Prayers at Mid-day for Monday, 20 July, 2020 (Proper 16, Trinity 6)





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.


Hebrew Scriptures

Joshua 7:1-13 (The Sin of Achan and its Punishment)



Psalm 411 (Assurance of God’s Help and a Plea for Healing)


Happy are those who consider the poor;

   the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble. 

2 The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;

   they are called happy in the land.

   You do not give them up to the will of their enemies. 

3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;

   in their illness you heal all their infirmities. 

4 As for me, I said, ‘O Lord, be gracious to me;

   heal me, for I have sinned against you.’ 

5 My enemies wonder in malice

   when I will die, and my name perish. 

6 And when they come to see me, they utter empty words,

   while their hearts gather mischief;

   when they go out, they tell it abroad. 

7 All who hate me whisper together about me;

   they imagine the worst for me. 

8 They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,

   that I will not rise again from where I lie. 

9 Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,

   who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me. 

10 But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,

   and raise me up, that I may repay them. 

11 By this I know that you are pleased with me;

   because my enemy has not triumphed over me. 

12 But you have upheld me because of my integrity,

   and set me in your presence for ever. 

13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

   from everlasting to everlasting.Amen and Amen.



Romans 13:8-14



Matthew 26.36-46 (Jesus Prays in Gethsemane)



36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ 37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ 39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ 40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ 42Again he went away for the second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ 43Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’


Commentary (Father Michael)


I’m not sure if I’ve ever realized this before, but the three times that Jesus returns from his prayers to find the disciples sleeping mirrors Peter’s three denials of Jesus later that night in the high priest’s courtyard (Mt 26.69-75).  This use of threefold structure may be nothing more than Matthew using repetition for emphasis, and is not uncommon elsewhere in the Bible (eg, Balaam’s donkey in Num 22).   This repeated use of threes here in Matthew 26 does however seem intentional to me, particularly as both incidents involve Peter.


That Peter (and James and John, the sons of Zebedee) can’t remain awake as requested underscores the bitter loneliness of Jesus’ prayer vigil, but it also feels like a lesser betrayal.   All hat Jesus has asked of them is company, and yet they aren’t capable of complying.   Perhaps their repeated falling into sleep is deliberate, a narrative divide to bring the focus close onto Jesus, highlighting his loneliness and the sense that only he can do what God the Father is asking of him, but it also serves effectively to show the disciples’ fallible humanity, which Jesus in his rueful comments to Peter (“So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?”) seems well aware of.


In this respect the disciples’ inability to remain awake mirrors the parable of the ten bridesmaids that Jesus only recently told them (Mt 25.1-10).  In that story all ten bridesmaids fall asleep, but when the master returns only five are ready for his coming.  In the Gethsemane story, sleep seems to stand for the complete dependence of humanity, even of Jesus’ chosen disciples, on Jesus for salvation.   I love how in today’s readings we hear Paul in Romans telling us all to wake up because the night is almost over and “salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers” (Rom 13.11).   As I write this, early on a Sunday morning as my brain slowly comes to life, I think I’ll spend much of today thinking about what spiritual wakefulness might look like in my life.



What could you do to be more spiritually wakeful?   What other questions come to mind in today’s passages?




In peace let us pray to the Lord, saying “Lord, hear and have mercy.”


We pray for all who confess the name of Christ.  In our Anglican Communion cycle of prayer, we pray for the clergy and people of Northern Uganda and their bishop The Rt Revd Johnson Gakumba, of  Bauchi (Nigeria) The Rt Revd Musa Tula, and
Kansas (The Episcopal Church) The Rt Revd Cathleen Bascom 

Lord, hear and have mercy.


We pray for those whose lives are bound in mutual love, and for those who live in celibacy, remember especially the Brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston, and all other monastic communities.  Be their joy and strength.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all in danger, for those essential workers, working poor, and medical staff who must risk the Covid19 virus in their daily work.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all who are facing trials and difficulties, for those facing isolation, loneliness, sickness, and fear in this time of pandemic.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


We pray for one another, that we may always be united in service and love.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


We pray to be forgiven our sins and set free from all hardship, distress, want, war, and injustice.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


May we discover new and just ways to share the goods of the earth, enjoy the abundance of your mercies, and find joy together.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


May we be strengthened by our communion with all Christ’s saints.

Lord, hear and have mercy.




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.





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 the 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.


Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified: hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


Thanks be to God76gh