Psalm 144-146 & Psalms 147-150


Benedictus Dominus

BLESSED be the Lord my strength : who teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight;
2. My hope and my fortress, my castle and deliverer, my defender in whom I trust : who subdueth my people that is under me.
3. Lord, what is man, that thou hast such respect unto him : or the son of man, that thou so regardest him?
4. Man is like a thing of nought : his time passeth away like a shadow.
5. Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down : touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6. Cast forth thy lightning, and tear them : shoot out thine arrows, and consume them.
7. Send down thine hand from above : deliver me, and take me out of the great waters, from the hand of strange children;
8. Whose mouth talketh of vanity : and their right hand is a right hand of wickedness.
9. I will sing a new song unto thee, O God : and sing praises unto thee upon a ten-stringed lute.
10. Thou hast given victory unto kings : and hast delivered David thy servant from the peril of the sword.
11. Save me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children : whose mouth talketh of vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity.
12. That our sons may grow up as the young plants : and that our daughters may be as the polished corners of the temple.
13. That our garners may be full and plenteous with all manner of store : that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets.
14. That our oxen may be strong to labour, that there be no decay : no leading into captivity, and no complaining in our streets.
15. Happy are the people that are in such a case : yea, blessed are the people who have the Lord for their God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

Exaltabo te, Deus

I WILL magnify thee, O God, my King : and I will praise thy Name for ever and ever.
2. Every day will I give thanks unto thee : and praise thy Name for ever and ever.
3. Great is the Lord, and marvellous worthy to be praised : there is no end of his greatness.
4. One generation shall praise thy works unto another : and declare thy power.
5. As for me, I will be talking of thy worship : thy glory, thy praise, and wondrous works;
6. So that men shall speak of the might of thy marvellous acts : and I will also tell of thy greatness.
7. The memorial of thine abundant kindness shall be shewed : and men shall sing of thy righteousness.
8. The Lord is gracious and merciful : long-suffering and of great goodness.
9. The Lord is loving unto every man : and his mercy is over all his works.
10. All thy works praise thee, O Lord : and thy saints give thanks unto thee.
11. They shew the glory of thy kingdom : and talk of thy power;
12. That thy power, thy glory, and mightiness of thy kingdom : might be known unto men.
13. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom : and thy dominion endureth throughout all ages.
14. The Lord upholdeth all such as fall : and lifteth up all those that are down.
15. The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord : and thou givest them their meat in due season.
16. Thou openest thine hand : and fillest all things living with plenteousness.
17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways : and holy in all his works.
18. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him : yea, all such as call upon him faithfully.
19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him : he also will hear their cry, and will help them.
20. The Lord preserveth all them that love him : but scattereth abroad all the ungodly.
21. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord : and let all flesh give thanks unto his holy Name for ever and ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Lauda, anima mea

PRAISE the Lord, O my soul; while I live will I praise the Lord : yea, as long as I have any being, I will sing praises unto my God.
2. O put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man : for there is no help in them.
3. For when the breath of man goeth forth he shall turn again to his earth : and then all his thoughts perish.
4. Blessed is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help : and whose hope is in the Lord his God;
5. Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is : who keepeth his promise for ever;
6. Who helpeth them to right that suffer wrong : who feedeth the hungry.
7. The Lord looseth men out of prison : the Lord giveth sight to the blind.
8. The Lord helpeth them that are fallen : the Lord careth for the righteous.
9. The Lord careth for the strangers, he defendeth the fatherless and widow : as for the way of the ungodly, he turneth it upside down.
10. The Lord thy God, O Sion, shall be King for evermore : and throughout all generations.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Laudate Dominum

