Podcast Worship

Prayer for Monday 16 August 2021

Listen to a service of Prayer for 16 August 2021 (Trinity 11 / DEL Week 20: Monday), including a reflection on the gospel reading


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


God of glory,
the end of our searching,
help us to lay aside
all that prevents us from seeking your kingdom,
and to give all that we have
to gain the pearl beyond all price,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Psalm 106.34-42

They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord had commanded them.

They mingled with the nations
and learned to follow their ways,

So that they worshipped their idols,
which became to them a snare.

Their own sons and daughters
they sacrificed to evil spirits.

They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,

Which they offered to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was defiled with blood.

Thus were they polluted by their actions,
and in their wanton deeds went whoring after other gods.

Therefore was the wrath of the Lord
kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his inheritance.

He gave them over to the hand of the nations,
and those who hated them ruled over them.

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.

Matthew 19.16-22

Someone came to Jesus and said, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these; what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.


This week’s readings all focus on our attitude towards the cost of discipleship and the attitudes which distance us from God.

In today’s reading we encounter the wealthy man who had been faithful to the teachings and the commandments of God, but who could not bring himself to make the final sacrifice that would bring him into a life of true discipleship.

So many of us are in the same position as that wealthy man. We may not consider ourselves to be rich but, in comparison with so many, we all have some degree of wealth. It is the calling of every Christian to recognize that worldly wealth is nothing more than a tool to improve the lot of those less fortunate than ourselves.

In the Acts of the Apostles we read of the workings of the first church communities. Those early Christians embraced this holding of material possessions in common very seriously. As a sign of their conversion they entrusted everything they owned to the community of the faithful. The elders of those early churches then used that collective wealth to create a society in which all could flourish, and especially those who were seen to be in the greatest need.

This altruistic aspect of church life soon vanished. The response to Jesus’ call to live a life of self-sacrifice became tempered and moderated. Human arguments prevailed and the Church became what it is so often seen as being today, an institution that glories in its riches whilst failing to share the benefits of those riches with those who live in desperate poverty.

Whether we view the Church as an international institution or as a group of like-minded neighbours, the fact is that Jesus calls us to a life of self-sacrificial love and service. He also makes it clear that the hoarding of money and possessions can only ever be a barrier to that life of true discipleship. Too often church councils are dominated by those who prefer to hoard money rather than relish in Christ’s call to place people above buildings and overflowing bank accounts. Too often we ignore the needs of those who live in poverty, explaining our attitudes away as being prudent financial stewardship. Too often we turn the weakness and fragility of others into a weapon with which to beat them … “They have all that they deserve because of the way they live their lives” we say in a self-righteous voice!

I pray that whenever we are confronted with the choice of using our God-given riches for the good of others or for the bolstering of our own personal portfolios of wealth we might recall today’s reading. I pray that we might not fail in our discipleship because we allow greed to harden our hearts. I pray that we might live, love and serve as Christ did.

Prayers of intercession

Let us pray for guidance and grace to follow the way to eternal life.

Make the Church faithful in keeping the commandments and avoiding the temptations of outward success and power. Trusting in no human righteousness but only in the divine mercy, may your people be as a light to the world.

Have mercy on the world where so many trust in riches and seek continually to increase them. Guide those who control the wealth of commerce and the finance of nations, to use their power wisely, setting aside the love of gain and showing compassion for those in need.

Help us, our families, friends and neighbours, to use well the money entrusted to us, whether it is much or little. Give grace to those who control the financial affairs of this community that their decisions shall be for the common good.

We pray for all who are enslaved by the passion for material things and have lost their way in the journey of life. We pray for the poor of the world, for people and nations in debt, for those whose lives are a daily struggle to survive.

Be merciful to those who have died still trusting in the wealth of this world. In the infinite mercy that makes all things possible, receive them and all departed souls into the Kingdom of heaven.

We pray in the name of Christ.

Prayer for the week

Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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.