Podcast Worship

Prayer for Saturday 9 October 2021

Listen to a service of Prayer for 9 October 2021 (Trinity 18 / DEL Week 27: Saturday), including a reflection on the gospel reading


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


God, our judge and saviour,
teach us to be open to your truth
and to trust in your love,
that we may live each day
with confidence in the salvation
which is given through
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 97.1, 8-12

The Lord is king: let the earth rejoice;
let the multitude of the isles be glad.

Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced,
because of your judgements, O Lord.

For you, Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;
he preserves the lives of his faithful
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Light has sprung up for the righteous
and joy for the true of heart.

Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name.

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 11.27-28

While Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’


We live in a society that is driven by a restless search for happiness. Millions buy lottery tickets each week in the hope that they will win the ‘life changing’ money that will bring about the happiness they crave. Others find different ways of pursuing that happiness. However that ‘need’ might manifest itself, so many of us are guilty of putting ourselves as near the front of the queue as possible as we strive for worldly riches, worldly power, that all-elusive dream of ‘happiness’.

In today’s short reading from Luke’s gospel this human search for worldly happiness is put into context. From the crowd, we are told of one voice that stands out as a woman shouts: Blessed is the womb that bore you. That word blessed is one that can also be translated from the Greek as happy. The woman shouting from the crowd is talking of a happiness (a blessedness) that would only ever have been experienced by the comparative few who bumped into the human Jesus during the three years of his earthly ministry. However, Jesus’ response offers far more hope, happiness and blessedness than that.

Jesus guides us away from the transitory happiness that we see in our modern celebrity culture. Many came to see Jesus as he journeyed around the Holy Land some two thousand years ago. Similarly, many journey to catch a glimpse of their favourite pop stars, sportsmen and sportswomen in action, or someone else they ‘look up to’ from the mundanity of their daily lives. However, Jesus casts this need to ‘catch a glimpse of’ someone famous aside as he speaks of a permanent and far more fulfilling sense of happiness (blessedness) that is available to us all.

Jesus points us away from our worldly celebrities and directs our attention to the word of God. Jesus invites us to focus our attention on scripture and prayer, rather than on the gathering of selfies and autographs. And … Jesus leads us towards achieving a level of happiness (blessedness) that can only come from entering into the deepest of relationships with God, and that is rooted in our living every moment of our lives according to God’s law, God’s will for us.

Our burning desire for worldly happiness has nothing to do with blessedness, even if the words are interchangeable as we translate the gospel. Our desire for worldly happiness takes us into ourselves and our secret longings. The word of God, and our willingness to obey that word, takes us into a very different place, a place where our happiness will know no bounds, for the whole of eternity.

Let us pray that we might set aside the superficial and the transitory and draw closer to our loving Heavenly Father. Let us pray that we might set aside time, each day, to engage with scripture in a prayerful way. Let us pray that we might, as we strive to obey God’s word, come to know the happiness (the blessedness) of his loving embrace.

Prayers of intercession

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide our nation’s leaders; give wisdom to all in authority; and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace; that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours, that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hears us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ; according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Prayer for the week

Lord and heavenly Father,
make us mindful of your presence with us;
that we may draw near to you
with holy and humble hearts,
and offer prayers and praises
acceptable in your sight;
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.