1 Peter

1 PETER 1

Strong Rock of our lives,
on you we set all our hope that when Jesus is revealed he will rain his grace on us.

We have a sure confidence that you have chosen and destined Father, and sanctified us by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ, and sprinkled by his blood.

Blessed be your name because our hope is not mere wishful thinking,
but it has a solid, imperishable foundation in the resurrection of Jesus.
Because you are our Rock, our faith will be able to withstand trials,
and thus our faith will give you glory and praise.

We thank you that we have been transformed from futile ways, through the blood of Christ.
Through Him we have come to trust the living God, and we have been born anew through the imperishable word.

We pray that you will give us genuine, mutual love, loving one another deeply, from the heart.

We thank you that you have announced this good news to us.

1 PETER 2

God of your people,
your servant Peter gave instructions for living a fully Christian life.
He gave us reasons and motivation for doing so in reminding us who we are, and how blessed we are. He also showed us who you are, and how great you are.

In Christ, we are being built up into a spiritual house,
to be a holy priesthood,
to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to you through Jesus Christ.

God, we can hardly grasp the wonder of it, but we are:
a chosen race,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
God’s own people,
to proclaim Your mighty acts,
and to live in your marvelous light.

You are worthy of all praise, God, for the gift of your son, our Savior.
He suffered our suffering He who himself committed no sin,
bore our sins in his body on the cross,
and thereby he has freed us from all sins,
so that we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds, we are healed.

By Your keeping, may we never stray from the shepherd and guardian of our souls.

1 PETER 3

Lord our God,
The message of Jesus Christ is so rich that we ask your help to shape all of life in conformity to it, for then our lives will be blessed much more than if we shape it according to our own whims.

May all married couples strive daily to treat each other as your word commands.
Make clear to us that this might mean in our time something a bit different from what Peter saw in his time and situation, but may we do so with the same intention that moved him.

So in your communities may we have unity of spirit, sympathy, mutual love, tender hearts and humble minds.

If we are mistreated, may we respond with blessing.
In our hearts may we honor Christ as Lord.

Help us by your Holy Spirit to gently and reverently defend the cause of Christ. If we are called to suffer, may it never be because we have done wrong.

God, we remember in our distress the suffering of Christ for our sins,
once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous.
He was put to death for us, but you made him alive in the spirit.

We trust that the risen and ascended Lord,
to whom angels, authorities and powers are subject,
can mold us to become the people you want us to be.

1 PETER 4

God of your people, here your servant Peter speaks of the church under persecution, a matter so relevant to many Christians in our time, too.

Your Son, our savior, suffered. We should not shy away from that kind of suffering either. Help us to live our lives not by human desires, but by your will. May unbelievers be surprised when we refuse to join them in their sinful lives. God, you want all people to avoid judgment through the good news that is preached even to the dead.

May our characters be shaped by discipline for the sake of our prayers.

Maintain in our hearts constant mutual love, for love covers a multitude of sins.

May all of us be good stewards of the manifold grace of God, so that you, God, may be glorified through the strength of your grace.

In any suffering that comes our way, may we still glorify your name, by entrusting ourselves to you, the faithful creator, while we continue to do good.

1 Peter 5

Inspiring God,
thank you for the way you teach us to endure hardship,
to resist evil,
and to be excellent shepherds of Your flock,
for the chief shepherd will give us the crown of glory that lasts forever.

When we humble ourselves under your mighty hand, you will exalt us.
We may cast all our anxieties on you because you care for us.

We trust that after many kinds of suffering,
you, the God of grace who called us to eternal glory in Christ,
will support, restore, strengthen and establish us.

May we stand fast in the grace of God, the rock which will be firm forever.

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James

James 1

Father of lights,
for your own purpose you gave us birth by the word of truth.
You want us to become the first fruit of your creatures.

By your word we are becoming transformed to become doers of your word.
Every square inch of life is to be molded by your grace and truth,
otherwise we are merely Christians in name, and  we deceive our hearts, and our religion is worthless.

