4 February 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Wednesday 4 February 2015
This psalm is a prayer for deliverance from national enemies. It compares Israel to a vine. It asks for God’s hand to be on the one at God’s right hand, to give us life, to restore us and to save us.
Abraham moves on to Gerar in the region of the Negev. Again he says that Sarah is his sister. Abimelech, the king of Gerar sends to see Sarah. In a dream God tells Abimelch that Sarah is married and that Abimelech risks death. Abimelech protests that he took Sarah in good faith and has not touched her. God instructs him to return Sarah and says that Abraham is a prophet who will pray for him.
Abimelech afraid, talks to his officials, summons Abraham and confronts him. Abraham’s defence is that the country has no fear of God and that he would be killed for his wife. Further she is technically a sister – they have the same father and a different mother. Abimelech brings gifts to Abraham, returns Sarah and allows Abraham to dwell anywhere in his kingdom. Abimelech tells Sarah he is giving silver to Abraham to cover the offence against her. Abraham prays for Abimelech whose whole family are healed and whose wives and slaves can now bear children.
Luke 2: 41 – 52
Like every year, Mary and Joseph go to Jerusalem for Passover and when Jesus is 12 the group they are with go home. After a day they realise Jesus is not with the group. They return and search for him in Jerusalem then find him at the temple engaged in study and discussion and showing amazing aptitude. When they ask him why he has treated his parents like this he says that they shouldn’t have searched for him. They should have known he needed to be in his Father’s house. He obediently goes home. Mary treasures this event in her heart and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Path through the bush|
Off Tawonga Gap Road Victoria
2015 L Osburn
Wednesday 4 February 2015
The psalm begins with praise and thanksgiving. It moves on to remembering the gifts of God and how God saved and delivered the people. Finally there is a lament that the people’s hearts are hard, that they are not listening and until they do they will be besieged. God wants to feed us with fine things. The choice is left open.
Jeremiah 13: 18 – 14: 6
Jeremiah calls to the rulers to come down from their thrones for all will be lost anyway. The destruction to come is a result of sin. The people are so accustomed to behaving badly they cannot behave any other way. They will be scattered like chaff. The drought will continue and worsen. Even the deer and wild donkeys have no pasture.
Philippians 1: 21 – 30
Paul in prison, tells the Philippians that while he lives he does so in Christ and if he should die he gains. So, while he is alive he will keep labouring for Christ. Given the choice, what would he choose – life or being with Christ? He knows it is better for him to stay and continue with Christians in the joy and progress of their faith. Whatever happens, the Philippians are to conduct themselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ. Whether Paul can visit or not they will stand firm, fearlessly and united in faith. They have been granted not only belief but also suffering and know that Paul also is with them sharing that suffering.
Collect for Evening Prayer
The Blackwood River WA 2014 L Osburn
Generous and loving God you give us great gifts life and freedom. Strengthen our belief, unity and resolve. Help us observe when we jettison old habits, recommit to you and adopt new behaviours worthy of your gospel, so that we like the Philippians, may be encouraged to grow and experience the joy that comes from the progress of our faith and the consolidation of our faith communities through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.