Epiphany Prayer: 5th Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 – Psalm 50:1-6; 1 Kings 16:1-7; Luke 19:41-44 ~ we are the heart of Christ

Epiphany Prayer: 5th Saturday; 13 Feb 2021

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Out of your power and compassion, O God,
you sent your Son into our afflicted world
to proclaim the day of salvation.
Heal the brokenhearted, bind up our wounds.
Bring us health of body and spirit
and raise us to new life in your service.
We pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

When Jesus drew near Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it, saying,
“Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace!
But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
(Luke 19:41-42)

_________

Psalms: Psalm 50:1-7 – St.Peter’s Free Church of Scotland, Dundee

__________

OT Reading: 1 Kings 16:1-7 (ESV)

16 And the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, 2 “Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, 3 behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 4 Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat.”

5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6 And Baasha slept with his fathers and was buried at Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place. 7 Moreover, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he destroyed it.

__________

Dominus Flevit, where Jesus Wept over Jerusalem
[Christian Media Center – English]

__________

NT Reading: Luke 19:41-44 (ESV)

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

__________

Rescue The Perishing – Altar of Praise Chorale

__________

Prayer:

+ Merciful God, you desire that none should perish, but rather that they should turn to you and live; and through your only Son you have revealed yourself as the God who pardons iniquity.

_ Have mercy on the unrepentant and those who do not believe, especially those in Jerusalem.

_ Awaken in them, by your Word and Holy Spirit, a deep sense of their sinfulness and peril.

_ Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word.

_ Grant them grace to confess by faith that there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which they must be saved, but only the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

+ Merciful God, bring them home and number them among your children, that they may be yours for ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

+ Almighty God our Savior, may your Holy Spirit work through our words, deeds, and prayers, that the lost may be found and the dead made alive, and that all your redeemed may rejoice around your throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

+ Christ as a light, illumine and guide us. Christ as a shield, overshadow us. Christ under us; Christ over us; Christ beside us on our left and our right. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom we speak; in the mouth of each who speaks to us. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside us on our left and our right.

__________

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us, wherever He may send us.
May He guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storm.
May He bring us home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown us.
May He bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors.

__________

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saturday Morning, 23 Nov 2019 – Luke 18-19 ~ always pray and never give up

Saturday Morning

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:  (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
__________

Morning Reading: Luke 18-19 (NLT)

Parable of the Persistent Widow

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jesus Blesses the Children

One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.

Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

The Rich Man

Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’”

The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.

When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?”

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

Peter said, “We’ve left our homes to follow you.”

“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus said, “Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true. He will be handed over to the Romans, and he will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit upon. They will flog him with a whip and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again.”

But they didn’t understand any of this. The significance of his words was hidden from them, and they failed to grasp what he was talking about.

Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.

_____

Jesus and Zacchaeus

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Parable of the Ten Servants

The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away. He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’ But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’

“After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were. The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’

“‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’

“The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’

“‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’

“But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe. I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’

“‘You wicked servant!’ the king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

“Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’

“‘But, master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten pounds!’

“‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.’”

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”

And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!

But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”

Jesus Clears the Temple

Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.
__________

Morning Reflection:

always pray and never give up

‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’
– Luke18:13 –

In today’s reading, Jesus urges us to be persistent in prayer – after the example of the widow seeking justice, who wore down an unjust judge with her appeals. How much more, Jesus says, “will God surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night?”

How then should we pray? Here are some examples from our reading –

  • Pray persistently for God’s justice in conflicts with our enemies
  • Pray humbly for God’s mercy
  • Pray hopefully for God’s blessing on those we love
  • Pray trustfully for God’s provision for all our needs
  • Pray thankfully for God’s gift of eternal life
  • Pray earnestly for God’s wisdom and understanding
  • Pray humbly for God’s healing
  • Pray willingly for God’s guidance tor restitution
  • Pray faithfully for God’s wisdom in managing resources
  • Pray blessing on all who come in the name of the Lord
  • Pray and praise God for everything you have seen him do
  • Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
  • Pray for a clean heart and right spirit whenever you approach God

always pray and never give up

Questions for consideration:

  • What interferes with your praying regularly? Please explain.
  • What comes to mind when you think of giving up on prayer? Please explain.
  • What comes to mind when you think of approaching God humbly as a sinner? Please explain.
  • What comes to mind when you think of an injustice being done now. Please explain.
  • Who comes to mind when you think of praying for God’s blessing on them? Please explain.
  • What comes to mind when you think of praying for God’s mercy on your nation?
  • Which of the above prayer guidelines speak to you personally? Please explain.

__________

Morning Prayer:

For mercy – Almighty God, you have not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities; grant that we, who for our evil deeds deserve to be punished, by the might of your grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For our nation – Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure conduct. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom, in your Name, we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, sustain our trust in you; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
__________

“If My People” – from the “Be Still Project” by Jay Norris

__________

Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Reading: Luke 19:41-44 NLT – The Lord Wept

Reading: Luke 19:41-44 NLT

But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep.

image
“Man of Sorrows”
James B. Janknegt (1990)

“How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.”

A Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem: Psalm 122.6

O Yahweh, God Almighty, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Father of all who confess with their mouths and believe in their hearts that Jesus is Lord; We pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. We pray, that by your sovereign mercy and grace, you would visit the land of Israel with your powerful presence.

We pray you would restrain the diabolical evil, and contain the demonic violence present in the land. We pray you would confirm the decisions and policies of the elected leadership, the Knesset and the courts, that are in keeping with your perfect will.  We pray you would purge from leadership positions, and constrain the excesses of those who will not submit to your will.

“O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people. They plot against those you cherish. ‘Come’, they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you. … Let them know that you, whose name is Yahweh —  that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

For you, our Father, have declared, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.”

“Can a mother forget the baby nursing at her breast or have no compassion on the child of her womb? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

We pray O Yahweh, a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. O God, we who call upon the name of Yahweh, will give ourselves no rest – and will give you no rest, till you establish Jerusalem and make her a praise in all the earth. Be pleased to hasten the day when all Israel will cry out, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh.”

Hear our prayer O Yahweh, for we pray in the strong name of Jesus our Redeemer and Messiah, our risen, reigning and returning Prince of Peace.  Amen and Amen

Spiritual Song: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” – Jose and Kathy Jimenez