Bless us with the ability to joyfully endure temptation.
Generously give us your wisdom.
Forgive us when we foolishly envy the rich.
May we learn to be quick to listen,
slow to speak,
slow to anger.
Help us to get rid of sordid behavior
and rank growth of wickedness.

Keep before us always the perfect law, the law of liberty
and may we always persevere in doing the of righteousness
so that we do not lose our way in this world
which denies you and opposes your people.

JAMES 2

Great King and Master of the Universe,
from you we have the highest law, the royal law,
to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We know we do well if we fulfill this law,
but we confess that it is easier said than done.

We easily and often show favoritism to the rich and famous
at the expense of the poor and needy.
In your sight, showing such partiality is sin.
And when we commit one sin, we break the entire royal law.

We confess that we are at times Christian in name only.
We say we believe, but we do not have the life of works that should flow from faith.

Activate in us the grace that was in Abraham
whose faith was reckoned to him as righteousness,
and hence he was called a friend of God.

Great King and Master of the universe,
we also long to be counted as your friends.

JAMES 3

God above,
through your servant James we are admonished to see
that living the Christian life is a very serious matter!

We confess that our tongues can often be restless, destructive fires.
Our words can be poisonous, causing wounds from which others scarcely recover.
Words can hurt and destroy relationships.
Our tongues are not easily controlled.

Our God and Father,
give us the indispensable gift of wisdom and understanding,
so that our good life leads to gentleness in dealing with one another.

Thank you for the fruitful wisdom you give us,
for your wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle,
willing to yield to others;
wisdom if full of mercy and good fruits,
with not a hint or partiality or hypocrisy.

Make it clear to us, we pray, that a harvest of righteousness
is sown in peace for those who make peace.

JAMES 4

Covenant-keeping God,
you desire with earnest longing to have fellowship with us,
but all manner of sin obstructs this rich fellowship between you and us, your people.

We are torn within by contradictory cravings.
Often we are at enmity with you, because of our friendship with the world.
But thankfully your grace abounds to the penitent.

Therefore, God of the covenant promises,
we submit ourselves to you.
We will resist the devil, so he will flee from us.
We will cleanse our hands and purify our hearts
so our hearts will be united in willing only one thing.

Covenant God, our confidence is that when humble ourselves before you, you will exalt us.

Thank You, God, for you give grace to the humble.

JAMES 5

Lord of hosts,

you are a just judge,
and therefore all sinners, especially those who hurt others,
will end up weeping and wailing because of the miseries that are coming to them.

You, Lord, are coming again.
Teach us how to live in the meanwhile, in this present evil age,
waiting patiently, and treating one another graciously,
forgiving each other,
supporting one another,
praying for each other,
speaking the truth to one another,
singing songs of praise.

When anyone is sick, the elders and all your people will pray,
trusting in the power of prayerful faith.

And God, help us especially to approach the straying with words of correction and discipline so that there will be joy in heaven because of the salvation of even one person, and greater joy because of the salvation of throngs of believers, more believers than the sand on the beaches.

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Hebrews

Hebrews 1

Dear speaking God, may we never cease to be astonished at the many ways you have spoken, first in many and various ways you spoke through the prophets, but now in these last days you spoke in the most eloquent way, your speech brought your Son into our sin-broken world.

Words fail us to describe Christ’s surpassing excellence:
he is heir of all things,
creator of the world,
reflecting God’s glory
the exact imprint of God’s being,
the one who sustains all things by his Word.
He made purification for sins,
honored to be seated at God’s right hand,
superior to the angels
named by the most excellent name.

Glory to you, Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 2

Dear Father, Redeemer,
the gospel of salvation is the free gift of the greatest treasure we have ever been offered or received.

We neglect this salvation at our greatest peril, since every transgression or act of disobedience receives a just penalty.

Father, obviously we don’t see all the impact of your saving work,
but we see Jesus in his humiliation and exaltation,
crowned with glory and honor.

God, you bring many sons and daughters to glory through the suffering of the pioneer of salvation.
It is Christ’s that made his saving work perfect,
sufficient for our salvation.

Through death, Christ destroyed death and the one who has power of death, and thus he frees all who fear death from its terror.

Father God, your son Jesus the Christ has become like us, his brothers and sisters, and for us he became a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, and so became a sacrifice  of atonement for the sins of the people.

Thanks be to you, God, for through the tests your Son endured, you are able to help us when we are tested.

Hebrews 3

Head of the church, you have called us to be holy partners with a heavenly calling to serve the gospel of our Savior.

As Jesus was most faithful in his serve to the one who appointed him
may we also be found faithful.

Together with Jesus Christ, we are a house fit for you to dwell in, our God, if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to our hope.

Therefore we pray that none of us may be found to have sinful and unbelieving hearts that turn away from you the living God.

So, through all the twists and turns,
the joys and sufferings of life,
may we hold on to our first confidence, firmly, to the end.

Hebrews 4

We thank you, Father God, that the promise to enter into your eternal Sabbath rest remains open to all who turn to you in faith.

May this gospel be proclaimed as an invitation to all people,
and may everyone who hears take the opportunity to turn to you in faith.

Thank you, God, for the rest that remains for the people of God.
May we learn not to take our entry into your eternal kingdom for granted, but to be honest with you, for you know us inside and out,
so by repentance we should make every effort to enter.

Father God, we do not need to be afraid of you.
Your word teaches that we may boldly approach your throne of grace.
And as we do so, we receive mercy and grace o help us in time of need.

Hebrews 5

Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus, the perfect High Priest. This High Priest is both like and different from human high priests.

You called and sent Jesus.
He understands our human frailties.
He gave his life a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world,
although unlike human high priests he committed no sin.

We are grateful because Jesus offers up prayer and supplications with passion to you, Father, who alone can save us from death.

We acknowledge that it is difficult for us to learn obedience through suffering, but Jesus did, and through perfection became the perfect source of salvation to all who obey him.

May we, through the example of Jesus,
learn to distinguish good from evil.

We offer our prayer through him who provides access to the Father.

Hebrews 6

Dear Parenting God,
your word presses us to move from childhood to maturity,
from milk to meat.

We learn the sad truth that it is impossible to restore to repentance
those who once were enlightened and tasted your goodness.
Forgive us for frequently trifling with your word.

You are a just God and will not overlook the work and love shown for Jesus’s sake in the service given to the saints.

By the Spirit’s encouragement may we be diligent in living the Christian life, so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end.

We rejoice in the hope we have,
a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul,
a hope that enters the inner shrine
behind the curtain where Jesus entered,
a forerunner on our behalf.

He became a high priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Thanks be to you, our God. Amen.

Hebrews 7

Most High God,
you have always provided wonderfully for your people.
In the time of Abraham, King Melchizedek was a great High Priest.
He blessed Abraham after he had defeated the kings, and Abraham acknowledged the king of righteousness by a gift of a tithe of all his possession.

But now we have been blessed with an even greater High Priest,
Jesus Christ, who has established an eternal covenant,
a better hope through which we can approach God.

Father God, because Jesus holds the new and better covenant eternally,
he can for all time save those who approach God, for Jesus is always alive to pray for us.

Through Christ we have a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled,
separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

Jesus, you sacrificed yourself, once for all, for us, sinners.

Great High Priest,
have mercy on us,
and grant us Your peace.

Hebrews 8

Majesty on High!
We have a High Priest who exceeds even the excellence of Melchizedek:
Jesus is seated at the right hand of God,
a minister in the sanctuary,
and true tent the Lord has established.

We thank you for the more excellent ministry of Jesus.
He is the mediator of the better covenant
promised by God through the prophet Jeremiah.

You, O God, found fault with the first covenant,
and you made it obsolete and replaced it with the new covenant.

