Category: Time to Pray

  • Ecclesiastes 4 1-3

    4 And I turned and saw all the deeds of oppression
    that are done under the sun.
    Look, the tears of the oppressed,
    and there is no comforter for them;
    yes, (in) the hand of their oppressors is the power,
    and there is no comforter for them.
    2I myself congratulated the dead people,
    who had already died,
    more than the living people, who were still alive.
    3Better than both of them
    is the one who hasn’t yet come into being,
    who hasn’t seen the evil activity that occurs under the sun.

    Eternal God and Fatther,
    you create us by your power,
    and redeem us by your love,
    guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
    that we may give ourselves in love and service
    to one another and to you;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Ecclesiastes 3 16-22

    16Further, I saw under the sun:
    the place for judgement, there – wickedness.
    the place for righteousness, there – wickedness

    17I said in my heart,
    ‘the righteous person and the wicked person
    God will judge.
    Because there is a season
    for every matter
    and for every labour there.

    18I said in my heart,
    with regard to matters of humans,
    God will make it clear and show them
    that they are like animals.

    19Because the fate of humans
    and the fate of animals
    is a single fate.
    As the death of this one
    so the death of this one
    One ‘breath’ for all.
    The advantage of humanity over animals
    – there is none, because each is mere breath.
    20And all go to one place.
    All are from dust
    and all go back to dust.

    21Who knows if the spirit of humans goes upward
    and the spirit of animals goes down beneath the earth?

    22So I saw that there is nothing better than that a person enjoy their labours, because this is their share,
    because who can give them discernment to see what will happen after them?

    O Lord, in whom is our hope,
    remove far from us, we pray thee,
    empty hopes and presumptuous confidence.
    Make our hearts so right with thy most holy and loving heart,
    that hoping in thee we may do good;
    until that day when faith and hope
    shall be abolished by sight and possession,
    and love shall be all in all.

    Christina Rossetti (1830-94)

  • Ecclesiastes 3 14-15

    14I knew that everything that God does, it will be forever.
    To it there is nothing to add,
    and from it, there’s nothing to take away.

    God has acted so they live in awe before him.

    15What has happened, already is,
    and that which is to happen, has already happened.
    And God seeks out what has been driven away

    Keep us, O Lord, while we tarry on this earth,
    in a serious seeking after thee,
    and in an affectionate walking with thee,
    every day of our lives;
    that when thou comest,
    we may be found not hiding our talent,
    nor yet asleep with our lamp unfurnished,
    but waiting and longing for our Lord,
    our glorious King, for ever and ever.

    Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

  • Ecclesiastes 3 12-13

    12I knew that there is nothing good in them
    – except to rejoice
    and do what’s good in their lifetime.
    13Also,
    that all people who eat and drink
    and see what’s good in all their work
    – it’s God’s gift.

    Lord God,
    you feed us with the living bread from heaven;
    you renew our faith,
    increase our hope,
    and strengthen our love.

    Teach us to hunger
    for Christ who is the true and living bread,
    and to live by every word
    that comes from your mouth,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Amen.

  • Ecclesiastes 3 9-11

    9What’s the advantage for the worker, in what they toil over?
    10I’ve seen the busyness that God has given (human beings) to be busy with. 11He’s made everything fitting in its season;
    he’s also put eternity into their hearts,
    but so that humanity cannot find out
    what God has done from the beginning until the end.

    Eternal God and Fatther,
    you create us by your power,
    and redeem us by your love,
    guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
    that we may give ourselves in love and service
    to one another and to you;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Ecclesiastes 3 1- 8

    To all – a season,
    a proper-time – for all things
    under the heavens:
    2A time of birthing, a time of dying,
    a time of planting, a time of uprooting what is planted,
    3A time of killing, a time of healing,
     a time of breaking down, a time of building up,
    4A time of crying, a time of having fun,
    a time of wailing, a time of dancing,
    5A time of throwing stones, a time of collecting stones,
    a time of embracing, a time of staying far from embracing,
    6A time of searching, a time of abandoning,
    a time of keeping, a time of throwing out
    7A time of tearing, a time of mending,
    a time of being silent, a time of speaking,
    8A time of being loyal, a time of being hostile,
    a time of battle and a time of peace.

    God, give me grace to accept with serenity
    the things that cannot be changed,
    Courage to change the things
    which should be changed,
    and the Wisdom to distinguish
    the one from the other.

