O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sing praise to the Lord, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates
and has blest your children within you.
He has established peace in your borders
and satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends forth his command to the earth
and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool
and scatters the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casts down his hailstones like morsels of bread;
who can endure his frost?
He sends forth his word and melts them;
he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and judgements to Israel.
He has not dealt so with any other nation;
they do not know his laws.
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.
Once, when Jesus was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do choose. Be made clean.’ Immediately the leprosy left him. And he ordered him to tell no one. ‘Go’, he said, ‘and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.’ But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
Last year’s reflection on this reading is available here: https://corbyglenchurches.uk/reflection-for-8-january-2021/
Prayers of intercession
For the cleansing of all that is unclean in the Church and in the world, let us pray to the Lord.
Give to all Christian people the wisdom that discerns when to speak out and when to be silent; when to be active and when to be still. Fill us with the divine compassion which offers healing and salvation.
Have mercy on the outcasts of the world, the refugees and the homeless, those who are shunned for their race or their faith. Change the hearts of the oppressors and persecutors, that all people may value one another as children of God.
Give grace to us, our families and friends, to hear the calls of distress and seek to help. Guide the members of our community who work for the relief of those in need.
We pray for the sick, especially those whose affliction makes them shunned and despised. We pray for doctors and nurses working with difficult and prolonged cases.
Receive in mercy the souls of the departed, that healed from all the pain and trouble of this world, and cleansed from all their sins, they may rejoice in the company of the saints and the presence of the Lord. Grant to us at our end the blessing of eternal life.
May our prayers be accepted in the name of Christ whose compassion never fails.
Prayer for the week
who by the light of a star
led wise men to Jesus:
by the light of your Word
lead us and all nations to him,
the Saviour of the world;
that together we may bring him our best gifts,
and pay homage to him as our King.
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. 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.
O Christ, the Healer, we have come
to pray for health, to plead for friends.
How can we fail to be restored,
when reached by love that never ends?
How strong, O Lord, are our desires,
how weak our knowledge of ourselves!
Release in us those healing truths
unconscious pride resists or shelves.
Grant that we all, made one in faith,
in your community may find
the wholeness that, enriching us,
shall reach the whole of humankind.
Fred Pratt Green (1903–2000)