Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 17 March (Lent)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 17 March, including a reflection on Mark 12.28-34 (Lent 3: Friday)


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.

Mark 12.28-34

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ Then the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other”; and “to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength”, and “to love one’s neighbour as oneself”, – this is much more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ After that no one dared to ask him any question. 


The scribe said: this is much more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.

As we entered the season of Lent many will have embarked upon a period of fasting. They will have committed themselves to sacrificing something they find pleasurable. Others may have taken up a commitment to prayer, or systematic reading of the bible, or serving others. No matter what form our Lenten discipline may take, many will have committed themselves to a period of self-sacrifice. But, why? How do our various Lenten disciplines serve God? How do they further the mission and ministry of the Church?

Today we are reminded that any form of sacrifice is of no consequence unless it honours God. Jesus himself spells it out for us: love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Jesus goes on to say: love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. So … in the light of Jesus’ words we should be consistently asking ourselves how our Lenten disciplines, or any other sacrifices we choose to make, bring us into a closer relationship with God?

In recent times the Church has had to embark upon various campaigns to promote generous and sacrificial giving. These campaigns, which are rooted in scripture, have led some to talk about their own generosity, while others have tried to earmark their giving for the preservation of buildings and artefacts. Such talk has turned the relationship between the Church and some people into a business transaction … something that could not be further from God’s will.

As we make sacrifices in the name of God we need to understand that that involves letting go. Rather than offering time, talents or treasure with strings attached, we are called to make our sacrifices and then trust God to use them as he sees fit. Our focus should be on loving God and neighbour, and that with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Let us pray that we might remain firm in our commitment to live a life of sacrificial love, and that, through the sacrifices we make, God might further his plans for humanity. Let us pray that we might set aside the conditions we like to attach to our ‘generosity’ and open ourselves to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that all we say and do might be to the glory of God, and never to the glory of self.


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.