Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 1 February

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 1 February, including a reflection on the gospel reading, Mark 6.1-6a (Epiphany 4 / DEL Week 4: Wednesday)


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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
king of the nations,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.
As the Sun of Righteousness dawns in our hearts
anoint our lips with the seal of your Spirit
that we may witness to your gospel
and sing your praise in all the earth.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Mark 6.1-6a

He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. 

Then he went about among the villages teaching. 


Jesus was amazed at their unbelief.

We are constantly being reminded that we live in an increasingly ‘secular’ world. The term ‘secular’ in this sense is generally interpreted as a world in which there is no room for faith. But, can our world be described as faith-less?

When we think of people describing themselves as having no faith, we can usually dig down into what they are saying and see they are speaking about specific denominational religion. They are usually saying they are not Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Sikh, or Hindu, or whatever. There can be many reasons for such a lack of ‘faith’, and they are often associated with the struggle between a scientific rationale and accounts of miraculous events, that is events which defy the laws of nature as we understand them. However, the rational approach to ‘faith’ is superficial and many who feel that they cannot subscribe to a particular religion would still say that they have some sense of the ‘divine’. Of course, they may use all sorts of words other than ‘divine’ but, whatever word they might use, they are describing a sense of there being something bigger than this material world.

Associated with this sense of ‘rationality’ is the modern culture of ‘fame’. As we see in today’s reading, Jesus was rejected in his home town because people felt he was just one of them. They had seen him grow up without understanding anything about his role in God’s plan for the world. Modern evangelists often use the media to pass on their message. The use of media attracts a level of investigative journalism that, too often, reveals other interactions with the ways of the world. Those interactions often suggest a level of ordinariness, and sometimes corruption, that stokes the flames of secularism as words such as hypocrisy overshadow the true message of faith.

The human race has become increasingly unaccepting and unforgiving as its knowledge of science and nature has developed down the centuries. Rather than standing in awe and wonder at God’s amazing creation, we have turned our knowledge into a weapon that plays into the hands of the devil. We have created a down-to-earth counter-culture which is too quick to deny the divine. We find ourselves filling in our census forms with answers about faith such as: Jedi, pagan, satanist, or no faith. 

Today we are being encouraged to take that leap of faith that will bring into a closer relationship with Jesus. The Jesus who walked among us, who travelled the same roads as us, who suffered the same pains as us, who conquered death and brought us salvation. The Jesus who calls us his friends and yet is the Son of God. Let us pray that we might take that leap and set our scepticism and our doubt to one side for ever.


From the rising of the sun to its setting, 
let us pray to the Lord.

That the people of God in all the world
may worship in spirit and in truth,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the Church may discover again 
that unity which is the Father’s will,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the nations of the earth
may seek after the ways that make for peace,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the whole creation, groaning in travail,
may be set free to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God,
let us pray to the Lord.

That all who with Christ have entered the shadow of death
may rest in peace and rise in glory,
let us pray to the Lord.

Let us commend the world, to which Christ showed the way,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Believing the promises of God,
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.

Christ the Son of God
perfect in us the image of his glory
and gladden our hearts 
with the good news of his kingdom;
and may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.