Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 18 November 2022

Listen to a service of daily prayer for 2 before Advent: Friday, 18 November 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,
ruler and judge of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In the darkness of this age that is passing away
may the light of your presence which the saints enjoy
surround our steps as we journey on.
May we reflect your glory this day
and so be made ready to see your face
in the heavenly city where night shall be no more.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Luke 19.45-48 
Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, ‘It is written,
“My house shall be a house of prayer”;
but you have made it a den of robbers.’ 

Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard. 


Jesus said: My house shall be a house of prayer.

I have visited many churches in my life. Those churches have varied considerably. Some were ancient buildings in which many generations had celebrated landmark events in their personal lives and in the lives of those amongst whom they lived; they were also places in which those same people offered their prayers to God. Some of the churches I have visited were very modern buildings which tried to capture the essence of the ‘ancient’ and the ‘time-honoured’ whilst also attempting to pro-actively engage with the contemporary societies within which they found themselves located. Every church I have visited has sought to carve out a unique niche for itself in the impermanent quicksand of social interaction and shifting values. Every church I have visited described itself as a house of prayer, but … as I have journeyed from church to church I have often found myself in a spiritual desert. The craving for peace in the presence of the living and omnipresent God, and the nourishment that comes from the Bread of Life has been obscured by commercialism, petty differences and a hunger for power and influence, all of which serve to create a barrier between us and God. This human-centred barrier is far from the bridge we might hope to find in every house of prayer.

In today’s reading we hear the familiar story of Jesus casting out those who would abuse the temple, using its rituals and traditions as a way of exploiting the vulnerable and weak. The ways in which we view our church buildings in the 21st century can be just as contrary to the aims we should be seeking to achieve in God’s name. Yes, church buildings should be converted from ancient museums into places of peace and prayer. But, they should also be places where people feel welcome and loved in God’s name. Children should not be consigned to some dark corner with a lot of old toys and books, but should be welcomed into the whole family of God. Those who struggle to survive through ill health, bad choices or dire circumstance should not be relegated to the margins because they are ‘not like us’. Those who express their faith in God through traditions that are unfamiliar to us should not be dismissed as lacking in commitment or faith. 

Jesus said: My house shall be a house of prayer. Let us honour that teaching in the way we work to open our churches to all, with no one ever feeling excluded. Let us all work to ensure that those who enter our holy buildings might recognize the presence of God whether they are sight-seeing, seeking help or worshipping in their own way. Let us pray that we might not be tempted to join those whom Jesus cast out because they forgot that the temple, like the church we love best, is the house of God, a house that extends an open invitation to all.


In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Let us praise Christ our King, by whose cross we have citizenship in  heaven, saying: all your saints praise you.

Lord, you built your Church on the foundation of the apostles:
all your saints praise you.

You witness to your truth in the lives of your saints:
all your saints praise you.

You made us to be a kingdom and priests serving our God:
all your saints praise you.

You have shared our burdens,
revealing the holiness of our life and work:
all your saints praise you.

You stir us to seek the mysteries of the kingdom:
all your saints praise you.

You lead us to the eternal assembly of the saints:
all your saints praise you.

God of holiness,
your glory is proclaimed in every age:
as we rejoice in the faith of your saints,
inspire us to follow their example
with boldness and joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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 our King make us faithful and strong to do his will,
that we may reign with him 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.