Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 20 January 2023 (Epiphany 2: Friday)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 20 January 2023 (Epiphany 2: Friday), including a reflection on the gospel reading


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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
king of the nations,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.
As the Sun of Righteousness dawns in our hearts
anoint our lips with the seal of your Spirit
that we may witness to your gospel
and sing your praise in all the earth.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Mark 3.13-19

Jesus went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.


Jesus … called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.

From the multitude Jesus chose just twelve to be his first disciples and apostles. From the moment of his baptism and the beginning of his ministry, Mark presents Jesus as being surrounded by ever-increasing numbers of followers. The crowds had, by this stage in the gospel narrative, become overwhelming. And yet, Jesus appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles. This may sound strange to those who feel that everyone of us is being called by Jesus into a life of discipleship and apostleship every moment of every day. However, those named in today’s reading were the first to be appointed to a very specific mission. Jesus appointed them: to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. These were the ones Jesus identified as being ready to share in his ministry of teaching and healing.

When we consider what we know of the twelve disciples we do not see what Jesus saw! Fishermen, a tax collector, a ‘doubter’ and a traitor do not seem ideal candidates for such a task. But Jesus saw below the surface. Jesus saw into the hearts and minds of those men. Jesus recognized the skills and talents that lay beyond the obvious and called them into his service. Of course, being called was one thing. The other side of the coin was their willingness to leave their ordinary lives in order that they might follow.

The exclusive nature of the language which opens today’s reading should not deter us in our journey of faith. Jesus does call every single person into his service. It is our duty and our responsibility to listen out for that call and to respond as openly and freely as those first disciples. We may feel that we are being called into a life for which we are not suited, but it is for us to trust that God really does know best.

We have all been gifted with skills and talents with which we can serve God. Some of those skills and talents will be outgoing and extrovert in nature. Some will be quieter and more contemplative. No matter where our personalities may sit on that broad spectrum, we are all gifted in a way that will allow us to be effective disciples and apostles. The challenge lies in our readiness to accept and explore that with which God has endowed us.

Today we need to pray that God will help us to discover that which he would have us do in his name, using all that he has bestowed upon us in his gracious love. Today we need to pray that, like those first twelve disciples, we might find the courage to say, ‘Yes,’ and to follow. Today we need to pray that we might understand, even if we have felt more like Judas in the past, our straying from the path of true faith is forgiven and a new way lies open before us.


From the rising of the sun to its setting, 
let us pray to the Lord.

That the people of God in all the world
may worship in spirit and in truth,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the Church may discover again 
that unity which is the Father’s will,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the nations of the earth
may seek after the ways that make for peace,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the whole creation, groaning in travail,
may be set free to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God,
let us pray to the Lord.

That all who with Christ have entered the shadow of death
may rest in peace and rise in glory,
let us pray to the Lord.

Let us commend the world, to which Christ showed the way,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Believing the promises of God,
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 Son of God
perfect in us the image of his glory
and gladden our hearts 
with the good news of his kingdom;
and may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.