20 August 2014
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Wednesday 20 August 2014
Psalms 114 and 115
First, the psalmist recalls the exodus and crossing of the sea and the Jordan: that the natural world moved and changed to suit God’s purpose.
The second psalm starts praising God for faithful and constant expression of love. The psalmist ridicules the idol-makers who like their idols may have the physical senses (eyes, ears, noses…) but make no use of them. God is contrasted as a sensing and active presence worthy to be trusted. The psalmist blesses the hearer of the psalm.
2 Chronicles 29: 31 – 30: 12
Hezekiah calls for the people to now come and sacrifice since the temple is restored. So many come there are insufficient prepared priests and the Levites who are diligent in their preparations assist. Thanks are given for the miraculous speed with which the temple has been restored.
Hezekiah, after consultation decrees that Passover will be celebrated, though late, and sends a message throughout all Israel. In it he claims that if the people return to God, mercy will flow and the exiles will return. In some localities the message is scorned and ridiculed. In others some come to celebrate and in Judah God softens the people’s hearts and they come.
Acts 19: 1 – 20
When Apollos is in Corinth Paul returns to Ephesus and finds people baptised who have not experienced the Holy Spirit. They had been baptised with the rite of John the Baptist. Paul baptises them in Jesus’ name and they receive the Holy Spirit.
He speaks for three months in the synagogue and when rejected speaks in the middle of the day in a lecture hall. There are many miracles performed.
False exorcists come and copy Paul’s work. In one case a spirit being exorcised says “Jesus I know and Paul I know but who are you?” and attacks the exorcists who flee wounded.
As the power of the Holy Spirit is known people believe, confess and repent. The word of the Lord grows and spreads.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Cool refreshing joy|
Outside Perth Post Office WA 2014 L Osburn
Holy and merciful God, you welcome us back to you when we come prepared, repentant and ready to genuinely worship you. We give you thanks for fast restoration of our places of worship, for healing of our spirits, and for safe return of your people with hearts softened through your grace. May we like Hezekiah, find a way to invite your people to return to you. May we like Paul, assist them to experience your Holy Spirit through Christ so that we may all be united again to your praise and glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wednesday 20 August 2014
Psalms 116 and 117
The first psalm gives thanks to God for healing. Even when he is profoundly depressed the psalmist trusts in God.
The second psalm is a global call to praise God.
Song of Songs 6
The woman reveals to her friends that her lover is always with her.
The man then describes the woman in terms of the most productive, verdant rural scenes where everything is healthy blossoming and beautiful.
The woman takes her mind to the place her lover dwells and imagines standing beside him in his chariot.
Others ask for the woman’s attention and she refuses.
Romans 12: 1 – 8
Paul appeals to all to come to God and offer our lives and abilities to God in accordance with the faith we have now and our abilities. We are to be transformed and renewed.
Paul says we need not till wait until we have “met certain criteria” to show that we are better than we currently are, to earn this place in the world’s terms. We are to come now and use the current gifts we have and according to the current level of our faith. All of us have a place.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|Pink and grey parrots|
Nullabor Plain SA 2014 L Osburn
Loving, welcoming, accessible God, you love us always and are with us always. You love us as we are and you know our abilities and our limitations: mind, body and soul. Help us to turn our eyes to you, to seek you and want to stand beside you so that we, using our gifts and with the faith we have, can bring glory and honour and praise to you through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen