Thursday, 22 January 2015

23 January 2015


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Friday 23 January 2015
Morning Prayer

Psalms 54 and 55: 1 – 12

The first psalm is a plea to be saved from enemies, a statement of faith and a promise to give a free will offering to God once the psalmist is triumphant.

The second psalm portion is another plea for aid against enemies. The psalmist fears for his life and wants to run away. There is trouble around the city walls and the psalmist asks that the enemies plans be confused.

Genesis 10:32 – 11:9 and 27 – 32

The descendants of Noah are many. Some come to a plain, build a city and decide to build a tower to the heavens for the sole purpose of “making a name for ourselves”. God sees the construction made through cooperation. All the world’s population share ancestors and one language up to now. Then the language is confused and the people scatter.

In one family, who live in the city of Ur in the area of the Chaldeans, the grandfather Terah, leaves with one son Abram and his wife Sarai and Lot his grandson (whose father Haran had died) to go to Canaan. The other son Nahor and his wife stay in Ur. When they came to Haran they settle there and eventually Terah dies there.

John 8: 31 – 47

Jesus talks to the Jews who believe in him. He explains how they are slaves to sin and that continuing in the truth as shown by Jesus will set them free. They dispute that as sons of Abraham they have always been free. Jesus counters that if they were true sons of Abraham they would do as God says through Jesus and not be trying to kill him. They then say they have one Father, God himself. Jesus responds that if God were their Father, they would love him. They can’t understand and there is no room for Jesus because the evil one leads them.

Whoever is from God hears the word of God. The reason they are not hearing is because they are not from God. They are ruled by sin.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Cycling Across the Nullarbor
SA 2014 L Osburn
God of the great journey, you know that when we are united and cooperate much can be achieved. We pray that your will, not ours, be done. Clear from our minds and hearts all confusion and fear. Unite us in love for Jesus so that we restate our faith, make offerings of ourselves out of our own free will and go on the life-long journey with you, our friends and families towards your promise through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.

Friday 23 January 2015
Evening Prayer

Psalms 55: 13 – 15 (16 – 17) 18 – 28

The psalmist’s enemy is a close friend. It is harder to bear treachery from someone close. The friend has tricked another and done great harm. God will hear and respond. Lay our burdens on God. God’s is the punishment not ours. Trust God.

Jeremiah 7: 1 – 20

Jeremiah is to go and stand in the gate of the temple and deliver God’s words. The people are to listen, to amend their ways and their doings since this is the Temple of the Lord. This is the Temple of the Lord. And a third time, this is the Temple of the Lord.

If the people truly amend their ways, if they stop oppressing widows, aliens and orphans and stop going after other gods they will be saved. God knows that they steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely and make offerings to Baal and other gods and yet come to the temple and claim to be safe. God is watching and the people are not listening. Jeremiah is told not to attempt intercede on behalf of the people since their behaviour causes their own harm. God’s anger will be poured out on Jerusalem.

James 1: 1 – 15

James writes to the people of the Dispersion. James encourages the people to respond with joy to trials since the testing of faith produces endurance, which is a precursor to maturity.

If we lack wisdom, we are to ask God in faith and without doubting. We are to boast in being raised up when we are lowly and believers and to boast in being brought down if we are rich.

We are blessed when we endure temptation. Temptation does not come from God but from within us, it leads to sin and to death.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Bold plant with different coloured flowers
Mulwala NSW 2014 L Osburn
Holy and loving God you have given us new life and new hope through Jesus. Make our hearts your temple. Help us to identify and discern the temptations that come from within ourselves, our most intimate friend. Be with us now as we take time to examine ourselves today and rejoice as we see where we failed and praise you for your love and forgiveness, ask for your wisdom and your endurance so that we may begin anew tomorrow, refreshed, emboldened to be your people through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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