What is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.
But we are confident that the new covenant will last forever,
for we have confidence in you.

Hebrews 9

Dear God Almighty,
covenant maker,
we sing of the greatest High Priest,
the one who surpasses even Melchizedek in excellence,
Jesus Christ.

God, Father, your son entered the Holy Place
with his own blood,
thus earning eternal salvation!

We sing of the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit,
offered himself without blemish to God,
so purifying our consciences
to worship the living God.

We sing to you, because your called people
receive the promised eternal inheritance
because through the death of Christ
redemption has also come to those are under the first covenant.

We sing because Jesus’ blood is the blood God ordained for us,
knowing that without the shedding of blood
there is no forgiveness of sin.

We sing to you, because Jesus is both priest and victim
who sacrificed himself,
and by this sacrifice saves those who eagerly wait for him.

Hebrews 10

Lord our God!
Already through priests and prophets of old you promised good things to come, but sacrifices offered yearly could not bring those good things.

However now, through the offering of Christ’s body,
salvation has come,
bringing sanctification once for all.

We marvel: one sacrifice, one offering, able to make perfect for all time
those who are made holy.

So, Father God, we now enter confidently into the sanctuary,
not because of what we have done, but through the blood of Jesus.

Now we take courage to approach you with a true heart
in full assurance of faith,
for you promised and you are faithful.

As brothers and sisters, we will help each other to love and do good works, and so we don’t leave one another in the lurch.
In hope we stick together as we see the Day of your coming approaching, so we can also face sufferings and enemies together.

As we journey arm in arm, we will not shrink back and become lost,
but together we will persevere in faith and we will be saved.

Hebrews 11

Father God, we recognize that faith is essential to our relationship with you. Without faith, we cannot please you, nor approach you.  And when we believe, we declare that you exist, and that you reward those who seek you.

We read in the Bible all the stories of believers to whom you came, and to whom you responded by providing for them according to their needs even though their hardships were great.

These were people who were strangers and foreigners on earth. They desired a better country, a city whose builder and maker  you are.

Because they desired this better country, you were not ashamed to be called their God, and you indeed prepared a city for them.

Give to us, your people of today, also a faith that believes confidently that we will receive the things hoped for, the conviction of things we do not see, and like our ancestors, may we receive approval from you.

Hear our prayer for a faith that can stand the light of day, and endure the dark of night. Amen.

Hebrews 12

Dear God, we cannot help but notice that with great seriousness Your Word urges us to be faithful by following the example of our Savior, the one who started us on the journey of faith and who will bring us to perfection in the end.

Father, so great a joy was set before Jesus that he was able to endure the cross and its shame, and therefore he was permitted to take his seat at your right hand.

Show us how to keep that same joy of the kingdom before us, so that we may not grow weary, and endure the discipline of the Father for his discipline is for our own good.

Prod us to lift up drooping hands, and strengthen weak knees, and make straight paths for our feet, so that what is lame and wounded may be healed.

Father, we are confident that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. For this we thank you, and desire to offer you acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for you, our God, are a consuming fire.

Hebrews 13

Dear God of peace,
teach us to heed and hear all the good and wise instructions concerning life in prayerful community.

May we be present to each other to bless, and never to hurt.

Strengthen our hearts by grace, and show us how to hold on to your truth.

Limit our dependence on the good things of this creation for they cannot be our ultimate security. We pray for help to keep our hearts firmly fixed on the city that is to come.

Finally we pray that you, God of peace,
who brought back from the dead, Jesus,
the good shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
will make us complete in everything good,
so that we may do your will.

Work in us that which pleases you.
We cannot do this on our own, we admit,
and so we lift our prayers to you,
through your Son, Jesus Christ.

To him be glory, now and forever. Amen.

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Philemon

Philemon

Dear Father God,
you desire your people to be a well-ordered family of God. However, your Word sometimes gives instruction that seem difficult, even inappropriate for us in our cultural reality. When that happens, give us Spirit-driven wisdom and encouragement that does justice to your way and kingdom.

