Prayer for 17 October 2020


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


God, our judge and saviour,
teach us to be open to your truth
and to trust in your love,
that we may live each day
with confidence in the salvation which is given
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Psalm 8

O Lord our governor,
how glorious is your name in all the world!

Your majesty above the heavens is praised
out of the mouths of babes at the breast.

You have founded a stronghold against your foes,
that you might still the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have ordained,

What is man, that you should be mindful of him;
the son of man, that you should seek him out?

You have made him little lower than the angels
and crown him with glory and honour.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands
and put all things under his feet,

All sheep and oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,

The birds of the air, the fish of the sea
and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.

O Lord our governor,
how glorious is your name in all the world!

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Reading: Luke 12.8-12

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.’


Yesterday we were challenged to trust in the words of Jesus and the love of God as we follow the path of true discipleship. Today we are being encouraged to offer God our total loyalty.

Loyalty is a word that is not used that often in modern society, unless people are being accused of disloyalty. Loyalty demands a setting aside of self-interest for the good of some ‘higher cause’. Soldiers are expected to show loyalty to Queen, Country and Regiment; employees are expected to show loyalty to the companies they work for; friends expect loyalty from those with whom they share their most intimate secrets. These forms of loyalty might be considered as transactional: the person showing the loyalty ‘knows the rules’, they know how the ‘system works’ and they know what they are going to receive or achieve by remaining loyal. Jesus is asking for a different level of loyalty, one where there is no contract or job description, a level of loyalty that is based on faith.

Jesus knows that things are not always going to be easy for his followers. Jesus knows that it will often be easier to deny than to defend one’s Christian faith. Jesus knows that shouting Crucify with the mob will always be easier than standing alongside the one who promises eternal life. However, Jesus still wants our loyalty. Furthermore, Jesus promises that he will not leave you alone in your hour of need; he will be with all whose loyalty and faith remains steadfast.

To be a faithful and loyal disciple of Christ is to be one who rejects all that Jesus has criticized in this week’s readings. Instead, a faithful and loyal disciple of Christ will trust unconditionally in the promises made by Jesus, no matter how tough that may be. And when it does get tough, listen for that still small voice of God, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.

Listen, believe and get it said …

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God, that he will bring to fruition all that he desires for his creation.

You have created the universe by your eternal Word, and have blessed humankind in making us stewards of the earth. We pray for your world, that we may share and conserve its resources, and live in reverence for the creation and in harmony with one another.

You have given the human race a rich land, a land of streams and springs, wheat and barley, vines and oil and honey. We have made by sin a world of suffering and sorrow. We pray for those who bear the weight of affliction, that they may come to share the life of wholeness and plenty.

In Christ you call us to a new way of life, loving our neighbours before ourselves. Help us to treat with care and respect the world as it is as we live in hope and anticipation of the world as it will be when your kingdom comes and your will is done.

Thank you for those, living and departed, who have shown a true respect for your creation. Help us to follow in their footsteps, until, with them, we see you face to face, where all is made new in Christ our Lord.

Prayer for the week

Give peace in our time, O Lord:
peace and reconciliation among the nations;
peace and unity within the churches;
peace and harmony in our communities and homes;
peace and love in all our hearts;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

The Lord’s Prayer

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. Amen.

The Grace

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.


Lord, thy church on earth is seeking
thy renewal from above;
teach us all the art of speaking
with the accent of thy love.
We would heed thy great commission:
‘Go now into every place —
preach, baptize, fulfil my mission,
serve with love and share my grace.’

Hugh Sherlock (1905–1998)