Podcast Worship

Prayer for Friday 22 October 2021

Listen to a service of Prayer for 22 October 2021 (Trinity 20 / DEL Week 29: Friday), including a reflection on the gospel reading


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


God, our light and our salvation:
illuminate our lives,
that we may see your goodness
in the land of the living,
and looking on your beauty
may be changed into the likeness
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 119.33-40

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes
and I shall keep it to the end.

Give me understanding and I shall keep your law;
I shall keep it with my whole heart.

Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for therein is my delight.

Incline my heart to your testimonies
and not to unjust gain.

Turn away my eyes lest they gaze on vanities;
O give me life in your ways.

Confirm to your servant your promise,
which stands for all who fear you.

Turn away the reproach which I dread,
because your judgements are good.

Behold, I long for your commandments;
in your righteousness give me 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.

Luke 12.54-59

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

‘And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.’


There are so many old wives’ tales that are embedded in our culture. ‘Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight’; ‘Spilling salt brings bad luck’; ‘Terrible things come in threes’ … the list goes on and on. For many, these old wives’ tales are amusing tropes that are recited to amuse and divert. For some, though, they are the basis of a life dominated by meaningless superstition. Of course, old wives’ tales may have some basis in the observation of coincidence, but not all. For example, the old wives’ tale that ‘Eating carrots improves your eyesight’ was really a World War 2 propaganda ploy. The eating of carrots was used to explain the accuracy of our pilots as they flew between England and Germany, an accuracy that was really brought about by a secretly developed radar system. So, whatever other benefits you may derive from eating carrots, it won’t be improved eyesight!

In today’s reading we are hearing of some very different signs. Jesus begins by noting the common coincidences that can be observed in nature, but then he calls those who rely on such folk law as ‘hypocrites’, because they do not recognize the real signs of the times.

Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, the birth which fulfilled so many of the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, was heralded and celebrated with many signs and wonders. As Jesus began his public ministry, so the signs and wonders became increasingly obvious. People travelled far to witness Jesus’ power in action and to be healed, even by the merest touch of his clothes. The days in which Jesus walked this earth was not short of signs, signs that meant something, not just casually observed coincidences.

Jesus, the Son of God, has walked among us. He has conquered death and offered us a gateway to eternal life. To support us on this journey he has sent his Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to inspire, guide and strengthen us on our journey through this life. How many more signs do we need?

Let us set aside our reliance on the nonsensical wisdom of this world and place our trust in God alone. Let us pray that we might be given the strength to remain faithful to the signs that point us along God’s path through this world. Let us continually pray that the Holy Spirit might inspire, guide and give us strength in the face of those who have not yet seen the truth of God’s greatness, as revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ.

Prayers of intercession

That we and all people may discern the time with wisdom, let us pray to the Lord.

Keep your Church faithful, ever looking to Jesus as her source and her goal. As we serve you hear on earth, let us always remember the witness of those who have gone before and who now support us with their prayers.

Give wisdom to men and women, to understand the needs of our time and to work for justice and peace. May those who hold power and authority in the present be ready to learn from the wisdom of the past.

Give us grace in our families, and let each generation value what the others have to give. Bless with love and harmony the families of our neighbours and those with whom we work.

Have mercy on those who have died after much suffering. Grant them rest and peace in your heavenly Kingdom where there is no more pain and all sorrow is taken away.

May our prayers be accepted in Christ, who gives us his signs to guide us.

Prayer for the week

Most merciful God, we pray
for those who doubt your love;
for those who find it difficult to believe or to pray;
for those who have lost a faith they once possessed.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten their minds
and lead them into all truth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

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.

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.