Tuesday, 29 September 2015

30 September 2015


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Wednesday 30 September 2015 
Morning Prayer

Psalm 72

This psalm asks that the King be blessed. Justice, righteousness, prosperity for the people and production, defence of the poor and deliverance for the needy and oppressed, are requested. May the king live long and be gentle. Peace, dominion, abundance, compassion are all in this appeal. The psalm ends praising and Blessing God who makes all thing possible.

1 Kings 18: 1 – 20

God instructs Elijah to present himself before King Ahab and inform him that rain is about to be sent. The famine is so severe Ahab and Obadiah (his palace chief) split up to search the country for the king’s own horses and mules. Elijah presents himself to Obadiah and asks him to tell Ahab to come to him.

Obadiah is terrified and asks what has he done to deserve this? Obadiah has hidden 100 prophets of the Lord so they are safe from Queen Jezebel and fed them. If he goes to Ahab with the message and God spirits Elijah away Obadiah will be killed. Ahab has searched everywhere for Elijah and when he has not been found, forced those countries to swear oaths to him. Elijah reassures Obadiah that he will stand before Ahab.

When they meet King Ahab greets him as “you the troubler of Israel”. Elijah retorts that indeed it is Ahab and his father’s house that trouble the Lord by not following the commandments and by their worship of Baal. He demands King Ahab gather at Mt Carmel 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (Baal’s consort a fertility figure).

Matthew 9: 27 – 38

Jesus heals two blind men and frees a man from a demon. People begin to flock to him for healing. He heals every disease and every illness. He has compassion for the people who are like sheep without a shepherd. He asks the disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into this harvest.

Collect for Morning Prayer

May we blossom like the cherry
Harrietville Vic L Osburn
Holy and compassionate God you want the best for us: justice, righteousness, prosperity, peace, production, health, deliverance of the poor and needy and freedom from oppression. You sent Elijah to free a country from the religious disobedience of its ruling family. May we too have compassion for all people today and ask that you raise up more of us to do your work of spreading your good news and your saving grace through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Wednesday 30 September 2015
Evening Prayer
Psalm 73

The psalmist begins saying how good God is and then confesses that he is about to lose his belief because of envy of the success, prosperity and apparent freedom from care the wicked possess. It bothers him daily and he is tempted to talk about it but decides it would lead others astray. So he goes into the sanctuary and prays. Through prayer he understands that what appears to be success and freedom is temporary – like a dream. The psalmist recognises his own failings and reaffirms the value of being with God, being guided by God and being valued by God. Even if flesh fails God is our strength, our refuge and we can, with that support tell of all God’s works.

Job 28

Job describes mining and how miners go to great effort and depths in the dark to find precious stones and metals. Most people and certainly animals would not have a clue what miners do. Wisdom is like this, a precious jewel more precious than anything we know. No one knows where to seek wisdom, not in the oceans. It cannot be bought for anything precious. So where does wisdom come from and where does understanding come from?

Death and hell will say they heard a rumour about wisdom once. God knows the way to it. God knows the place. God sees all parts of the world, the heavens, the wind and the water. God makes the path of rain and thunderbolts. God saw, established and sought out wisdom. God said to humans, the fear of the Lord is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding.

Colossians 1: 21 – 29

Paul says that those of us who were estranged from God and doing evil are now reconciled, restored and blameless before God through the crucifixion. This will continue provided we fully and steadfastly continue in our faith. That is what Paul’s mission and suffering were for: to ensure we, from all nations are strong and mature in the faith. In particular he wants us to know the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in us.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Wangaratta Anglican Cathedral
Vic L Osburn
Holy Lord, you know our hearts and you know we believe. You know we get puzzled and confused when we look at the world. We seek true wisdom, understanding and maturity in our lives with you. Bring us to you to pray and recognise our failings. Help us understand that you have already given us true freedom through the death of Jesus so that we can cast off all doubt, come before you, sin no more and rejoice in your gracious and mysterious gift of Christ within us loving leading and guiding us to you through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.

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