopal Church have muddied and made foul the water your people should be drinking. (Ezekiel 34:18)
“Behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed;” (Isaiah 65:13d)
LORD, we grieve for your people in the Episcopal Church; come soon and deliver them.
“Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.” (Isaiah 65:14)
LORD, we weep for your people in the Episcopal Church; help us in the midst of our sorrow turn to you where true joys are to be found.
“You shall leave your name as a curse to my chosen; for the Lord GOD will slay you, and call his servants by another name;” (Isaiah 65:15)
Even now, LORD, many of your servants no longer call themselves by the name of the Episcopal Church. There is great confusion among your people, help us walk by the light of the gospel.
“So that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth;” (Isaiah 65:16a)
Jesus, you are the way, the truth, and the life; help us seek your blessing day by day and walk in your ways, and find new life in your Spirit.
“And he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hidden from my eyes.” (Isaiah 65:16b)
LORD, help us return to you so that our former sins may be put away from us as far as the East is from the West and you remember them no more.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
Jesus, we long to see your new creation; we long to see the Episcopal Church washed and cleansed, without spot or wrinkle, a bride prepared and ready for you.
“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” (Isaiah 65:18)
Father, please help us keep our attention on you and your ways so that we can rejoice and be glad. There is a joy in your Spirit that does not depend on circumstances; we long to be people of that kind of joy.
“I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:19)
Jesus, we await your victory among your people with hope. Thank you for the joy that comes with hope.
Praying The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank you for being one and thank you for your love for one another. Please help me, help your people live in the reality of your unity and love. Thank you.
the Father Almighty,
Father, thank you for being a father to me. Thank you that by your might you have made your son Jesus known to us so that we can become your children.
maker of heaven and earth,
Thank you, Father, for your creation. Please help us by your Holy Spirit to be better stewards of your creation.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth. (3 John 4)
A word received: I want my children to walk in the truth — the whole truth of the gospel. The Gospel contains the whole truth of man’s sin and fall and my redeeming love on the cross to make a people acceptable to my father. Present the whole gospel — all of it.
Dec. 31: 1 Kings 3:5-14; James 4:13-17;5:7-11; John 5:1-15
Eve of Holy Name: 90; Isa. 65:15b-25; Revelation 21:1-6
Holy Name: 148; Isa. 62:1-5, 10-12; Revelation 19:11-16; Matthew 1:18-25