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O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
your Son came to save us
and bore our sins on the cross:
may we trust in your mercy
and know your love,
rejoicing in the righteousness
that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O Lord our governor,
how glorious is your name in all the world!
Your majesty above the heavens is praised
out of the mouths of babes at the breast.
You have founded a stronghold against your foes,
that you might still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have ordained,
What is man, that you should be mindful of him;
the son of man, that you should seek him out?
You have made him little lower than the angels
and crown him with glory and honour.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands
and put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea
and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor,
how glorious is your name in all the world!
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 went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Today’s reading reminds us of one of the most important aspects of Jesus’ earthly ministry. We know that Jesus performed signs and wonders, and we know that Jesus brought healing to those who were sick in mind and body. However, all of this is rooted in Jesus’ constant dialogue with his heavenly Father, that is, in prayer. Prayer lies at the heart of the Christian life. We are all called to pray to our heavenly Father. The importance of prayer is made clear in the model Jesus gave us: The Lord’s Prayer. But … how often, when the problems of daily life loom large, do we remember that model?
In every person’s life there are moments of uncertainty, indecision and fear. There are times when we feel betrayed and compromised, just as there are times when we feel affirmed and celebrated. Whatever we are going through in our daily lives, Jesus shows us how we should be responding: we should be taking every aspect of our daily lives to our heavenly Father in prayer. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus gives us the model of praise, hope, intercession, confession and deliverance. The fact that so much is contained within so few words gives us another example to follow. We do not need to burden God with endless words, most of which will focus on our self-justification. God already knows, we just have to have the humility to share things with him. This also takes away the excuse that we do not have time to pray!
In our human lives we struggle with complete honesty. We do not like to be seen as inadequate or weak, just as we do not like to be seen as boastful and smug. But, God wants us to share everything with him. God wants to hear our needs and our fears, and he wants to hear our thanks and praise, not because he needs it but because we do! The problem is that we forget!
As well as reminding us of our need to pray, today’s reading also reminds us that Jesus called twelve ordinary people to be his disciples and apostles. In our ordinariness, that ordinariness which we struggle to admit even to ourselves, we are also called. To be called by God is a very big deal. The only way in which we can cope with such a divine summons is to talk to God, and the only way in which we can consistently do that is in prayer.
Let us pray that we might find the strength to speak with God regularly, taking all that is in our lives to him. Let us also pray that the honesty of our prayerful conversation might put us in a place where we might hear and respond to God’s words to us.
Prayers of intercession
For his blessings on all that he has made, let us pray to the Lord.
Strengthen the Church to flourish like a tree planted by the water, bringing forth fruit to the glory of your Kingdom. Keep your people steadfast in trouble, always trusting in your promises.
Change and heal the inequalities and injustices of the world. Guide the rich that they may help the poor, and the well fed that they may relieve the hungry. Teach the powerful not to trust in their own strength but only in your love.
We pray for grace that we, our families and friends and neighbours, may hear and receive your word and walk in your way. Make us more worthy to be members of your Kingdom.
Grant healing to the sick in body or mind and empower those who minister to them. Be with those who are near to death and give them the assurance of resurrection.
Receive the souls of the faithful by the power of Christ, the firstfruits of those who have passed through death. Confirm our hope in him when we come to die.
We offer our prayers as those who come to Christ that they may be healed.
Prayer for the week
May our Lord Jesus Christ
be near us to defend us,
within us to refresh us,
around us to preserve us,
before us to guide us,
above us to bless us;
who lives and reigns
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
God for evermore.
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 of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.