We are used to singing hymns in praise of God. Many of the Psalms are precisely that, and many of our hymns are based upon them. But here is something unusual – a hymn, sung by Wisdom, in praise of herself! In Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as a woman, calling out to be heard, to lead people into understanding, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord – in competition with those who seek to lead others into temptation. It is important to listen to the right song!
Proverbs Chapter 7:4-11
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Prayer – from the August 16 Sunday worship at Zion
Creator of all, thank You for summer!
Thank You for the warmth of the sun and the long hours of daylight.
Thank you for cool drinks, for shade, and for relief from hot days.
Thank You for the beauty we see all around us
and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Thank You for the time we have to be with friends and family,
And for the loosening of restrictions which enable us
to be with one another, to be with those we love.
Draw us closer to You this summer.
Teach us how we can pray no matter where we are or what we are doing.
Warm our very soul with the awareness of Your presence,
and light our path with Your Word and Counsel.
As we enjoy Your creation,
create in us a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.
May we walk with you, Lord, this summer,
in whatever we do, wherever we go
May we walk with honesty and with courage,
May we walk with respect and concern for the feelings of others.
May we walk in truth and love.
Thinking of others, we lift one another up to you in prayer,
Praying for the hungry, the lonely, the worried,
the sick, and the grieving.
We pray for the seniors of our congregation,
particularly those in long-term care, and for their families,
as well as for those who wish to visit with those whom they love,
but cannot because of travel and visiting restrictions.
May we you talk to you, Lord, this summer,
every day and in every situation, in truth and love.
May we pray words of praise for the beauty of creation,
Saying prayers of thanks for friends and good times,
Asking Your help, Father, in all our decisions.
May we talk with you God, every day.
Even as we pray the words you have taught us, saying,
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.