Listen to or read a short service of Prayer for Friday 3 July 2020, the Festival of Thomas the Apostle.
Thomas is mentioned among the number of the apostles in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke but it is in John’s gospel that his significance is revealed. First, he is heard encouraging the other disciples to go to Judea with Jesus; then, not knowing what Jesus meant when he talked about where he was to go elicited the answer that Jesus was himself the Way. But probably most famously he was the apostle notably unconvinced by reports of the resurrection of Jesus, causing Jesus to show him the marks in his hands and side. Thomas then acclaims the risen Christ with the words that have been described as the great climax of John’s gospel: ‘My Lord and my God.’
O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Almighty and eternal God,
who, for the firmer foundation of our faith,
allowed your holy apostle Thomas
to doubt the resurrection of your Son
till word and sight convinced him:
grant to us, who have not seen, that we also may believe
and so confess Christ as our Lord and our God;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;
make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a fortress to save me,
for you are my rock and my stronghold;
guide me, and lead me for your name’s sake.
Take me out of the net
that they have laid secretly for me,
for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
I put my trust in the Lord.
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.
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’John 20.24-29
This is the word of the Lord.
In faith and confidence let us pray to the Lord.
Bless the Church with the assurance of faith and empower her people to show their faith in their words and in their lives. Cast out all doubts and fear from those who have not seen but have believed.
May the light of truth shine in a world where so many live with uncertainty and find no direction in their lives. Lead the rulers of the nations to knowledge of their true and only Lord.
When we are anxious and fearful, make us confident so that our faith shall be a blessing to others. May the presence of the risen Christ sanctify our homes and our workplaces.
We pray for all who desire to believe but cannot find the way, and for all who have lost the faith they once had. May the wounds of Christ heal them and restore their peace.
Receive into new life those who in this world struggled with doubt but held firm to the end. May they share in the eternal light of glory, with blessed Thomas and all the saints.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God.
Father, give to us, and to all your people,
in times of anxiety, serenity;
in times of hardship, courage;
in times of uncertainty, patience;
and at all times a quiet trust in your wisdom and love,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.