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Daily Prayer Easter Podcast Worship

Prayer for 28 April 2021 (Easter 4: Wednesday)

Listen to a service of Prayer for 28 April 2021 (Easter 4: Wednesday), including a reflection on the gospel reading

Preparation

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

Praise

Risen Christ,
faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep:
teach us to hear your voice
and to follow your command,
that all your people may be gathered into one flock,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Psalm 67

God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,

That your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

O let the nations rejoice and be glad,
for you will judge the peoples righteously
and govern the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Then shall the earth bring forth her increase,
and God, our own God, will bless us.

God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

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
John 12.44-50

Jesus cried aloud: ‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.’

Reflection

I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.

What does the phrase ‘Three-Day Week’ mean to you? Does it bring to mind the specious and unrealistic promises that were made at the beginning of the computer age? The promises that said that computers would reduce our working week by at least fifty per cent? Or, does the phrase ‘Three-Day Week’ make your hearts sink as you recall those days in 1974 when the dispute between the government and miners’ unions restricted our access to electricity in a way that meant our working lives were constrained by the flicking of a switch at the local power station?

In our reading today Jesus offers words of great comfort and consolation to those who feel that they are journeying through dark times. Sometimes our darkness is generated by the actions and words of others, sometimes we plunge ourselves into the darkness of despair and hopelessness. Sometimes we can change our outlook from darkness to light by identifying and following a new path through life, at other times it is not so easy. Sometimes we feel isolated and abandoned by others, we feel so unsupported and lacking in optimism that the darkness seems to get more and more impenetrable. However you define darkness in your life, Jesus is offering us a light that will always provide direction and warmth.

No one travels through their earthly lives without moments of darkness. Whether that darkness is rooted in family, friends, colleagues, finance, employment or lack of personal self-esteem, we all know what it is to feel the darkness wrapping itself around us, depriving us of appetite and sleep, undermining all sense of certainty, leaving us asking the doom-laden question: ‘What is the point of it all?’ But … there is a way back from the depths, if we are brave enough to stretch out our needy hands and grasp the hope given us in Jesus Christ.

Jesus understood the human condition. His understanding was not just that of the creator God, but the understanding of one who has journeyed the path with us. Jesus knew rejection, betrayal and denial. Jesus knew those moments when he had to withdraw from the company of others because of their threats to his well-being. Jesus, in his earthly life, knew the darkness that overwhelms us from time to time. But … Jesus was never totally submerged in despair. Jesus knew the companionship of his heavenly Father. Jesus knew that the light of God was marking out a better way forward than we can ever find for ourselves.

So, as we feel the darkness enveloping us, let us turn to God in prayer, and let us follow the light of Christ … the light that can never be extinguished … the light of true hope and joy.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God, that in his light we may see light.

Forgive your people for the discontent and self-will that hinders your loving purpose. Grant that, trusting in Christ alone, the Church may fulfil all that you have ordained.

Let your light so shine in the world that all eyes shall be lifted up to see the salvation of the Cross. Have pity on nations locked in conflict and give them the peace that Christ has brought.

Give grace to us, to our families and friends, that we may see clearly the way in which we should walk. Increase our faith and make us a light to others.

Have mercy on those who are driven to despair by hunger and poverty. Forgive them when they deny you in their misery, and grant them healing in body and soul.

As we remember the departed, we pray that they may be pardoned for the sins of this life and receive salvation in Christ. Raise them up into the fullness of your presence.

We pray in the name of the Son of God who was given that we might have eternal life.

Prayer for the week

Lord Jesus,
risen from the dead and alive for evermore:
stand in our midst as in the upper room;
speak your peace to our hearts and minds;
and send us forth into the world as your apostles;
for the glory of your name.
Amen.

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.

Hymn

Have faith in God, my mind,
though oft thy light burns low;
God’s mercy holds a wiser plan
than thou canst fully know.

Lord Jesus, make me whole;
grant me no resting place,
until I rest, heart, mind, and soul,
the captive of thy grace.

Bryn Rees (1911–1983)