Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 13 March (Lent)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 13 March, including a reflection on Luke 4.24-30 (Lent 3: Monday)


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 4.24-30

Jesus came to Nazareth and spoke in the synagogue, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’ When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way. 


He passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

Every parish priest knows that there will come a time when the ‘honeymoon’ period will end. After a long period of interregnum (the months, sometimes years, that parishes have to wait for a new vicar after the departure of the last person to hold that post) most priests are welcomed with joy and enthusiasm. Those positive emotions last for a while, but then the party-spirit fades and the criticism begins. As unrealistic, and often untrue comparisons are made with earlier vicars, a spirit of disillusionment grows amongst some parishioners, and a spirit of isolation rises in the heart of the priest. The one who came in prophetic zeal becomes the one who knows that his or her effective ministry is drawing to a close. It is not often that parishioners drive their vicar to the brow of the hill … so that they might hurl him off the cliff, but it has been known. As effective ministry draws to a close, most clergy recognise the need to move on and follow God’s call to another parish, and the cycle of interregnum, appointment, honeymoon and dissociation begins all over again.

In today’s reading we are seeing that this cycle is not new. Jesus returned to Nazareth, the place where he had grown up, the place where he was best known. As he spoke in the synagogue, his message was rejected by those whose first reaction to his presence and his teaching was one of welcome and amazement, but this soon turned to rejection, even to the point of threatening his life. As the prophet, the one who speaks the word of God, was rejected by the narrow-minded and bigoted, the One who came to bring salvation for all passed through the midst of them and went on his way. Jesus left his home town and went on to Capernaum, where he was welcomed and where he was able to continue his ministry of teaching and healing.

Later in Luke’s gospel, Jesus sends out others to spread the Good News far and wide. As he commissions them to be his apostles in a challenging world he speaks of those who may reject them. Jesus tells those first carriers of the Good News to wipe the dust of the towns that reject them from their feet and go on to those places where a welcome awaits them. Jesus tells them to pass through the midst of them, and go on their way.

Today we are called to pray for courage and strength in our life of faith. Courage to hear, believe and stand firm in the Gospel message. Strength to preach that message in the way we live out our daily lives. Let us pray that we might not be found amongst those who reject the challenges of our faith, but rather amongst those whose words and actions draw others into a closer relationship with the One who sacrificed all for us. 


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.