we beseech thee mercifully
to receive the prayers of thy people
which call upon thee;
and grant that they may both perceive and know
what things they ought to do,
and also may have grace and power
faithfully to fulfil the same;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
So they watched him and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. So they asked him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ But he perceived their craftiness and said to them, ‘Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?’ They said, ‘The emperor’s.’ He said to them, ‘Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were not able in the presence of the people to trap him by what he said; and being amazed by his answer, they became silent.
from Psalm 139
I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished;
already in your book were all my members written,
As day by day they were fashioned
when as yet there was none of them.
How deep are your counsels to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I count them, they are more in number than the sand,
and at the end, I am still in your presence.
O that you would slay the wicked, O God,
that the bloodthirsty might depart from me!
They speak against you with wicked intent;
your enemies take up your name for evil.
Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?
Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred;
they have become my own enemies also.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;
try me and examine my thoughts.
See if there is any way of wickedness in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.