9 November 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Wednesday 9 November 2016
Psalm 22: 1 – 22
This portion of the psalm is a solemn prayer for deliverance from a dreadful illness. It is an illness that has detractors circling the psalmist. The psalmist feels alone and separated from God but is reminded of all the times God was there in the past for the Israelites. The psalmist is humble, asks to be saved not just from the illness but also from any temptation.
God instructs Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and proclaim his word. Jonah goes. Nineveh is so large it takes three days to walk across. On the first day Jonah calls out “Forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown!” The people believe, put on sackcloth and ashes and repent. The king hears, does the same and proclaims a fast. God seeing their response decides not to destroy the city.
Matthew 23: 16 – 28
Jesus indicts the Pharisees who have confused themselves and others and by the confusion are making it harder for people to get to God. The gold artefacts in the sanctuary are not what make the place holy or an oath real. The sanctuary does that. Similarly the gift on the altar isn’t as important as the altar it is on. It is the altar, the sanctuary and God’s throne, heaven: the place God dwells, and more importantly God’s dwelling there, that makes the oath real.
Equally the Pharisees tithe stuff – herbs and spices – but forget to tithe justice, mercy and faith. Jesus accuses them of straining a gnat but swallowing a camel. He demands we clean up our inner life before worrying about outward appearances.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|The Road Ahead|
Berrigan NSW L Osburn
Almighty creator, ever living God you know our span of life is but a breath. You want us – the humble, the faithful the godless and the confused – to take the opportunity we have to listen, take stock and clean up our inner lives. Help us this day to notice any sneaky idol worship: seeing your power in things or processes rather than in you. Help us to notice when we forget to tithe justice, mercy and faith. In your steadfast love help us switch our focus back to you so that we may respond to your call just as the people of Nineveh heard and responded through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord and Your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.
Wednesday 9 November 2016
Psalms 22: 23 – 32 and 23
The second section of the psalm, calls for all people who respect and honour God to give praise, glorify and stand in awe! God has delivered the psalmist from deadly illness and this evidence shows that all God’s promises are secure. The Lord rules in all places and future generations will continue God’s praise.
This is the well-known 23rd Psalm. The Lord is compared to a shepherd who makes sure the sheep are well pastured, have clean water, are at peace and have nothing to fear. God makes us holy (anoints us) and gives us good things our whole life long even in the valley of the shadow of death and in the presence of enemies.
Wisdom 1: 1 – 15
We are to love righteousness and seek God sincerely. God is not found by people who put God to the test “wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul or dwell in a body enslaved to sin. For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit and leave foolish thoughts behind” (vv. 4 -5).
God hears our words and observes our hearts – we will not escape notice. So we need to beware of useless grumbling, or lying, or inviting death by the way we live our lives or the things we do with our hands. God doesn’t delight in death of living things. Righteousness is undying.
Revelation 3: 14 – 22
John is to write to the church in Laodicea. Jesus knows their works and they are lukewarm. Jesus prefers them to be either cold or hot. Because they are lukewarm they are about to be rejected by Jesus. The people say, “I am rich, I have prospered, I need nothing” (v.17). Really they are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. Jesus wants them to repent and spend their resources on that. Jesus is standing at their door knocking. Will they let Jesus in to eat and drink with them? If they conquer, they will have a place with Christ in God’s kingdom.
Collect for Evening Prayer
Boomanoomana NSW L Osburn
Holy God you want us to be in relationship with you eternally. Help us this night to search our hearts and turn them to you so that Jesus may come and eat with us and that your Holy Spirit finds our souls free from deceit, our bodies cleared of sin and can dwell in our hearts through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.