Podcast Worship

Prayer for 30 January 2021

Listen to or read a service of Prayer for Saturday 30 January 2021


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


God of all mercy,
your Son proclaimed good news to the poor,
release to the captives,
and freedom to the oppressed:
anoint us with your Holy Spirit
and set all your people free
to praise you in Christ our Lord.

Luke 1.68-73

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,
who has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty saviour
born of the house of his servant David,

Through his holy prophets God promised of old
to save us from our enemies,
from the hand of all that hate us,
to show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

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.

Mark 4.35-41

When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’


Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?

Water is dangerous. The view of a calm lake is certainly soothing to the troubled soul, but not so when a storm comes. When the water becomes something we cannot control, well, then we need help. As the storms rage around a boat we need expert seamanship or a lifeboat. The image in today’s reading is both dramatic and a stern lesson to those who feel that they can manage their own lives without the love and help of God.

In the book of Genesis we read the story of God’s creating everything.  In the very first verses of the Bible we are presented with an image of a great storm raging as a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. That storm was calmed by the light of God becoming known in the universe. As the storm abated and the light of God shone out, God saw that it was good.

Also in the book of Genesis we read the story of Noah. We read that Noah was a righteous man who walked with God. But Noah was alone in his righteousness. So early in the story of the world the earth was corrupt … and the earth was filled with violence. All was so bad that God felt he had no choice but to start again. And this, of course, was achieved through a terrible, uncontrollable flood which left the only righteous man and his family alive.

Again in the Old Testament, we are told the story of Jonah, who was called to be a messenger of God but who chose to run away from that calling. As he sailed in the opposite direction a storm led to his incarceration in the belly of a fish, a dramatic lesson for those who ignore the strength of God’s call in their lives.

Water is dangerous. The power of water is far beyond our feeble human strength. Water can only be tamed by the power of God.

When we are feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances in which we find ourselves we often call out to God. We call on God’s mercy. We make promises to God as though we are in a position to bargain our way out of trouble. We join the disciples caught in the storm on the Sea of Galilee as we cry out: do you not care that we are perishing?

Of course, God does care. God cares very much indeed. God cares so much that he asks us to join in our own rescue by demonstrating just a little faith. So often we cry in despair, and that despair is no more than a demonstration of anger that we are suddenly not in control. Jesus asked his despairing disciples: Have you still no faith? If we listen carefully, as we cry out in despair and fear, we may well hear the same question being asked of us.

Today’s reading gives us a lesson in how to deal with the despair and the anger that is so prevalent at the moment: have faith in God. Yes, there are storms raging, but it is God alone who can calm those storms. Let us place ourselves in his hands, and then let us enjoy the calm that will sweep over us through the wonders of God’s grace.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God, the protector of all people and nations.

Keep the Church constant in faith and works, secure against the conflicting demands of our time. Armed with your righteousness and trusting in you alone, make your people ready to meet the needs of all.

Give peace to all places in the world that are torn by the storms of war and violence. Come into the hearts of the powerful, given them a desire to be reconciled with their enemies and to live in harmony. Where there is hatred, let there be love.

In our work, let us remember that we are workers together with Jesus. Give us grace to be mediators in disputes and to calm the tensions in our daily lives with others.

Have mercy on those who have no peace in themselves and bring them the peace of your presence.

Watch over sailors and all who travel by sea, and preserve them from danger.

We give thanks for those who have crossed from life through death, and have come to rest in life eternal. Grant them a safe harbour and the peace that cannot be broken.

Trusting in Christ, ever present to save us, we pray in his name.

Prayer for the week

By the prayers of Jesus,
         Lord, teach us how to pray.

By the gifts of Jesus,
         Lord, teach us how to give.

By the labours of Jesus,
         Lord, teach us how to work.

By the love of Jesus,
         Lord, teach us how to love.

By the cross of Jesus,
         Lord, teach us how to live.

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.


Eternal Father, strong to save,
whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

O Saviour whose almighty word
the winds and waves submissive heard,
who walkedst on the foaming deep,
and calm amid its rage didst sleep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

O sacred Spirit, who didst brood
upon the chaos dark and rude,
who bad’st its angry tumult cease,
and gavest light and life and peace:
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

William Whiting (1825–1878)