Daily Prayer for 19 February (Sunday next before Lent, Year A)


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, creator of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As your dawn renews the face of the earth
bringing light and life to all creation,
may we rejoice in this day you have made;
as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,
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.

Matthew 17.1-9

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’ 


Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’

On the Last Sunday before Lent it is customary for the Church to engage with the account of Jesus’ Transfiguration on the mountain. Before we begin our Lenten journey of fasting and prayer, we are being given a glimpse of what lies ahead. When Jesus speaks of the Son of Man being raised from the dead, he is implying that first there has to be a death. At this stage the disciples did not understand what he was saying but, from our post-resurrection standpoint, we are able to see the revealing of Christ in all his glory as a moment in which we can find strength for what lies before us. In the coming weeks we will see the adulation of the crowds turn to hatred; we will see a faithful disciple become the one who betrays him; we will see the other disciples scatter in fear for their own lives; we will see the religious leaders claim a short-lived victory as Jesus is nailed to a cross. But, all of that is yet to come. Today we see Jesus revealed in all his glory and we hear a voice from the cloud say: This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him! So, why, we might feel justified in asking, did Jesus order Peter, James and John to tell no one about the vision?

Jesus’ earthly mission and ministry had been foretold in the words of the prophets. His miraculous birth and his forthcoming ignominious death had been foretold, just as his glorious victory over death had also been heralded in the words of the Hebrew scriptures. But, these prophecies were ancient. They had often been recited in the synagogues, but over such a period of time that their urgency and their importance had become diminished in the minds of those who heard and recited them. Jesus knew that for his mission to be fulfilled the people had to see those prophecies brought to life. Jesus knew that stories of his ultimate victory were premature. The horror of human betrayal and cruelty had to come first.

In just three days our Lenten journey will begin. We will travel, once again, through the trials and tribulations that will take us to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. As we take that darkening route, let us hold firm to the vision of today, the vision we will see once again as the crucified Jesus emerges from the tomb to bring redemption to humanity for the whole of time.


High and holy God,
robed in majesty,
Lord of heaven and earth,
we pray that you will bring justice, faith and
salvation to all peoples.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

You chose us in Christ to be your people
and to be the temple of your Holy Spirit;
we pray that you will fill your Church with
vision and hope.
Lord, hear us. 
Lord, graciously hear us.

Your Spirit enables us to cry, ‘Abba! Father!’,
affirms that we are fellow-heirs with Christ
and pleads for us in our weakness;
we pray for all who are in need or distress.
Lord, hear us. 
Lord, graciously hear us.

In the baptism and birth of Jesus,
you have opened heaven to us
and enabled us to share in your glory:
the joy of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
from before the world was made.
May your whole Church, living and departed,
come to a joyful resurrection in your city of light.
Lord, hear us. 
Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Holy God,
you know the disorder of our sinful lives:
set straight our crooked hearts,
and bend our wills to love your goodness and your glory
in 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.

The Lord bless us and watch over us,
the Lord make his face shine upon us
and be gracious to us,
the Lord look kindly on us
and give us peace;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.