Prayers at Mid-day for Monday, 13 July, 2020 (Proper 15, Trinity 5)
(I’ve changed the format by shortening the text to make it easier to read, putting some of the readings into URLs that can be clicked on if desired. Let me know what you think of the change).
O God, make speed to save us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
The Lord is our refuge and our strength: O come, let us worship.
Joshua 2.1-14 (Rahab of Jericho and The Hebrew Spies)
Psalm 25 (Prayer for Guidance and Deliverance)
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who are they that fear the Lord?
He will teach them the way that they should choose.
13 They will abide in prosperity,
and their children shall possess the land.
14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever towards the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me out of my distress.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20 O guard my life, and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all its troubles.
Romans 11.1-12 (Israel’s Rejection is Not Final)
Matthew 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids)
‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” 9But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” 12But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Commentary (Father Michael)
In 1940, Dietrich Bonhoeffer published a short essay on the Psalms, “The Prayerbook of the Bible”. It was a brave move in Nazi Germany to call attention to the Hebrew scriptures, at a time when official German religion was following the path of the ancient heresy of Marcionism and rejecting the God of the Old Testament. In his essay, Bonhoeffer noted that the psalms teach us how to pray, and in their traditional association with David, the forerunner of Christ, they express en masse and amplify all the concerns brought together in the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples.
Psalm 25 expresses many of the concerns of the Lord’s prayer: trust in God’s word and will for the world, an acknowledgement of sin and trust in God’s forgiveness, acknowledgement that the world can be hostile and full of adversaries, and a frank request that God will meet daily needs. In my experience, trying to put myself in the place of the psalmist, and recognizing that the psalm speaks to my concerns, is the way into fully recognizing and availing myself of Bonhoeffer’s insight, that the psalms are prayers that express my needs.
The heartfelt request of the last verse of Psalm 25, “Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles”, wraps up all the concerns of the psalmist. It speaks just as well to us. We have troubles in full – racial hostility, staggering poverty, a raging pandemic, environmental collapse – so that we often can’t see a way out of them. Our trust is that the God who rescued Israel from slavery and raised Jesus from the dead will hear our prayers and likewise rescue us.
How do you use the psalms for prayer? How could you use them more?
What other questions come to your mind about these passages?
(Borrowed with thanks from https://oremus.blog/2020/07/12/oremus-for-monday-july-13-2020/)
We praise you, God our creator, for your handiwork in shaping and sustaining
your wondrous creation. Especially we thank you for
the miracle of life and the wonder of living . . .
particular blessings coming to us in this day . . .
the resources of the earth, and those work work to protect them …
gifts of creative vision and skillful craft, particularly those artists working to inspire and cheer us during this time of pandemic …
the treasure stored in every human life. . . .
We dare to pray for others, God our Savior, claiming your love in Jesus Christ for the whole world, committing ourselves to care for those around us in his name.
Especially we pray for those who work for the benefit of others . . .
those who cannot work today, those whose incomes are insecure and who are full of worry for the future . . .
those who teach and those who learn, especially for educators as they plan for the uncertainties of the coming school year . . .
people who are poor . . .
the Anglican Diocese of Europe. . . .
Collects of the Day (Proper 15, Trinity 5):
Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you. May we find peace in your service, and in he world to come, see you face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Thanks be to God