NIGHT PRAYER: Monday 12/20

A little background...
Christmas is just days away! At this time of year in the prayer of the church, there are special introductory verses sung at Evening Prayer, each naming a particular "title" of the Lord whose coming again we await, each verse beginning with "O...." We are familiar with these special verses because they constitute the lyrics of the 7 verses of the well known Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!"   (More info here!)

Beginning tonight, then, and right up to the feast of Christmas, Night Prayer will take its lead from these "O antiphons," the 4th of which is "O Key of David..."  Whose key? This refers to a verse in Isaiah 22:22 which reads, "Then I will put the key of the house of David on his shoulder; When he opens, no one will shut, When he shuts, no one will open."

O Key of David

Come, O Key of David, come!
Come with the key to my soul
and unlock the gates of my heart.
Open me up to welcome in, to receive
every grace and blessing that's yours to give...

Come with the key to my mind, Lord,
and open my chaos and confusion
to the peace and serenity of your presence...

Come with the keys to my problems, Lord:
open the doors of my heart and lead me out  
on the paths that lead to you
and the comfort I find in your company...

Come with the key to my selfishness,
unlock what's hoarded, hidden in my heart,
in my wallet, my purse and in my bank:
open my plenty to those in want
for Lord, I know, I have more than I need...

Come with the key to my hope
and free me from self-pity and despair:
unlock the chains that hold me in fear
and open my heart to trust once again...

Come with the key to my feelings, Lord
and unlock my grudges and resentments,
the chips on my shoulder, things big and small
keeping me a prisoner of my own emotions:
set me free in peace of mind and heart...
Come, give us the keys to open the doors
that imprison the unjustly accused!
Give us the keys to open the doors 
that keep us in and and others out!
Give us the keys that open our hearts
to making peace where now there's only war!
Give us the keys to your kingdom, Lord,
the keys of mercy, forgiveness and pardon!

In this holy Advent time and in every season, Lord,
on every day and through each night:
turn the key and open the place you keep for me
within your loving heart...
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep rest in your peace...


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