Prayers for Monday, 24 August, 2020 (Proper 21, Trinity 11)


Today is the feast of Saint Bartholomew, the Apostle. 

Prayers for Monday, 24 August, 2020 (Proper 21, Trinity 11)


Today is the feast of Saint Bartholomew, the Apostle.






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 4.1,5.1-11,17-21,26-27


Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:


‘Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?

To which of the holy ones will you turn? 

Surely vexation kills the fool,

   and jealousy slays the simple. 

I have seen fools taking root,

   but suddenly I cursed their dwelling. 

Their children are far from safety,

   they are crushed in the gate,

   and there is no one to deliver them. 

The hungry eat their harvest,

   and they take it even out of the thorns;

   and the thirsty pant after their wealth. 

For misery does not come from the earth,

   nor does trouble sprout from the ground; 

but human beings are born to trouble

   just as sparks fly upward. 


‘As for me, I would seek God,

   and to God I would commit my cause. 

He does great things and unsearchable,

   marvellous things without number. 

He gives rain on the earth

   and sends waters on the fields; 

he sets on high those who are lowly,

   and those who mourn are lifted to safety. 

‘How happy is the one whom God reproves;

   therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 

For he wounds, but he binds up;

   he strikes, but his hands heal. 

He will deliver you from six troubles;

   in seven no harm shall touch you. 

In famine he will redeem you from death,

   and in war from the power of the sword. 

You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,

   and shall not fear destruction when it comes. 

You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,

   as a shock of grain comes up to the threshing-floor in its season. 

See, we have searched this out; it is true.

   Hear, and know it for yourself.’ 



Psalm 1   



Happy are those

   who do not follow the advice of the wicked,

or take the path that sinners tread,

   or sit in the seat of scoffers; 

but their delight is in the law of the Lord,

   and on his law they meditate day and night. 

They are like trees

   planted by streams of water,

which yield their fruit in its season,

   and their leaves do not wither.

In all that they do, they prosper. 


The wicked are not so,

   but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,

   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 

for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

   but the way of the wicked will perish.





Acts 9.19b-31 (Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem)




John 6.52-59


The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.


Commentary (Father Michael)


Continuing with the story of Job.  Because of the weekend’s interruption, we missed Job 3, where Job begins to give vent to his sorrows.  He does not, as his wife urged him to (2.9), curse God, but he does curse all of creation, in a kind of negative parallel of the order of creation at the start of Genesis (3.3-10).    Job’s outburst to his friends begins the heart of the book of Job, a dialogue in three rounds of exchanges between Job and his friends.   At the heart of these exchanges is the question of theodicy, a theological term meaning the problem of evil.


Job in chapter three asks the immediate question, “why me?”, but sets it within the larger question of “why do I exist in a created order that permits the sort of suffering that I have experienced?”  Anyone who has experienced suffering, from the loss of a child, a spouse, or of one’s own health, has felt the immediacy of such questions, and the terror that there may be no answer to them.   


The first of Job’s friends to speak, Epliphaz, offers a rebuttal that one often hears from the religious, that since suffering is not random (5.6), it must come from God as punishment for sin (4.7-8).   This argument is often reached for in moments of disaster; I have heard it offered as an explanation for the Covid-19 pandemic, just as it was advanced for AIDs in the 1980s and for the 9-11 attacks of 2001.   Jesus in the gospels is often asked if sufferings and disease are caused by sin, and he never answers in the affirmative.  Even Eliphaz’ point about children being “crushed in the gate” would put the blame upon Job’s dead children for their house collapsing on them!  His argument is essentially, turn back to God, regain favour with him, and all will be well.   As we work through Job, we will be frequently challenged to sort out the bad arguments from the lofty prose of Job’s friends.







If a friend told you what God was punishing you for your misfortune, how would you react?   What would you say in response to Eliphaz? 

What other questions come to mind in today’s passages?




Let us pray to God,

whose word was entrusted to the Apostles

and has spread to all the world.


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:  Kibondo (Tanzania) The Rt Revd Sospeter Ndenza; Kigali (Rwanda) The Rt Revd Nathan Amooti Rusengo; Kigeme (Rwanda) The Rt Revd Assiel Musabyimana 

 In our Diocesan cycle, we pray for the clergy and people of Christ Church, Woodbridge.


Empower your Church to proclaim the saving message of Jesus Christ.

Lord of mercy, spread your word.


Give us courage and strength to spread the Gospel in places

where it has not been preached.

Lord of mercy, spread your word.


Bless us in our personal lives that we may live fully according to Jesus’ example.

Lord of mercy, spread your word.


Open our eyes to your Word in the Holy Scriptures

that we find new paths of understanding.

Lord of mercy, spread your word.


Remember, in your mercy, those who have gone before

marked with the sign of faith and led by the Gospel.

Lord of mercy, spread your word.



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 and everlasting God, who gave to your apostle Bartholomew grace to believe and preach your word, may your Church truly love what he believed and faithfully preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen.


Almighty God, we are taught by your word that all our doings without love are worth nothing.  Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue; 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.