May we have love for all your people, and faith in Jesus Christ to guide us as we try to find a faithful and obedient way to live in our time, so that faith may be effective, especially as we see all the good we may do today.

Sometimes we need to do our duty out of a sense of obedience, but help us to go beyond this and do the right thing out of love.

Moreover, when it is our place to speak a word of admonition to each other, may our appeals be on the basis of love.

And may all our good deeds be voluntary, not forced upon us so that there may be room for your grace to shape and bless our spirits.

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Titus

Titus 1

Dear Triune God,
from your word we need to learn the gospel, for you desire to form and transform us by the it into citizens of the new kingdom.

Helps us to listen to the many ways the Bible teaches us what the message means: it is for the sake of the faith of Your chosen people,
it teaches us truth that leads to godliness, it teaches us the hope of eternal life promised to us by you who do not lie, it is good new entrusted to us for sharing.

Give to every community of believers leaders who have a good grasp of the Word, people who are not content with mediocre work, so they can preach and also refute those who contradict it.

We pray for the grace and peace from God the Father

and from Jesus Christ,
to strengthen your kingdom,
to enrich every believing community,
and to console each of us.

Titus 2

Dear God, by the power of your Holy Spirit, may our teaching consist of sound doctrine that shapes the lives and behavior of all of us according to who we are, and the needs of our station in life.

May the good news of Jesus Christ never be discredited by any one of us, whether through word or deed.

Help us to understand the best motivation that shapes our lives is nothing less than that the grace of God has appeared, to bring salvation to all.

May we learn to so discipline ourselves that we abandon impiety and worldly passion, and to live lives that are self-controlled, upright and godly during this time of waiting for the hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you for revealing to us the reason for Jesus’ coming:
to redeem us from all iniquity,
to purify a people for himself who are zealous for good works.

Titus 3

Father God,
it would seem to go without saying that we should live a godly life with Jesus as motivator and model. However, judging from the letters in the New Testament, and looking honestly at our own lives, we need to be reminded and admonished often.

We acknowledge and confess that sinful pleasures continue to appeal to us, and living a godly life continues to be a challenge for us.

And so we rejoice in the appearing of your goodness and kindness, O God our Savior!

We know we are not saved through our own efforts, or works of righteousness, but according to your mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

We express our gratitude that you pour out your Holy Spirit richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by your grace, we become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Help us to devote ourselves to good works which are excellent and profitable to everyone.

Your grace be with all of us.

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2 Timothy

2 Timothy 1

Dear Father God,
we keep turning to you because of the promise of life that we have in Christ Jesus. We claim this promise for ourselves, and we pray that you will give us a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline as we proclaim the gospel.

This grace of the gospel in Christ Jesus You set apart before the ages began, and now you have revealed it to us in the appearing of the Savior Jesus Christ.

We believe that through the cross, Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light for us all.

We thank you, Father in heaven, for teaching and persuading us that we may put our trust in you. You are able to guard until that great day what we have committed to him.

Until Jesus comes, help us hold to the standard of sound teaching,
and to guard the good treasure entrusted to us,
with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Hear us, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

2 Timothy 2

Dear encouraging God,

you give ample reason for all your servant to persevere in their work of teaching  the gospel, the unchained good news, so that all your elect may obtain the salvation that comes from  Jesus Christ.

Father God, we trust that since we have died with Christ, we shall also live with him.

We trust that if we endure, we will also reign with him;

but we know that if we deny him, he will also deny us;

and wonder of wonders, even if we are unfaithful, you will remain faithful, because you cannot deny yourself.

May all of us, your servants, pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, together with all our brothers and sisters who call on the Lord Jesus with a pure heart.

We ask you to hear our prayer in the name of Jesus, the door to God’s heart.

2 Timothy 3

Father God, your servants often warn about distressing times ahead–
Jesus gave these warnings, and so does the writer of this letter.

