Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 1 March (Lent)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 1 March, including a reflection on Luke 11.29-32 (Lent 1: Wednesday)


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

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to you faithful love,
according to your judgement give us life.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Luke 11.29-32

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgement with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!’


Jesus said: This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.

Today’s reading begs the question, ‘What more do I need to do or say to convince you of the truth?’ Jesus, the Christ, the promised Messiah, is walking and talking, teaching and preaching, healing and working miraculous signs, and yet the crowds ask for more. Their vision is restricted by their limited intellects and their stunted imaginations. Rather than rejoicing in the times they are living through they are, like Oliver Twist, asking for more.

In response to the crowd’s request for even more miraculous signs, Jesus refers to the story of Jonah in the Old Testament. Rather than pandering to the demands for signs as though his repertoire as a wandering conjuror were being tested to its limits, Jesus speaks of the miraculous repentance of the sinful city of Nineveh as a result of Jonah’s acceptance of God’s call to prophetic preaching. Despite his initial hesitancy, Jonah did take the Lord’s word into a corrupt society, and that word was heard. The people turned from their sinful ways and the Lord spared them.

Today we are being challenged to step outside the crowd that demands empirical evidence when it should be responding in joyous faith. Today we are being called to accept that the Son of God has walked this earth, and has brought salvation for those who are willing to accept God’s ultimate act of love for humanity. Today’s teaching is clear … stop asking for more and be grateful for all that God has given us, his own Son.

Let us pray that our eyes might be opened to the wonders of Jesus’ incarnation, and his sharing in the totality of the human condition. Let us pray that we might be thankful for God’s gracious, generous and healing love. Let us pray that our eyes might be opened and our imaginations freed as we journey in the company of the one whose wisdom so far exceeds any human wisdom.


In penitence and faith let us make our prayer to the Father
and ask for his mercy and grace.

For your holy people,
that they may triumph over evil and grow in grace,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For candidates for baptism and confirmation,
that they may live by every word that proceeds from your mouth,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the leaders of the nations,
that you will guide them in the ways of mercy and truth,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the needy,
that they may not be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the sick in body, mind and spirit,
that they may know your power to heal,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the poor in spirit,
that they may inherit the kingdom of heaven
and see you face to face,
we pray to you, O Lord.

Let us commend the world, for which Christ suffered,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Almighty God,
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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 give us grace to grow in holiness,
to deny ourselves, 
take up our cross, 
and follow him;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.