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Daily Prayer Podcast Worship

Prayer for 10 October 2020

Listen to or read a service of Prayer for 10 October 2020, the Saturday after the Seventeenth Sunday of Trinity

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Praise

Gracious God,
you call us to fullness of life:
deliver us from unbelief
and banish our anxieties
with the liberating love
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Psalm 105.1-7

O give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples.

Sing to him, sing praises,
and tell of all his marvellous works.

Rejoice in the praise of his holy name;
let the hearts of them rejoice who seek the Lord.

Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his face continually.

Remember the marvels he has done,
his wonders and the judgements of his mouth,

O seed of Abraham his servant,
O children of Jacob his chosen.

He is the Lord our God;
his judgements are in all the earth.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Reading: Luke 11.27-28

While Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’

Reflection

Today’s short reading from Luke’s gospel begins with a shout of admiration and praise. It comes at the end of a sequence of readings that has included the parable of the Good Samaritan and the giving of the Lord’s Prayer. It has also included the challenge of behaving like both Martha and Mary in our spiritual lives. Then, yesterday, we reflected on our human propensity to put our own sense of understanding and control ahead of God’s. Is there any wonder that at the end of this great sweep of scripture someone shouts their support from the crowd?

It is at this point that we need to focus on a tiny detail in the text. At the anonymous woman’s acclamation Jesus’ reported response begins with the word: But … Jesus does not take a bow, either figuratively or literally. Instead Jesus offers a word of caution. Jesus does not want us to get caught up in the glamour and the excitement of the moment; Jesus does want us to understand the deeper meaning of his teaching and signs. Rather than getting ensnared in the superficial, Jesus is keen for us to understand our call to hear the word of God and obey it.

In the eighth chapter of Luke’s gospel we encountered the parable of the sower. In today’s moment from the gospel narrative we are being warned of the danger of being any type of seed other than that which fell into the good soil. When I was a teenager there was a whole spate of American evangelists who came to London to ‘convert’ the unbelieving and curious youth of the time. They prayed and preached and sang catchy songs; they engaged with their large audiences using all the stagecraft they could muster. No one who attended one of those rallies could have gone away unmoved. But … the great majority of that gospel seed failed to flourish. Very often it died in the midst of the rock hard attitudes of others who would not hear God’s word and obey it, both in and out of established Church communities.

Today’s reading is, at its heart, a call to resilience. Resilience in an uncertain world where so many appear to conspire against the flourishing of God’s word, and where so many appear to be conspiring to undermine our determination to obey that word.

Let us not stop praising God, but let us not be distracted from hearing and obeying his word either.

Prayers of Intercession

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ,
let us pray to the Father.

Teach us, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and lead us in the path of your commandments.

Keep our nation under your care;
and guide us in justice and truth.

O Lord, deal graciously with your servants;
teach us discernment and knowledge.

Let not the needy be forgotten;
nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Guide the meek in judgement;
and teach your ways to the gentle.

Lord, remember your people;
whom you have purchased and redeemed of old.

Prayer for the week

Lord and heavenly Father,
make us mindful of your presence with us;
that we may draw near to you
with holy and humble hearts,
and offer prayers and praises
acceptable in your sight;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

The Grace

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.

Hymn

Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,
gentle as is the dove,
teach us the truth and help us believe,
show us the Saviour’s love.

Without your help we fail our Lord,
we cannot live his way;
we need your power, we need your strength,
following Christ each day.

Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,
gentle as is the dove,
teach us the truth and help us believe,
show us the Saviour’s love.

Margaret V. Old (1932–2001)