comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken,
you give us life and hope:
teach us the ways of gentleness and peace,
that all the world may acknowledge
the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you. But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while. At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints; for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. They were pleased to do this, and indeed they owe it to them; for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material things. So, when I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will set out by way of you to Spain; and I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in earnest prayer to God on my behalf, that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my ministry to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. The God of peace be with all of you. Amen.
Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or the earth and the world were formed,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn us back to dust and say:
‘Turn back, O children of earth.’
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday,
which passes like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away like a dream;
they fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and flourishes;
in the evening it is dried up and withered.
For we consume away in your displeasure;
we are afraid at your wrathful indignation.
You have set our misdeeds before you
and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
When you are angry, all our days are gone;
our years come to an end like a sigh.
The days of our life are three score years and ten,
or if our strength endures, even four score;
yet the sum of them is but labour and sorrow,
for they soon pass away and we are gone.
Who regards the power of your wrath
and your indignation like those who fear you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Turn again, O Lord; how long will you delay?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us with your loving-kindness in the morning,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Give us gladness for the days you have afflicted us,
and for the years in which we have seen adversity.
Show your servants your works,
and let your glory be over their children.
May the gracious favour of the Lord our God be upon us;
prosper our handiwork; O prosper the work of our hands.