We hear of an uncanny list of evil doers, uncanny because this list fits our age so well too. Sound the alarm in our hearts, too, and make us swift to avoid evil-doers.

God, it is unpleasant to hear it, but we are forewarned that persecution is a real possibility in our time for us, and now it actually takes place for many who are persecuted and killed, right now.

Prepare us, support and encourage persecuted brothers and sisters. May we be strong enough in faith to hold on to the sound teaching of your Spirit-given Word, for it instructs us for salvation through our faith in Christ Jesus.

In his name we pray.

2 Timothy 4

Dear Father God,
we recognize that in our times it is as urgently necessary to preach the gospel as it has ever been. Help us to do so in good times and difficult times, to convince, to encourage, to rebuke, whether people will listen or not.

So help us to endure until we finish our journey.

Make us courageous to fight the good fight, to finish the race, and keep the faith.

We will live with your promised future ever in mind: the crown of righteousness which you Lord, the righteous judge, will give us on that great day, the day we long for, the day of his appearing.

In the meanwhile, we trust that you will rescue us from every evil attack, and keep us safe for your heavenly kingdom.

To you, Lord, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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1 Timothy

1 Timothy 1

Dear teacher God,
teach us your gospel, that our training may be in divine truth that is known by faith.
Make our aim to teach love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.

Motivate us to turn from all sinful behavior,
and to pay no attention to false teachers, for they would deceive us.

God, we trust the faithful saying,
the saying that is worthy of full acceptance,
that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners,
and to give eternal life to all who believe.

And God, because your love for the world is so great,
and salvation came at such a high cost,
we acknowledge you the King of the Ages,
immortal, invisible, the only God.
We ascribe to you honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 2

Dear Listening God,
you desire that we pray to you,
not just for ourselves and friends,
but for all people, especially for all in places of authority,
so we may all live peaceable lives in godliness and dignity.

Prayers such as these are right and acceptable to you
who desire everyone to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For You, God, are the only true God.

You have given us Jesus,
the only mediator between God and us.
Jesus, himself human,
who gave himself a ransom for all.

1 Timothy 3

Dear Father of the new household you gather in the name of Jesus,
show us how to behave ourselves in a manner that fits Your new creation, your kingdom.

When we desire to serve you in the offices of your new community,
we desire a good thing, but to do so we need to give ourselves to newness of life, a manner of conduct clearly distinct from the behavior of so many in this world.

We need to take the beams from our own eyes
before we try to take the specks from the eyes of others.

You desire to have us well-thought of by outsiders,
but to our shame we have too often disgraced your name and brought shame on Your people.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

We thank you for the coming of Jesus, your Son.
He was revealed in flesh like ours,
vindicated in Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
and taken up in glory.

Wonderful Savior, glorious Lord!

1 Timothy 5

Dear Father God, you desire that we treat one another with dignity, respect and wisdom,
so that all of us,
men and women alike,
may be assisted to live a godly life,
to live in purity of heart,
and have all our needs met.

Show each of us how to fulfill
our functions in the community.

May we deal wisely with sinners,
so that they may be restored to a good relationship with you.

Help us to observe that our deeds, sinful or good,
will not remain hidden,
but that you will deal with us
as is right and fitting.

You will be merciful and forgiving, we trust,
because of our Savior. Amen.

1 Timothy 6

Dear Father God,
we do not always know how commands given long ago apply in our time. Therefore we urgently pray for godly wisdom to live kingdom lives in our time in accordance with the words and teaching of scripture.

Move us from envy and greed to become people who are content with godliness. We confess that we, too, can be seduced by the love of money to the point of falling away from faith.

Help us by your spirit to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Help us to fight the good fight of faith, to take hold of eternal life, to which were called and for which you created us.

Teach us to live before the face of the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.

To you be honor and eternal dominion!

Thank you for providing us with good things for our enjoyment, for doing good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share, thus storing up for ourselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, and to take hold of life that is life indeed.

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