Categories
Daily Prayer Podcast Worship

Prayer for 19 November 2020

Listen to or read a service of Prayer for 19 November 2020, the Thursday after the Second Sunday before Advent

Preparation

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

Praise

Heavenly Lord,
you long for the world’s salvation:
stir us from apathy,
restrain us from excess
and revive in us new hope
that all creation will one day be healed
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Psalm 149.1-5

Alleluia.
O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.

Let Israel rejoice in their maker;
let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.

Let them praise his name in the dance;
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and lyre.

For the Lord has pleasure in his people
and adorns the poor with salvation.

Let the faithful be joyful in glory;
let them rejoice in their ranks,

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 19.41-44

As Jesus came near Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’

Reflection

Having just considered Jesus’ parable about preparing to face the moment of judgement at the end of all time, today we see the urgency of that message manifested in Jesus’ reaction to seeing Jerusalem lying before him. Throughout the gospel narrative Jesus is journeying towards this moment. He is coming to Jerusalem, the heart of Judaism, to be arrested, condemned and crucified by those he came to bring closer to God. Jesus is aware of what lies before him and, as he stands looking at the great city of Jerusalem sprawled out before him, he wept. We do not know whether those tears gently trickled down his cheeks, or whether they came in an emotional outpouring. Whatever the reality may have been, Jesus wept.

Jesus was fully conversant with Jewish history and the Jewish scriptures (our Old Testament). Jesus knew the significance of Jerusalem, just as he knew its turbulent history. Jesus knew the expectations God had for Jerusalem, just as he knew how humanity had soured the glory of those expectations with its selfish and cruel behaviour. Jesus stood on the hillside, looking down on Jerusalem, and he wept. Some commentators have suggested that he was not only weeping for the past and the present state of Jerusalem, but also for the destruction of the Temple that was to come in just thirty years’ time.

It is easy to imagine Jesus weeping in the knowledge of what was to befall him in the coming days, but Jesus’ whole ministry shows us that his only concern was for bringing humanity into a closer relationship with God. Throughout his ministry Jesus taught of a new way. He did not only teach of doing things differently, he also gave us a model of what his teaching meant. Jesus, the divine Son of God, did not come in power and glory. Jesus, the Saviour of the world, came as a lowly carpenter’s son to show us the path of true discipleship. Jesus came to love and to serve in God’s name, thus bringing us closer to God, Abba, our Father and his.

In this moment of human sorrow, Jesus is demonstrating a vulnerability that we all have. Unfortunately, we consider the showing of emotion as a weakness, but Jesus is showing us that being a disciple should matter that much to us. We should be ready to weep at the horrors that are perpetrated in this world. We should be ready to sob when we see the weak and the vulnerable exploited and abused. Like Jesus we should be ready to stand and look at the way humanity lives out its existence and weep. Then we should also follow the example of Jesus by gathering our strength and going forward in God’s name, sharing all that love with everyone we meet.

Prayers of Intercession

We pray to the Lord for the courage to give ourselves to him.

Give us the courage to look beyond ourselves to mission in your world. May the blood and water flowing from the side of Jesus bring forgiveness to your people and help us to face the cost of proclaiming salvation.

Give us the courage to give up war, bitterness and hatred, and to seek peace. May the shoulders of the risen Jesus, once scourged by soldiers, bear the burden of political and military conflict in our world.

Give us the courage to give up quarrels, strife and jealousy in our families, neighbourhoods and communities. May the presence of the risen Jesus, his body once broken and now made whole,
bring peace and direction as we live with one another.

Give us the courage to live for others, giving time, care and comfort to the sick and those in need. May the wounded hands of Jesus bring his healing, and the light of his presence fill their lives.

Give us the courage to give up our fear of death and to rejoice with those who have died in faith. May the risen Lord Jesus, whose feet were once nailed to the cross, walk alongside the dying and bereaved, and lead them and all your Church through death to the gate of glory.

Lord, meet us in the silence, give us strength and hear our prayer, here and in eternity.

Prayer for the week

God of righteousness, God of peace,
forgive the selfishness, greed and arrogance
that cause us to be at enmity one with another.
Help us and all people to live together
in Christian love and goodwill;
and teach the nations of the world
the things that belong to their peace;
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

As the deer pants for the water,
so my soul longs after you.
You alone are my heart’s desire
and I long to worship you.

You alone are my strength, my shield,
to you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire
and I long to worship you.

I want you more than gold or silver,
only you can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy-giver
and the apple of my eye.

You alone are my strength, my shield,
to you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire
and I long to worship you.

You’re my Friend and you’re my Brother,
even though you are a king.
I love you more than any other,
so much more than anything.

You alone are my strength, my shield,
to you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire
and I long to worship you.

Martin J. Nystrom (b. 1956)