Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 13 December 2022 (Advent 3: Tuesday)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for Advent 3: Tuesday, 13 December 2022, including a reflection on the gospel reading


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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Matthew 21.28-32 
The parable of the two sons

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:  ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.’


In a world that values instantaneous gratification we often find ourselves being asked to make decisions, or to give our support to some cause or the other, without being given time to reflect upon the commitment we are being asked to make. As we walk down the street, charity workers ask us to sign up to regular payments in support of their particular ‘good cause’. In meetings, we are asked to vote in favour of someone’s pet project without having been offered adequate time to weigh up the pros and the cons. In the world of on-line shopping, we are pressurised into accepting those ‘amazing’ one-off bargains that will never, ever be repeated. Because we like the instantaneous gratification of a speedy decision we find ourselves falling for these ploys time and time again.

In today’s reading Jesus offers us a parable about two sons who answer in haste, but then come to the contrary view as time moves on. The reaction of the first son to his father’s request is: I will not, while the second son’s immediate response is: I go. But then, after a time of reflection, they both change their minds. The apparently compliant son reneges on his promise, and the refuser becomes the one who helps.

The obvious challenge for us is to reflect upon which son we are most closely aligned with. However, before we rush into committing ourselves one way or the other, let us pause and reflect upon the rest of Jesus’ words.

Jesus moves from the parable of the two sons into a comparison between the chief priests and the elders of the people and the tax-collectors and the prostitutes, those whom the religious leaders would describe as being ‘beyond hope’. The religious leaders are those who appear to have said, ‘Yes,’ to God, but do not live out their promises. Those considered to be beyond hope heard John’s call to repentance and saw Jesus’ wondrous signs, and then turned away from the sinful life and received the reward of those who are truly righteous.

Let us pray for the humility that will allow us to change our minds. Let us pray that we might see the wisdom of following Christ. Let us pray for the courage to help others turn from sin and follow the path which leads to the kingdom of God.


Watchful at all times, let us pray for strength to stand with confidence before our Maker and Redeemer.

That God may bring in his kingdom with justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord. 

That God may establish among the nations his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord. 

That we may seek Christ in the scriptures and recognize him in the breaking of the bread, let us pray to the Lord.

That God may bind up the broken hearted, restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen, let us pray to the Lord. 

That the light of God’s coming may dawn on all who live in darkness and the shadow of death, let us pray to the Lord.

That, with all the saints in light, we may shine forth as lights for the world, let us pray to the Lord.

Let us commend the world, which Christ will judge, to the mercy and protection of God.

Almighty God,
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the
light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
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 Sun of Righteousness shine upon us,
scatter the darkness from before our path,
and make us ready to meet him when he comes in glory;
and may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.