18 March 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Friday 18 March 2016
Psalms 41 and 44: 1 - 9
The psalmist is sick. Illness was seen in the past as punishment for sin. Enemies hope the psalmist will die but come and visit being pleasant, then make plots when they leave. Even the psalmist’s best friend has turned his back. The psalmist prays for healing, restoration and vindication. God is blessed.
This portion of the second psalm reminds us of God’s actions in nation building and protecting the people in wars. They do not go into battle trusting in their own abilities but in God. And yet, now they have suffered a defeat.
The “insolent men” accuse Jeremiah of lying and of being influenced to allow the Babylonians to kills the remnant people in Judah. The whole group with Jeremiah and Baruch go to Egypt. On arrival God instructs Jeremiah to take large stones and bury them under Pharaoh’s pavement. He is told to prophesy that King Nebuchadrezzar will come and set up his canopy and throne above these stones and bring destruction and pestilence and death to Egypt. He will sack Egypt.
Matthew 23: 27 – 24:2
Jesus continues his condemnation of the hypocritical Pharisees and scribes who look righteous on the outside but are corrupt ion the inside. They say that they would not have rejected the prophets if they came today. They set up rules so that the prophets will continue to be rejected. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. He prophesies its destruction.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Beach looking towards Antarctica|
Cape Le Grand National Park WA
God of glory and God of might you made everything and you gave us the power to observe, to think and to make decisions. Guide our decisions today. Help us to discern your will and your purpose in our lives so that we too can positively contribute to your glory through Jesus Christ our Lord and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Friday 18 March 2016
Psalm 44: 10 – 27
In this psalm there has been a great defeat. The people are scattered, enslaved, had everything taken and destroyed. They are humiliated, derided, taunted, reviled and disgraced. But they do not forget God’s promise or turn their hearts away. If they had, would not God discover it? God knows our heart’s secrets. The psalmist ends with a call to God to rise, to come to our aid and redeem us through steadfast love.
Exodus 10: 1 – 20
Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh again. The next plague will be locusts. Some of Pharaoh’s court counsel to let the Israelites go and worship else the whole country will be ruined. Pharaoh says yes then asks, “Who will go?” When Moses says everyone young and old and their flocks Pharaoh becomes suspicious and says he will only let the men go. Moses leaves then raises this staff and the greatest plague of locusts descends on the country. Pharaoh calls Moses, repents and agrees that the Israelites can go. As soon as Moses raises his staff again and the locusts leave Pharaoh recants. His heart is hardened.
Colossians 1: 18 – 23
Christ is the beginning of all things, the head of the church and the one through whom reconciliation with God was made possible for all.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|The tree house|
Gloucester Tree Pemberton WA E Byford
Great God of justice, when there are people with hardened hearts and minds, yours is the battle and yours is the victory. You are the creator of everything visible and invisible including great powers. Give us grace to sing your praises and to trust in you so that we demonstrate our faithfulness and your reconciling peace through Jesus Christ or Redeemer and saviour. Amen.
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