Readings for Friday, September 24, 2021
“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.” — Matthew 6:7
1 O Lord, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
2 let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry.
3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help,
5 like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.
6 You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep.
7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves.
8 You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
9 my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call on you, O Lord ; I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you?
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But I, O Lord, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast me off? Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Wretched and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.
16 Your wrath has swept over me; your dread assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long; from all sides they close in on me.
18 You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me; my companions are in darkness.
1 Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike, old and young together!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord !
17 In Jezreel, the sentinel standing on the tower spied the company of Jehu arriving, and said, “I see a company.” Joram said, “Take a horseman; send him to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’” 18 So the horseman went to meet him; he said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” Jehu responded, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” The sentinel reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.”
19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” 20 Again the sentinel reported, “He reached them, but he is not coming back. It looks like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi; for he drives like a maniac.” 21 Joram said, “Get ready.” And they got his chariot ready. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu; they met him at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite.
22 When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?” 23 Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!”
24 Jehu drew his bow with all his strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart; and he sank in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, “Lift him out, and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember, when you and I rode side by side behind his father Ahab how the Lord uttered this oracle against him:
26 ‘For the blood of Naboth and for the blood of his children that I saw yesterday, says the Lord, I swear I will repay you on this very plot of ground.’ Now therefore lift him out and throw him on the plot of ground, in accordance with the word of the Lord .”
27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw this, he fled in the direction of Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, saying, “Shoot him also!” And they shot him in the chariot at the ascent to Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28 His officers carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David. 29 In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.
30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of the window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” 32 He looked up to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him.
33 He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her. 34 Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, “See to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter.”
35 But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 the corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’”
7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5 Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 This I say by way of concession, not of command. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind.
8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. 9 But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.
7 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
3 My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord —how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.
1 The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices.
4 May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
6 Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand.
7 Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.
9 Give victory to the king, O Lord ; answer us when we call.
You can also find all of today’s readings at PCUSA.org.