Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF MARCH, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

Help me, help me, help me.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Amen.

( Anne Lamott )

CANTICLE

O do not against me, Lord,
Your displeasure cherish;
give me not my just reward;
leave me not to perish.
Guilt, our shame, wakes your flame:
Christ our ransom pays:
He all wrath allays.

Show me then a father’s love,
me with aid consoling;
look in patience from above,
all my fears controlling.
Cheer my face with your grace;
oil of consolation,
gladness and salvation.

O my foe, depart from me;
God has heard my crying:
him I seek, from fear set free,
to his presence flying.
Hence dismay, hence away:
all my sorrow ceases;
God my heart releases.

Holy Father, endless praise
here and in high Heaven,
all shall to your glory raise,
praise to Christ be given.
Praise to you, ever true,
Holy Ghost who hears,
and your suppliants cheers.

( Johann G. Albinus )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

“Punished by the sin”

Anne Lamott has written a book entitled “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of God’s Grace.” Inside she has an essay she calls “Forgiven.” I wanted to share a small bit for our devotion today.

She writes, “I went around saying for a long time that I am not one of those Christians who are heavily into forgiveness, that I am one of the other kind. But even though it was funny and actually true, it started to be too painful to stay this way. They say we are punished not for the sin but by the sin and I began to feel punished by my unwillingness to forgive.”

Lord knows this world suffers from a lack of forgiveness. But I began to turn that phrase over and over in my mind “not punished for the sin but by the sin.” I made a little inventory of the people in my life, especially in my past, who had been harmful to me. And I realised that there were many people from whom I had withheld forgiveness. Instead of forgiving them, I or they had simply moved on.

Forgiveness is such a personal thing, really. I wondered if some of you may have had struggles with forgiveness. If some of you experienced being punished by the sin.

Annie Lamott writes, “One Sunday when I was struggling with this, the Scripture reading came from the sixth chapter of Luke: ‘Forgive and ye shall be forgiven.’ Now, try as I might, I cannot find a loophole in that. It does not say, ‘Forgive everyone, unless they’ve said something rude about your child.’ And it doesn’t even say, ‘Just try.’ It says, if you want to experience that kind of love, you have to forgive everyone in your life, everyone, even, for God’s sake, yourself.”

There’s a tiny little word tucked away in the Lord’s Prayer that, once I realised it, almost made me want to stop saying the Lord’s Prayer. It comes in the part where we pray: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” I realised that nearly every day, sometimes more than once a day, I had been asking God to be selective in the kind of forgiveness I was being offered by God.

God is not punishing us for our sins as some suppose God does. God is simply forgiving us at the standard we request of him. Our standard.

As we move closer to Good Friday and Easter, we have the opportunity to remember that on the cross Jesus forgave those who had put him there. Consistent with his own prayer, the Lord forgave.

In the seventh chapter of “Luke,” at verses forty-eight to fifty, we hear of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears.

Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?’”

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

INTERCESSIONS

Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins, and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray…

… for peace in the world.

… for forgiveness and the desire to forgive.

… that God will help us become better stewards of God’s gift of water. DETAILS

… for those who have been killed or injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in the town of Kralupy in the Czech Republic; for all victims of industrial accidents. DETAILS

… for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

… for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

… for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

… for ourselves.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From “Homily Nine on the First Epistle of John” by Augustine of Hippo:

The Lord in the Gospel says, “If you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? Do not the publicans this?” (Matthew 5:44-46)

Then what would he have us do?

“But I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you.”

If then he bids us love our enemies, whence brings he an example to set before us?

From God himself: for he says, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.”

How does God this?

He loves his enemies, who “makes his sun to rise upon the good and the bad, and rains upon the just and the unjust.”

If this then be the perfection unto which God invites us, that we love our enemies as he loved his; this is our boldness in the day of judgment, that as he is, so are we also in this world: because, as he loves his enemies in making his sun to rise upon good and bad, and in sending rain upon the just and unjust, so we, since we cannot bestow upon them sun and rain, bestow upon them our tears when we pray for them.

CLOSING PRAYER

Strong God of love: your son, Jesus, forgave his enemies from the cross. Save us from self-righteousness. Give us grace to pray for those from whom we are estranged. Give us grace to forgive them, even as you have forgiven us; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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