    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
    Taking, as Jesus did,
    This sinful world as it is,
    Not as I would have it,
    Trusting that You will make all things right,
    If I surrender to Your will,
    So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

    Amen.

  • Ecclesiastes 2 24-26

    24There is nothing better for a person
    than that they eat and drink
    and ‘show their soul’ good
    in their hard work.
    I have also seen that this is from God’s hand.
    25Because who eats
    and who has enjoyment apart from Him?

    26Because to the person who is good before Him
    He gives (godly)-wisdom, knowledge, and rejoicing,
    and to the sinner
    He gives the busyness of gathering and collecting
    —to give to someone who is good before God.
    This too is mere-breath, a chasing of wind.

    Eternal Light, shine into our hearts,
    Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil,
    Eternal Power, be our support,
    Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance,
    Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us;
    that with all our heart and mind
    and soul and strength we may seek thy face
    and be brought by thine infinite mercy
    to thy holy presence;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Alcuin (735-804)

  • Ecclesiastes 2 18-23

    18So I hated all the hard work that I have done
    under the sun,
    which I shall bequeath to the person who will be after me.
    19Who knows whether they’ll be a worldy-wise person or a fool?
    But they’ll be master over all the work that I have done
    and the wisdom that I’ve exercised
    under the sun.
    This too is mere-breath.

    20So I myself turned round to letting my heart despair
    about all the hard work that I have done
    under the sun.
    21Because a person may work hard
    with worldly-wisdom,
    with knowledge,
    and with skill,
    and they give their share from it to a person
    who didn’t work hard for it.
    This is also mere-breath,
    and bad.


    22Because what does the person have for all their hard work
    and striving of heart,
    with which they worked under the sun?
    23Because all their days, their hard work is pain and vexation.
    By night, too, their ‘heart’ doesn’t lie down.
    This also is mere-breath.

    Lord, you have given me so much,
    I ask for one more thing –
    a grateful heart.

    George Herbert

  • Ecclesiastes 2:12-17

    12I turned to see worldly-wisdom, and madness-and-idiocy.
    Because what will the person do who comes after the king?
    That which people have already done.
    13I myself saw that

    There is profit for worldly-wisdom over idiocy,
    like the profit of light over darkness.
    14The worldly-wise person – their eyes are in their head,
    but the fool walks in darkness.

    But I myself also acknowledged
    that one experience happens to both of them.
    15So I said in my heart:
    like the experience of the fool,
    so it will happen to me, too.
    So why have I then been exceedingly worldly-wise?
    I spoke in my heart:
    ‘this is mere breath too’.

    16Because there’s no remembrance of the worldly-wise person,
    or fools
    in the days to come
    because already
    they have been forgotten.
    But how can the worldly-wise person die just like the fool?
    17So I hated life,
    because the action that occurs
    under the sun is bad to me,
    because everything is mere-breath,
    a chasing of wind.

    Be thou a bright flame before me,
    Be thou a guiding star above me
    Be thou a smooth path below me
    Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me
    Today – tonight -forever
    Amen.

    St Columba

  • Ecclesiastes 2 4-10

    4I made my achievements big.
    I built houses for myself,
    I planted vineyards for myself,
    5I made gardens and parks for myself
    and planted in them trees with every fruit.
    6I made pools of water for myself,
    to water from them a forest flourishing with trees.
    7I bought servants and maidservants
    and ones born in my household.
    I also had livestock, both herd and flock;
    I had more than all who were before me in Jerusalem.

    8I also amassed for myself silver and gold
    and the personal treasure of kings and provinces.
    I made for myself male and female singers,
    and the pleasures of the sons of man, girls and more girls. (?)
    9I got big and increased more than anyone who was before me in Jerusalem;
    also my worldly-wisdom stood by me.
    10Nothing that my eyes asked for did I keep from them.
    I didn’t hold my heart back from any rejoicing;
    rather, my heart rejoiced in all my labour.
    This was my share from all my labour.

    11But I myself turned my face to all the deeds that my hands had done
    and to the labour that I had put into doing it.
    Look, everything was mere-breath
    a chasing of wind.
    There was no profit under the sun.

    O Love, O God who created me, in your love recreate me.
    O Love, who redeemed me,
    fill up in me whatever part of your love
    has fallen into neglect within me.
    O Love, O God, who first loved me,
    grant that with my whole heart,
    and with my whole soul,
    and with my whole strength,
    I may love you.

    Gertrude the Great