Thursday, 30 June 2016

1 July 2016


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Friday 1 July 2016
Morning Prayer

Psalms 1 and 2

People who set themselves apart from all the turmoil of the world, who contemplate God, and God’s laws are like trees with good soil and water that bear fruit, don’t wither but prosper. The wicked are like chaff – an empty hull – they will not be with God at the end.

A rhetorical psalm asking why some people think they can break the bond between God and his anointed one (messiah). The psalmist thinks it is laughable. God is all-powerful and the anointed one is his begotten son. God’s power could be used to punish and correct. Let humans be warned to respect God. Those that take refuge in the Lord will be happy.

2 Chronicles 20: 1 – 19

Jehosophat the King of Judah receives word that a great army is coming towards his people. They are from the lands God did not allow the Hebrews to overtake as they entered the Promised Land. Jehosophat declares a fast, and with the people goes to the temple to pray. A Levite, Jahaziel, says to the crowds to not fear, that the battle is God’s. But to go to a pass called the ascent of Ziz, and they will see the approaching army in the valley. They are to stand still and watch God’s victory. They are not to fear or to be dismayed. Everyone bows their faces to the ground worshipping God and then praising God.

Acts 15: 12 – 21

Barnabas and Paul are in Jerusalem talking with the leaders there. They tell of the signs and wonders God has done with the people from other nations. When they finish James, the brother of Jesus asks those assembled to recall past teaching and scripture that says God will set things up for people from other nations to seek Him and be called by His name. James then says that all that is required is that they refrain from things polluted by idols, and fornication – rules set down by Noah therefore covering all nations. Moses has had people acknowledge him in every country since he has been read in every synagogue every Sabbath: that is not lost.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Toward Spencer Gulf
South Australia  L Osburn
 God of the big picture, you see everything and your plans are in place for us. We thank you that you have given us people of faith through the ages who have stood firm like trees with good soil and water; people who in times of trouble, look to you first; people who read the scriptures and think about how they guide us today in our decisions. And we thank you that you are a God who encourages us to decide, to set laws and policies. Be with us today in all we do, so that we doing your work bring your peace and glorify you through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Friday 1 July 2016
Evening Prayer

Psalms 3 and 4

People who say that faith in God is pointless surround the psalmist. Yet the psalmist prays and the prayers are answered: sleeps and is sustained by God. There is no fear and the psalmist leaves any reprisals to God.

The psalmist begins by acknowledging God’s grace and comfort in the past and asks for prayers to be answered. The psalmist guides us: when we are upset, we are not to do the wrong thing but take time, ponder what is going on, put aside our self and put our trust in God.  If we want a sign from God, the psalmist recounts that through prayer and right sacrifice the happiness and peace experienced are the real signs of God’s presence.

Ezekiel 11: 1 – 4 (5 – 12) and 13 – 25

Ezekiel is prophesying about the political state of affairs in Jerusalem, the future of those who are not following the Lord’s way – they will die – and where God is since God left the temple. God shows that he is not geographically limited but is everywhere providing sanctuary to the people. For the faithful, God will remove their heart of stone and replace it with a heart that follows God’s ordinances and wants to be with God. Ezekiel has a vision of the spirit going to be with the exiles.

Galatians 1: 11 – 24

Paul tells the Galatians his story to verify his credibility. Paul was a persecutor of Christians. But, he received his gospel direct from a revelation of Christ. He did not go to Jerusalem to learn the gospel from the people there. Instead it was three years before he went there. When he eventually went to Jerusalem Peter (Cephas in Aramaic) and Jesus’s brother James were the people he met and only for a fortnight. Paul comes with the direct knowledge from Jesus.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Over the Southern Ocean
Ceduna SA  L Osburn
God of every place, we thank you for your presence and your gift of a soft heart: a heart for you alone. Help us at the end of this week to feel your presence and feel your sanctuary so that we, restored and refreshed by your love and grace may stand firm with joy in the face of a cynical world through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.

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