Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for Wednesday of Holy Week (Passiontide)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for Wednesday of Holy Week, including a reflection on John 13.21-32


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

Let your ways be known on earth,
your saving power among the nations.

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief
your only Son was lifted up
that he might draw the whole world to himself.
May we walk this day in the way of the cross
and always be ready to share its weight,
declaring your love for all the world.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

John 13.21-32

Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples – the one whom Jesus loved – was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. 

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.’ 


Jesus said: Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.

Many of us can recall a time in our lives when we have been betrayed. Perhaps a friend at school, a work colleague, or a person with whom we were romantically involved suddenly said or did something that betrayed our trust. Perhaps, as you read and hear these words, you can recall the feelings of hurt and desolation as that moment of betrayal dawned upon you. In today’s reading we hear of just such a moment in Jesus’ life. Jesus knew that for all God’s plan to come about he had to be betrayed, and that that betrayal had to come from one of those who were closest to him. We are not told how Jesus felt, instead we are left with the feeling that he just understood that this was how it would have to be. But surely the human Jesus shared in the feelings of disappointment and pain we feel when we are betrayed.

Down the centuries many arguments have been put forward to justify the actions of Judas Iscariot. Without his betrayal, how would Jesus have come to the point of fulfilling the ancient prophecies? If Judas’ role in Christ’s mission was long foretold, how can it be fair that he now languishes in the fires of eternal damnation? The convoluted arguments go on and on, but we should not allow those human-centric arguments to cloud our thinking and our attitudes to matters of faithful discipleship.

It is a core feature of Jesus’ teaching that we should remain constant in our faith. He teaches us that we should resist all that tempts us away from the narrow path that has been laid for us by God himself. He shows us what a life of true faith might cause us to have to endure. But, even if it is our lot to have to face persecution or worse, we are still called to remain firm in our faith.

Throughout the gospel narrative Jesus calls us to set self to one side, to love and serve in his name, to stand firm in our witness to the divine truth and wisdom we see in him. To ignore any aspect of this call is to join Judas in betraying our Lord and Saviour. This is a challenge because we constantly see politicians and other leaders distorting truth to further their personal ambition. Even those amongst whom we live will ‘betray’ friendships if it provides a route to greater prestige and wealth. It is the calling of the true Christian to resist such temptation and to stand out as a person of faith in God.

To be a true disciple of Christ calls for us to find great inner strength. Let us pray that we might open our hearts and our minds and allow the Holy Spirit to provide us with that inner strength, the inner strength that will, in our time, bring us into the closest of relationships with our loving heavenly Father.


With faith and love and in union with Christ,
let us offer our prayer before the throne of grace.

Have mercy on your people,
for whom your Son laid down his life:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations,
and have pity on those torn apart by division:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name’s sake,
and deliver them from evil:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Look in mercy upon all who suffer,
and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Bring comfort to the dying,
and gladden their hearts with the vision of your glory:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Give rest to the departed
and bring them, with your saints, to glory everlasting:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Let us commend the world, for which Christ died,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Standing at the foot of the cross,
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 crucified draw us to himself,
to find in him a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.