Prayers at Mid-day for Monday, 17 August, 2020 (Proper 20, Trinity10)





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  (Job the Laughing Stock)

Job 12.1-6, 13-25



Psalm 9

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

   I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. 

I will be glad and exult in you;

   I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 


When my enemies turned back,

   they stumbled and perished before you. 

For you have maintained my just cause;

   you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgement. 


You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked;

   you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. 

The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins;

   their cities you have rooted out;

   the very memory of them has perished. 


But the Lord sits enthroned for ever,

   he has established his throne for judgement. 

He judges the world with righteousness;

   he judges the peoples with equity. 


The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,

   a stronghold in times of trouble. 

And those who know your name put their trust in you,

   for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. 


Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion.

   Declare his deeds among the peoples. 

For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;

   he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. 


Be gracious to me, O Lord.

   See what I suffer from those who hate me;

   you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death, 

so that I may recount all your praises,

   and, in the gates of daughter Zion,

   rejoice in your deliverance. 


The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;

   in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught. 

The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgement;

   the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.



The wicked shall depart to Sheol,

   all the nations that forget God. 


For the needy shall not always be forgotten,

   nor the hope of the poor perish for ever. 


Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;

   let the nations be judged before you. 

Put them in fear, O Lord;

   let the nations know that they are only human.




Acts 11.19-30  (The Church Grows in Corinth)



John 5.19-29


Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomsoever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.

‘Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.


Commentary (Father Michael)


Today’s gospel reading reminds us of how explicitly Jesus makes claims for himself in John’s gospel, compared to the three synoptic gospels, where his identity is disclosed by acts and miracles, which gradually awaken awareness in his disciples (think of the two boat miracles in Matthew 8 and 15 and the way the disciples react in both).    Here Jesus couldn’t make it any clearer who he is, and whose authority (the Father’s) he is given to exercise.  In the Greco-Roman world of Jesus’ day, this declaration would be similar to an envoy or governor arriving in some outpost of Rome’s possessions and saying that he has full authority to speak and act in the name of the Emperor in Rome, except this is a much grander claim, an an appeal to the highest authority imaginable!

Jesus’ speech on resurrection and judgement is somewhat confusing.    At the end of today’s reading, he speaks eschatologically, of a time when all will be judged, including the resurrected dead.   Here John is in synch with statements made by Jesus in the synoptic gospels about a coming resurrection and judgement (see Matthew 25.31-46).  What seems different here in John is Jesus promise that those who believe in him, while still alive, experience a spiritual resurrection:  “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life”.  This promise seems to be congruent with a later promise that Jesus makes, that he came so that his followers “may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10.10).


Jesus will prove that can raise the dead by raising Lazarus, and John tells us that this sign will bring many to belief (Jn 11.45), but the issue of Jesus’ authority is not settled.   In exchange between Jesus and Pilate, Jesus again asserts that he has the Father’s authority (“My kingdom is not from this world” Jn 18.36), whereas Pilate cannot conceive of any authority but that of earthly kingdoms.  And so we return to the theme of belief.  If we have travelled with Jesus through John’s gospels, if we have paid attention to the signs and the teachings and the promise of life, then the resurrection will not come as a surprise, but only confirm that Jesus has the words of eternal life, and that, by attending to Jesus, we begin to participate in this life. 







How is belief sometimes a struggle for you?   Have you ever asked God to help you believe?   Could you?  What other questions come to mind in today’s passages?




Let us pray in faith to God our Father, to his Son Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, saying, “Lord, hear and have mercy.”


For the Church of the living God throughout the world, let us ask the riches of his grace.  Today we pray in the Anglican Communion Cycle of Prayer for the clergy and people of these Dioceses and for their bishops:  Okigwe (Nigeria) The Rt Revd Edward Osuegbu, Okigwe North (Nigeria) The Rt Revd Godson Udochukwu Ukanwa. Okigwe South (Nigeria) The Rt Revd David Onuoha, and Kebbi (Nigeria) The Most Revd Edmund Akanya 


 In our Diocesan cycle, we pray for the clergy and people of St. Mary Magdalene.

 Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all who proclaim he word of truth, especially all who struggle to communicate the gospel within the isolation and restrictions of the pandemic, 

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all who have consecrated their lives to the kingdom of God, and for all struggling to follow the way of Christ, let us all the gifts of the Spirit.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For Elizabeth our Queen, for Justin our Prime Minister, and for all who govern the nations, that they may strive for justice and peace, let us ask the strength of God.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For the people of Belarus, as they struggle to claim their stolen election, and for the people of Lebanon, dealing with failed government and the aftermath of the Beirut explosion.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For scholars and research workers, particularly for those working on treatments and a vaccine for Covid 19, and for all whose work seeks to benefit humanity, let us ask the light of the Lord.

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.


For all who have passed from this life in faith and obedience,  and for all who have perished from Covid 19 and from diseases that went untreated because hospitals were overwhelmed, let us ask the peace of Christ.

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 broken the tyranny of sin and sent into our hearts the Spirit of your Son.  Give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that all people may know the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.