Vespers - Dinner Prayer

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Grace

Dear God,
thank you for all that is good,
for our creation and for our humanity,
for the gifts of life and of one another,
for your love which is unbounded and eternal.
for the food before us,
the family and friends beside us
and the love between us.
Amen.

Psalm 74

1 O God, why do you cast us off for ever?
    Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
    which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
    Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.
3 Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
    the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

4 Your foes have roared within your holy place;
    they set up their emblems there.
5 At the upper entrance they hacked
    the wooden trellis with axes.
6 And then, with hatchets and hammers,
    they smashed all its carved work.
7 They set your sanctuary on fire;
    they desecrated the dwelling-place of your name,
    bringing it to the ground.
8 They said to themselves, ‘We will utterly subdue them’;
    they burned all the meeting-places of God in the land.

9 We do not see our emblems;
    there is no longer any prophet,
    and there is no one among us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
    Is the enemy to revile your name for ever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand;
    why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

12 Yet God my King is from of old,
    working salvation in the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your might;
    you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
    you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You cut openings for springs and torrents;
    you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, yours also the night;
    you established the luminaries and the sun.
17 You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
    you made summer and winter.

18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
    and an impious people reviles your name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
    do not forget the life of your poor for ever.

20 Have regard for your covenant,
    for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
21 Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
    let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
    remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
23 Do not forget the clamour of your foes,
    the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

Collect

Eternal Spirit, living God,
in whom we live and move and have our being,
all that we are, have been, and shall be is known to you,
to the very secret of our hearts
and all that rises to trouble us.
Living flame burn into us,
cleansing wind, blow through us,
fountain of water, well up within us,
that we may love and praise in deed and in truth.
Amen.