Daily Prayers Wednesday, 5 January 2022
Good morning, Cornerstone friends.
This is Twelfth Night, when traditionally Christmas decorations are taken down ready for the feast of Epiphany tomorrow. There was a choice as to keeping last Sunday as Epiphany or next Sunday. Ernesto chose to keep it last Sunday, so I have an Epiphany theme for today. We are in a new year, still with the old problems but with new possibilities.
Give the king your judgements, O God,
and your righteousness to the son of a king.
Then shall he judge the people righteously
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains bring forth peace,
and the little hills righteousness for the people.
May he defend the poor among the people,
deliver the children of the needy
and crush the oppressor.
For he shall deliver the poor that cry out,
the needy and those with no helper.
He shall have pity on the weak and the poor;
he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,
and dear shall be their blood in his sight.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
who alone does wonderful things.
And blessed be his glorious name for ever.
May all the earth be filled with his glory.
Psalm 72: 1–4, 12–14 & 18–19
May your kingdom come, O God,
with deliverance for the needy,
with peace for the righteous,
with overflowing blessings for all nations,
with glory, honour and praise for Christ the only Saviour.
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
When evening came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them, early in the morning, walking on the lake. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified.
But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loves and their hearts were hardened.
Mark 6: 45–52
The psalm is a prayer that the rulers of the nations will be given God’s wisdom to rule, treating all people fairly. The gospel is a familiar story coming after the feeding of the five thousand. ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’
Epiphany is the feast remembering the visit of the Magi, foreigners and learned men of some stature. So we think in the weeks of Epiphany of how we can make the gospel plain to those outside of the worshipping community in the secular society in our time.
Let us pray for our City Centre and the people of our city. Making better links with the people and life of Central Milton Keynes and Campbell Park is one of the aims in our ‘road map’, which we all accepted in the middle of last year. Let us hope we can achieve some of those aims in 2022.
Ernesto posted a prayer last week and here is a shortened version for our devotions this morning thinking particularly of those elements of our road map concerning our society and communities in Central Milton Keynes.
Dear God, we thank you that you make all things new.
We pray that your Spirit will lead us each step of this new year.
We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else.
We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight.
We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power.
We pray that you will make us strong and courageous for the road ahead.
Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us,
so that you will be honoured by our lives and people will be drawn to you.
Let us pray for our world.
The news is still concentrating on how we deal with the pandemic which affects all of our lives. The current difficulty is the number of people becoming ill rather than the severity of the illness as the new variant, although spreading faster, has mostly milder symptoms. The worry is that schools and hospitals will be unable to function effectively as too few staff are at work. This disease is taking its toll on the mental wellbeing of us all.
This concentrating on Covid tends to hide other issues of division and conflict which cause real hardship for millions of people in different parts of our world. There is also the issue of climate change and the need for cooperation among all nations to deal with it. These were issues in the New Year messages from the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury to their branches of the church.
God in Trinity, eternal unity and perfect love;
gather the nations to be one family, and draw us into your holy life,
through the birth of Emmanuel, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A prayer from Common Worship for use any day during Epiphany:
Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end;
bring us with the whole creation to your glory
hidden through past ages and made known
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
May we all stay safe and have experiences today that make us thankful.