O PRAISE the Lord, for it is a good thing to sing praises unto our God : yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful.
2. The Lord doth build up Jerusalem : and gather together the out-casts of Israel.
3. He healeth those that are broken in heart : and giveth medicine to heal their sickness.
4. He telleth the number of the stars : and calleth them all by their names.
5. Great is our Lord, and great is his power : yea, and his wisdom is infinite.
6. The Lord setteth up the meek : and bringeth the ungodly down to the ground.
7. O sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving : sing praises upon the harp unto our God;
8. Who covereth the heaven with clouds, and prepareth rain for the earth : and maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains, and herb for the use of men;
9. Who giveth fodder unto the cattle : and feedeth the young ravens that call upon him.
10. He hath no pleasure in the strength of an horse : neither delighteth he in any man’s legs.
11. But the Lord’s delight is in them that fear him : and put their trust in his mercy.
12. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem : praise thy God, O Sion.
13. For he hath made fast the bars of thy gates : and hath blessed thy children within thee.
14. He maketh peace in thy borders : and filleth thee with the flour of wheat.
15. He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth : and his word runneth very swiftly.
16. He giveth snow like wool : and scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes.
17. He casteth forth his ice like morsels : who is able to abide his frost?
18. He sendeth out his word, and melteth them : he bloweth with his wind, and the waters flow.
19. He sheweth his word unto Jacob : his statutes and ordinances unto Israel.
20. He hath not dealt so with any nation : neither have the heathen knowledge of his laws.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Laudate Dominum

O PRAISE the Lord of heaven : praise him in the height.
2. Praise him, all ye angels of his : praise him, all his host.
3. Praise him, sun and moon : praise him, all ye stars and light.
4. Praise him, all ye heavens : and ye waters that are above the heavens.
5. Let them praise the Name of the Lord : for he spake the word, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created.
6. He hath made them fast for ever and ever : he hath given them a law which shall not be broken.
7. Praise the Lord upon earth : ye dragons, and all deeps;
8. Fire and hail, snow and vapours : wind and storm, fulfilling his word;
9. Mountains and all hills : fruitful trees and all cedars;
10. Beasts and all cattle : worms and feathered fowls;
11. Kings of the earth and all people : princes and all judges of the world;
12. Young men and maidens, old men and children, praise the Name of the Lord : for his Name only is excellent, and his praise above heaven and earth.
13. He shall exalt the horn of his people; all his saints shall praise him : even the children of Israel, even the people that serveth him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Cantate Domino

O SING unto the Lord a new song : let the congregation of saints praise him.
2. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him : and let the children of Sion be joyful in their King.
3. Let them praise his Name in the dance : let them sing praises unto him with tabret and harp.
4. For the Lord hath pleasure in his people : and helpeth the meek-hearted.
5. Let the saints be joyful with glory : let them rejoice in their beds.
6. Let the praises of God be in their mouth : and a two-edged sword in their hands;
7. To be avenged of the heathen : and to rebuke the people;
8. To bind their kings in chains : and their nobles with links of iron.
9. That they may be avenged of them, as it is written : Such honour have all his saints.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Laudate Dominum

O PRAISE God in his holiness : praise him in the firmament of his power.
2. Praise him in his noble acts : praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3. Praise him in the sound of the trumpet : praise him upon the lute and harp.
4. Praise him in the cymbals and dances : praise him upon the strings and pipe.
5. Praise him upon the well-tuned cymbals : praise him upon the loud cymbals.
6. Let every thing that hath breath : praise the Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalms 139-140 and Psalms 141-143


Domine, probasti

O LORD, thou hast searched me out and known me : thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising, thou understandest my thoughts long before.
2. Thou art about my path, and about my bed : and spiest out all my ways.
3. For lo, there is not a word in my tongue : but thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether.
4. Thou hast fashioned me behind and before : and laid thine hand upon me.
5. Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me : I cannot attain unto it.
6. Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit : or whither shall I go then from thy presence?
7. If I climb up into heaven, thou art there : if I go down to hell, thou art there also.
8. If I take the wings of the morning : and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea;
9. Even there also shall thy hand lead me : and thy right hand shall hold me.
10. If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me : then shall my night be turned to day.
11. Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day : the darkness and light to thee are both alike.
12. For my reins are thine : thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
13. I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made : marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
14. My bones are not hid from thee : though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth.
15. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect : and in thy book were all my members written;
16. Which day by day were fashioned : when as yet there was none of them.
17. How dear are thy counsels unto me, O God : O how great is the sum of them!
18. If I tell them, they are more in number than the sand : when I wake up I am present with thee.
19. Wilt thou not slay the wicked, O God : depart from me, ye blood-thirsty men.
20. For they speak unrighteously against thee : and thine enemies take thy Name in vain.
21. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee : and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22. Yea, I hate them right sore : even as though they were mine enemies.
23. Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart : prove me, and examine my thoughts.
24. Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me : and lead me in the way everlasting.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Eripe me, Domine

DELIVER me, O Lord, from the evil man : and preserve me from the wicked man.
2. Who imagine mischief in their hearts : and stir up strife all the day long.
3. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent : adders’ poison is under their lips.
4. Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the ungodly : preserve me from the wicked men, who are purposed to overthrow my goings.
5. The proud have laid a snare for me, and spread a net abroad with cords : yea, and set traps in my way.
6. I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God : hear the voice of my prayers, O Lord.
7. O Lord God, thou strength of my health : thou hast covered my head in the day of the battle.
8. Let not the ungodly have his desire, O Lord : let not his mischievous imagination prosper, lest they be too proud.
9. Let the mischief of their own lips fall upon the head of them : that compass me about.
10. Let hot burning coals fall upon them : let them be cast into the fire and into the pit, that they never rise up again.
11. A man full of words shall not prosper upon the earth : evil shall hunt the wicked person to overthrow him.
12. Sure I am that the Lord will avenge the poor : and maintain the cause of the helpless.
13. The righteous also shall give thanks unto thy Name : and the just shall continue in thy sight.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Domine, clamavi

LORD, I call upon thee, haste thee unto me : and consider my voice when I cry unto thee.
2. Let my prayer be set forth in thy sight as the incense : and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice.
3. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth : and keep the door of my lips.
4. O let not mine heart be inclined to any evil thing : let me not be occupied in ungodly works with the men that work wickedness, lest I eat of such things as please them.
5. Let the righteous rather smite me friendly : and reprove me.
6. But let not their precious balms break my head : yea, I will pray yet against their wickedness.
7. Let their judges be overthrown in stony places : that they may hear my words, for they are sweet.
8. Our bones lie scattered before the pit : like as when one breaketh and heweth wood upon the earth.
9. But mine eyes look unto thee, O Lord God : in thee is my trust , O cast not out my soul.
10. Keep me from the snare that they have laid for me : and from the traps of the wicked doers.
11. Let the ungodly fall into their own nets together : and let me ever escape them.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Voce mea ad Dominum

I CRIED unto the Lord with my voice : yea, even unto the Lord did I make my supplication.
2. I poured out my complaints before him : and shewed him of my trouble.
3. When my spirit was in heaviness thou knewest my path : in the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
4. I looked also upon my right hand : and saw there was no man that would know me.
5. I had no place to flee unto : and no man cared for my soul.
6. I cried unto thee, O Lord, and said : Thou art my hope, and my portion in the land of the living.
7. Consider my complaint : for I am brought very low.
8. O deliver me from my persecutors : for they are too strong for me.
9. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks unto thy Name : which thing if thou wilt grant me, then shall the righteous resort unto my company.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Domine, exaudi

HEAR my prayer, O Lord, and consider my desire : hearken unto me for thy truth and righteousness’ sake.
2. And enter not into judgement with thy servant : for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
3. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground : he hath laid me in the darkness, as the men that have been long dead.
4. Therefore is my spirit vexed within me : and my heart within me is desolate.
5. Yet do I remember the time past; I muse upon all thy works : yea, I exercise myself in the works of thy hands.
6. I stretch forth my hands unto thee : my soul gaspeth unto thee as a thirsty land.
7. Hear me, O Lord, and that soon, for my spirit waxeth faint : hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8. O let me hear thy loving-kindness betimes in the morning, for in thee is my trust : shew thou me the way that I should walk in, for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies : for I flee unto thee to hide me.
10. Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee, for thou art my God : let thy loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness.
11. Quicken me, O Lord, for thy Name’s sake : and for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12. And of thy goodness slay mine enemies : and destroy all them that vex my soul ; for I am thy servant.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalm 136 & Psalms 137-138



O GIVE thanks unto the LORD, for he is gracious : and his mercy endureth for ever.
2. O give thanks unto the God of all gods : for his mercy endureth for ever.
3. O thank the Lord of all lords : for his mercy endureth for ever.
4. Who only doeth great wonders : for his mercy endureth for ever.
5. Who by his excellent wisdom made the heavens : for his mercy endureth for ever.
6. Who laid out the earth above the waters : for his mercy endureth for ever.
7. Who hath made great lights : for his mercy endureth for ever;
8. The sun to rule the day : for his mercy endureth for ever;
9. The moon and the stars to govern the night : for his mercy endureth for ever.
10. Who smote Egypt with their first-born : for his mercy endureth for ever;
11. And brought out Israel from among them : for his mercy endureth for ever;
12. With a mighty hand, and stretched out arm : for his mercy endureth for ever.
13. Who divided the Red sea in two parts : for his mercy endureth for ever;
14. And made Israel to go through the midst of it : for his mercy endureth for ever.
15. But as for Pharaoh and his host, he overthrew them in the Red sea : for his mercy endureth for ever.
16. Who led his people through the wilderness : for his mercy endureth for ever.
17. Who smote great kings : for his mercy endureth for ever;
18. Yea, and slew mighty kings : for his mercy endureth for ever;
19. Sehon king of the Amorites : for his mercy endureth for ever;
20. And Og the king of Basan : for his mercy endureth for ever;
21. And gave away their land for an heritage : for his mercy endureth for ever;
22. Even for an heritage unto Israel his servant : for his mercy endureth for ever.
23. Who remembered us when we were in trouble : for his mercy endureth for ever;
24. And hath delivered us from our enemies : for his mercy endureth for ever.
25. Who giveth food to all flesh : for his mercy endureth for ever.
26. O give thanks unto the God of heaven : for his mercy endureth for ever.
27. O give thanks unto the Lord of lords : for his mercy endureth for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Super flumina

BY THE waters of Babylon we sat down and wept : when we remembered thee, O Sion.
2. As for our harps, we hanged them up : upon the trees that are therein.
3. For they that led us away captive required of us then a song, and melody in our heaviness : Sing us one of the songs of Sion.
4. How shall we sing the Lord’s song : in a strange land?
5. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem : let my right hand forget her cunning.
6. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth : yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem in my mirth.
7. Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, in the day of Jerusalem : how they said, Down with it, down with it, even to the ground.
8. O daughter of Babylon , wasted with misery : yea, happy shall he be that rewardeth thee, as thou hast served us.
9. Blessed shall he be that taketh thy children : and throweth them against the stones.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Confitebor tibi

I WILL give thanks unto thee, O Lord, with my whole heart : even before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
2. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy Name, because of thy loving-kindness and truth : for thou hast magnified thy Name and thy word above all things.
3. When I called upon thee, thou heardest me : and enduedst my soul with much strength.
4. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord : for they have heard the words of thy mouth.
5. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord : that great is the glory of the Lord.
6. For though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly : as for the proud, he beholdeth them afar off.
7. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, yet shalt thou refresh me : thou shalt stretch forth thy hand upon the furiousness of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
8. The lord shall make good his loving-kindness toward me : yea, thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever; despise not then the works of thine own hands.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
   As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Second Sunday in Lent


The Woman of Canaan, 17th century, Michael Angelo Immenraet


ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

WE beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk, and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God; that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter; because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.


St. Matthew 15:21-88

JESUS went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.


from The Harmony of the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels.
A Devotional Exposition of the Continuous Teaching of the Church Throughout the Year, Melville Scott, Vicar of Castlechurch, Stafford,
Second Edition, Bemrose & Sons, London, 1903.

Temptations of the Flesh

From the temptations of the evil one we pass to a solemn warning against the sins of the flesh. As not infrequently, the keynote of the day is struck most clearly in the Epistle.

THE EPISTLE (I Thess. iv. i.)

This falls naturally into the following divisions:–

A. The Importance of this Subject.

The Apostle’s loving earnestness is seen in the opening words–he beseeches, he exhorts as speaking in the Name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus. He reminds his readers how distinct and strong had been his teaching, and that they must never rest in the pursuit of holiness, but “abound more and more.” The lesson once taught must never be put aside as completely learned.

Such primary instructions on plain matters of faith and duty was part of the Gospel message. If such definite instruction is not always found in the New Testament, it must never be forgotten that it is always pre-supposed. The high doctrine of the Epistles was for those who had received a solid foundation of elementary truth, given in the form of definite commandments.

B. Sensual Sins are Sins against Ourselves.

The will of God for each of us is that we should attain to holiness: He will, therefore, give us the help we need to carry out His commands. Every individual Christian was entrusted by God with his or her body as a “vessel” or instrument to be used for the Giver, and every individual must, therefore, learn how to “possess” or acquire mastery over that instrument, to keep it clean, to regard it with honour, and not debase it as Gentiles might who had never learned the intention of their Creator. To sin against our bodies is to sin against ourselves.

C. Sensual Sins are Sins against Our Brethren.

We must read “in the matter,” i.e., of purity, in place of “in any matter.” S. Paul is not exhorting against dishonesty, but showing that impurity is dishonesty, as a fraud on family life, a robbery of the peace and life of homes, and especially of Christian homes. Our Lord and Master will avenge such dishonour done to the life of the family and of the Church. Sensual sins–all the sins of the flesh, in thought, word, and deed–are the worst form of selfishness. Hence our Divine Lord takes such earthly sins into His own hands.

D. Sensual Sins are Sins against God.

The call of God given in our baptism was a call into a state of holiness. This call was no empty form, but was accompanied by the power to obey through the perpetual assistance of the Holy Spirit. Hence “he that rejecteth [for this is the face of ‘despiseth’] rejecteth not man, but God.” He is false to the position of grace and salvation in which God has placed him. He may not plead that sins of the flesh are natural, for as baptized he is not in a state of nature, but of grace. The fact that we have such temptations is no sign that we have not received grace but if we fall it is a sign that we have not made use of the grace given. The fault is not in God’s grace, but in man’s rejection; not in baptism, but in the baptized who have neglected the pledged assistance of grace. We must not frustrate the purpose of God, which is our sanctification by grace, and which is no mere willingness, but a thing of strength; it is a will, to carry out which we have the help of the Holy Spirit.

THE GOSPEL. (S. Matthew xv. 21.)

From this miracle we learn to look to our Lord for deliverance from sins of the flesh, and how to seek His help by earnest prayer.

A. An Unclean Spirit.

We learn from S. Mark vii. 25 that the girl was possessed by “an unclean spirit,” and both accounts follow immediately after our Saviour’s teaching on the things which proceed out of the heart and defile a man. The miracle is, therefore, most appropriately chosen for the present Sunday. Our condition of covenant grace and favour is contrasted with that of the woman of Sidon, who was outside the Covenant, and yet by earnestness won an interest in Christ, which is ours before we ask. Our Lord, Who loved “the dogs,” will not neglect His sheep.

B. The Unclean Spirit Cast Out.

“This kind goeth not out but by prayer,” and we are to learn from the woman of Canaan the nature of true prayer. True prayer must show sincerity of faith, perseverance and determination, reverence and humility; it will in due time be rewarded with victory.

The woman of Canaan had faith not only in the power but also in the love of our Lord, a faith which enabled her to see through His continued silence, to be patient under His rebuff, and to turn a seeming insult into a prevailing argument in behalf of her child. Let our prayers be thus earnest, taking no denial, regarding no obstacle, humbly confident that in spite of all appearances they shall find an answer, and then it shall again be said, “Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” Christ waits to be conquered before He will conquer the spirit of evil. Let no Christian, therefore, be discouraged as to his sinful tendencies, but pray and faint not till prayer is turned to praise.


A prayer for those tempted in spirit through the lusts of the flesh.

A. Our Plea.

Our very weakness and defencelessness is our plea. We have “no power of ourselves to help ourselves,” and He Who knoweth whereof we are made sees, as we cannot see, the justice of our plea. Our argument rests on grounds even stronger than we know, but God knows them.

B. Our Petition.

We pray for the defence of Divine providence for our bodies, and for the defence of Divine grace for our souls. We are outwardly and inwardly weak, and the weakness of the spirit is intensified by the weakness of the flesh. We need continual “keeping,” for we know not what temptation each day and hour may produce.

C. Its Desired Consequence.

A body safe from all adversities, and a soul safe from the evil thoughts which assault and hurt it through its connection with the body. The ancient form of this collect is even more appropriate–“we may be cleansed from all evil thoughts.”

We who thus pray against evil thoughts must learn not to harbour them. We who are gunpowder must avoid sparks.