O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
God of our salvation
help us to turn away from those habits
which harm our bodies and poison our minds
and to choose again your gift of life,
revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
How abundant is your goodness, O Lord,
which you have laid up for those who fear you;
which you have prepared in the sight of all
for those who put their trust in you.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from those who slander them;
you keep them safe in your refuge
from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has shown me his steadfast love
when I was as a city besieged.
I had said in my alarm,
‘I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.’
Nevertheless, you heard the voice of my prayer
when I cried out to you.
Love the Lord, all you his servants;
for the Lord protects the faithful,
but repays to the full the proud.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait in hope for 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.
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the lake, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.’ For he had said to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’ Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many.’ He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged him, ‘Send us into the swine; let us enter them.’ So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned in the lake.
The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighbourhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
Prayers of intercession
That the Church and the world may be cleansed from all evil, let us pray to the Lord.
As the Church has been shown the way of salvation through Christ alone, grant her perseverance in the faith which he taught. Make her ministers strong in his word and empower them to bring release to those who are held under the tyranny of sin.
Grant to all people the understanding that they are your children, created to live together in peace. May those who are in authority lead the way to breaking down false limits that keep races and nations apart.
Give to us, our families and friends, grace to receive with joy the signs of your presence, even when they disturb what is safe and familiar. Give us compassion and understanding for all whose ways seem strange to us.
Come with your healing power to those who are mentally ill. Grant them recovery and the way to a new life. Bless and enable those who care for them.
Have mercy on those who have died with disturbed or confused minds, unable to respond to your love. Give them rest in the perfect harmony of your heavenly Kingdom.
We pray through Christ who has restored us and made us whole.
Prayer for the week
you kept faith with Simeon
and showed him the infant King:
give us grace to put all our trust in your promises,
and the patience to wait a lifetime for their fulfilment;
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. 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.
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