Listen to or read a short service of Prayer for Friday 12 June 2020, the Festival of Barnabas the Apostle
Though not named among the twelve apostles or the evangelists, Barnabas emerges in the Acts of the Apostles as one of the most significant of their number. He sold his estate and gave the proceeds to the Church, since all things were to be held in common, and clearly became a leader. He Is described as a Levite from Cyprus so, like his friend Paul, was from the Greek world rather than that of Palestine, and he introduced Paul to the leaders of the Church in Jerusalem. He was sent to Antioch apparently to guide the Christians there in their relations with non-Jewish converts, promoting the concept of all being one in Christ. He broke with Paul to go to Cyprus and tradition has it that he was martyred there in the year 61.
O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord
and have great delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land,
a generation of the faithful that will be blest.
Wealth and riches will be in their house,
and their righteousness endures for ever.
Light shines in the darkness for the upright;
gracious and full of compassion are the righteous.
It goes well with those who are generous in lending
and order their affairs with justice,
For they will never be shaken;
the righteous will be held in everlasting remembrance.
They will not be afraid of any evil tidings;
their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their heart is sustained and will not fear,
until they see the downfall of their foes.
They have given freely to the poor;
their righteousness stands fast for ever;
their head will be exalted with honour.
The wicked shall see it and be angry;
they shall gnash their teeth in despair;
the desire of the wicked shall perish.
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.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.’John 15.12-17
This is the word of the Lord.
For the unity of all the faithful let us pray to the Lord.
Give grace to all who own the name of Christian, that they may be one in love and in worship. Bless those at home or abroad who are called to be missionaries and teachers of the faith.
As Barnabas, son of consolation, brought mutual trust among the Apostles, may the spirit of reconciliation prevail wherever there is hostility between races and nations. Teach the people of this world to know that they are all the children of God.
Grant to us the spirit of generosity, in giving of time and money to those in need. Bless and draw into fellowship any in our community who are kept apart by suspicion and ignorance of one another.
We pray for all who are lonely and withdrawn into themselves, unable to reach out with the hand of fellowship to others. We pray too for all travellers in places of danger.
Receive the souls of those who, having loved well in this world, have been lifted into the perfect love of heaven. Grant them a share in the joy of blessed Barnabas and all the saints.
We pray through Jesus Christ, whose Gospel was proclaimed by the Apostles.
Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever.
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 of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.