A Prayer from Canterbury Cathedral
Heavenly Father, as I come before you in prayer,
I give you thanks for the gift of my life, and for all those good things I have received in it…
I offer you all that is broken within me and within my relationships, and ask for your healing…
I hold before you all those people I know who are suffering and in need today…
I ask you to bless my community and all those who care for others…
I place into your eternal arms all those I love who have died…
1 Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3 That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
4 We will recount to generations to come the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, *
and the wonderful works he has done.
5 He gave his decrees to Jacob and established a law for Israel, *
which he commanded them to teach their children;
6 That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7 So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God, but keep his commandments;
8 And not be like their forefathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;
10 They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in his law;
11 They forgot what he had done, *
and the wonders he had shown them.
12 He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He split open the sea and let them pass through; *
he made the waters stand up like walls.
14 He led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15 He split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16 He brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17 But they went on sinning against him, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18 They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.
19 They railed against God and said, *
“Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20 True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; *
but is he able to give bread or to provide meat for his people?”
21 When the LORD heard this, he was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob, and his anger mounted against Israel;
22 For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
23 So he commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.
25 So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
he provided for them food enough.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and led out the south wind by his might.
27 He rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and wingéd birds like the sand of the sea.
28 He let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled, *
for he gave them what they craved.
30 But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.
31 So God’s anger mounted against them; *
he slew their strongest men and laid low the youth of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
33 So he brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.
34 Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, *
and repent, and diligently search for God.
35 They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouths *
and lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him, *
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins and did not destroy them; *
many times he held back his anger and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
39 For he remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.