Daily Prayer for 15 March (Lent)


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.

Matthew 5.17-19

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’


Jesus said: whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

Today’s reading is a call for us to travel in humility as we live out our daily lives. We live in an age in which we celebrate, and even honour certainty. We wrap our certainty up in all sorts of words: determination, duty, principle and resilience, for example. However, these ‘commendable’ words only reflect our attitude to the power we wish to take over our own lives, and often over the lives of others. Whether our attitudes are informed by faith, or whether they simply state our personal preferences and prejudices, they could not be more distanced from Christ’s call to live a life of humble love and service.

In today’s reading we hear Jesus’ statement that he did not come into this world in order that he might overturn God’s law and the words of the ancient prophets. Jesus makes it plain that, no matter what humanity has done to those laws and those divinely inspired words, his role is to honour and fulfil all of the interactions between God and human beings. Jesus then goes on to encourage us to live as he lives, in humble submission to the rule of our heavenly King, God himself. We find this to be difficult teaching because we like to think that we are in control of our destinies. We revel in being described as determined, dutiful, principled and resilient, even when those human attributes of self-reliance and self-determination separate us from God.

Then Jesus speaks words that should give us great cause for concern. Jesus says: whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. As we live our lives in ways that put us at the head of the queue, at the top of the hierarchy, in a place where others are led away from God, we are putting ourselves amongst those who will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. As we exercise our power and influence over others we run the ongoing risk of leading others away from God as well as condemning ourselves to eternal damnation.

Teachers know that it is a privilege to work in a world where they shape the knowledge, the thinking and the skills of others. No matter what age the student, it is their responsibility to enhance the life of others. In this sense, and in the context of today’s reading, we are all called to be teachers. And, of course, like the very best teachers, we are called to ‘practise what we preach’. We are called to honour God’s law and the proclamations of the prophets as we go about our daily lives. We are called to teach from a position of integrity, leading others into a deeper relationship with God.

Let us pray for the strength and the courage to set aside our desire to be honoured for our personal strength. Let us pray that others might come to know God through our humble love and service to all.


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.