Father You are the God who ran after us as the father ran after the prodigal son upon returning to him, who had squandered everything. We are those Lord who have lived in a far off country, living lives opposed to You and those who have been made alive by Your Spirit and not begrudgingly welcomed into Your kingdom but actually rejoiced in by You. When we were obstinently opposed to You, You died for us Lord Jesus because that is Your heart and we are your reward. While we were still in our sin and the shame and guilt that results, You bore our burden upon the cross by willingly exposing Yourself to utter shame and the eternal guilt that was owed to us. When we were guilty, through Your life, death, and the resurrection, you counted us righteous. You are our Father, and through Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, we are Your children. Would you grow us into maturity in our faith, that we would increasingly see the connection between our belief in You as our Lord and Savior and are life actions and choices made in response. Father would you give us rest to find our joy and peace in the finished work of Your Son? Would You enter into the deep recesses of our hearts where we are spun up and anxious and following the never-ending busy pattern of the world and slow down long enough to drink deep from the well of Your never-ending streams of gracious water provided for us by Your Son. Would you draw near to us? Apart from You we are helpless, frail, broken and wandering. Abiding in You, we are helped, strengthened, healed and brought home to rest in You.
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP)