The Fifth Sunday after Trinity.
TEACH me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes : and I shall keep it unto the end.
34. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law : yea, I shall keep it with my whole heart.
35. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments : for therein is my desire.
36. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies : and not to covetousness.
37. O turn away mine eyes, lest they behold vanity : and quicken thou me in thy way.
38. O stablish thy word in thy servant : that I may fear thee.
39. Take away the rebuke that I am afraid of : for thy judgements are good.
40. Behold, my delight is in thy commandments : O quicken me in thy righteousness.
GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Ecclesiastes 2.1-23
Psalter: Psalm 21, 23 | 26, 27
Epistle Reading: 1 Peter 3.8-15a (15b-16)
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 5.1-11
Toon: “This Prayer is a Petition, an intense and rich petition which contains two strong verbs, each of which particularly belong to the vocabulary of traditional English prayer, public and private. The verb to grant is most appropriately used (a) by creatures when thinking of the relation of their beneficent Creator to human beings made in his image and after his likeness, and (b) by sinners when thinking of the relation of their gracious Redeemer to them as undeserving and without claims upon him, except the Name of Jesus Christ. Further, the verb to beseech is an appropriate form of asking by such creatures and sinners as they face their Lord. It suggests that they are bowing low before him in deep humility recognizing his Majesty. They come not as friends asking for a favour or for a loan. They come as weak and undeserving, but yet they come in the faith of Jesus Christ.
And what do sinners being saved by grace desire and hope God will grant in response to their beseeching? They deeply desire that by his providence as the Governor of the universe he will so guide events in space and time that the Church of God will be able not merely to serve the Lord her God as best she can, but that she will serve him joyfully and in a calm yet committed way.
The Church, as a school for weak sinners and a hospital for sick disciples, here prays that she will not be placed in a world of tribulation and persecution (which has often been her vocation), but that there will be civil peace. Further, that there will be peace within the Church herself, free from internal schism and controversy. In this situation she will be able, by his guidance and in his strength, to love and serve him with joy, exceeding great joy, and also with a quiet mind, a meditating and convinced mind. In other words, as it is expressed in the Lord’s Prayer, to do his will on earth as it is done in heaven, where there is perfect peace and joy.
Of course, each of us can personalize this prayer desiring that the circumstances of our lives make it possible for us to serve God joyfully and with a quiet mind!
This kind of praying is offered in the biblical, lectionary context of the apostle Peter saying to the Lord, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord, (Gospel) and the word of God telling us: The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open unto their prayers (Epistle)” (http://www.pbs.org.uk/the-bcp/fifth-sunday-after-trinity).