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Daily Prayer Podcast Worship

Prayer for 28 November 2020

Listen to or read a service of Prayer for 28 November 2020, the Saturday after the Sunday next before Advent

Preparation

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

Praise

God the Father,
help us to hear the call of Christ the King
and to follow in his service,
whose kingdom has no end;
for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, one glory.
Amen.

Psalm 95.1-7

O come, let us sing to the Lord; 
let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving 
and be glad in him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God 
and a great king above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth 
and the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it, 
and his hands have moulded the dry land.

Come, let us worship and bow down 
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God; 
we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

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 21.34-36

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’ 

Reflection

Today is the last day of the Church’s year. Tomorrow is Advent Sunday and our cycle of anticipation, preparation and celebration will begin again. Yes, in just twenty-six days we will, once again, be recalling and celebrating the Incarnation of Jesus as a baby, in a stable, in Bethlehem. But what about the intervening time? How are we going to use the days between Advent Sunday and Christmas Day?

For many, Christmas began some weeks ago. The challenge of Covid 19 led people into beginning their on-line Christmas shopping even earlier than normal. Since the height of the first wave of the pandemic there has been discussion about how we might or might not be able to celebrate Christmas. So much time and effort has been wasted on conjecture, and none of it was focused on the right issues. Of course, the gathering of family and friends is important, but that is not what Christmas is really about. And today, at the end of the Church’s year, as we stand on the brink of a new year, we are reminded of that. Jesus is warning us, in words of one syllable to keep focused on that which is important. Jesus tells us to: be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life.

In his novel, The Trial, Franz Kafka writes of a man who was told to enter a kingdom through a certain gate. When the man arrived, he found the gate, but he also noticed that there was a guard standing by the gate. The man did not know whether to enter or to wait, so he sat down and waited. He waited for the guard to give him permission to enter. But the guard did and said nothing. So, the man continued to sit and wait for something to happen, or for someone to come. The man sat there for a whole lifetime. Then, one day and without warning, the guard closed the gate. He then turned to the man and said: This door was made for you, and for you alone; and because you chose not to enter it, it is being closed for ever.

We have been called to enter the gate of discipleship in order that we might, in our time, be welcomed into the nearer presence of our God. We know that in twenty six days’ time we will have the opportunity to do just that, to stand before the crib in that lowly stable and worship God. Will we be so caught up in the secular view of Christmas to miss the opportunity we are being given, or will we have accepted the invitation to step through the gate that is standing open for us? 

The choice is ours, and ours alone. I pray that at the start of the new Church year we might all find the courage and the determination to respond in joy, set aside our worldly concerns and come to kneel before the baby who changed the world for ever.

Prayers of Intercession

As we look for the coming of the Kingdom, let us pray to the Lord. 

Grant that the Church, filled with fervent love for you and for all that you have made, may grow in holiness and in your service. Teach us to look for the signs of your will and to be always ready for your calling.

Cleanse the world of selfish indulgence and the excesses that make people deaf to your word. Bless all nations, that they may be governed with true judgement and righteous dealing.

Fill us, in our families and friendships, with love for one another. Keep us faithful in prayer, when we are together and when we are apart.

Have mercy on all who are enslaved by any kind of addiction. Set them free and heal the damage they have done to themselves and others. Bless the work of those who work for the recovery of addicts.

Grant that those who have been called from this world may be numbered with your saints. Keep us always mindful that we too await the same call, and make us ready to stand in your fuller presence.

With hearts and minds open to the call of Christ, we pray in his name.

Prayer for the week

Lord, you have blessed the world
by sending your Son into our midst
and by making all things new in him.
We ask you to give all people
the courage and power we need
to share fully in his mission to the world
and to further his kingdom in the lives of all,
to the honour and glory of his name.
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

Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

Bernadette Farrell (b. 1957)