Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 16 December 2022 (Advent 3: Friday)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for Advent 3: Friday, 16 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.

John 5.33-36

Jesus said to the Jews: ‘You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.’


I wonder if you have ever been astounded by a stage magician, one of those who have perfected the art of deceiving the senses and the experiences of their audiences. As they work their ‘magic’ they lead us down paths that defy all logic as well as the natural sciences. Then as each trick is carefully and adeptly performed we find ourselves gasping with amazement at the deception that has been worked on us. We know that what we have seen cannot possibly be true, but we are invariably left asking the question: ‘How on earth was that done?’

Throughout the gospel narrative we hear accounts of Jesus performing signs and wonders that fly in the face of human understanding. From his first sign, the changing of water into the finest of wines, through many moments of his healing those who were deemed to be incurable, until we come to the great victory of the resurrection, we find ourselves joining those who are amazed by stage magicians as we also say: ‘How on earth was that done?’

Of course, Jesus was not, and is not, a stage magician. Jesus’ works are works of renewal and redemption, they are not skilful sleights of hand or acts of intentional misdirection. Jesus’ works, as he tells us in today’s reading: testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. As we continue our journey through Advent we hear Jesus speak of John the Baptist, the forerunner spoken of in the ancient prophecies as: a burning and shining light. But, Jesus goes on to say that he has a testimony greater than John’s.

As we enter the final days of our preparation for Christmas, we are being challenged to make a decision. We are being challenged to decide between the deceptive glitz and glamour of the world in which we live and the truth that has been revealed in Jesus Christ. We are being challenged to choose between the superficial distraction of the worldly stage magician and the life-changing wonders that we could experience if we journeyed faithfully as disciples of Christ. The decision is ours to make. Let us pray that we might choose the right path today, and in the times to come.


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.