Daily Reading and Prayer – September 20 2020

Matthew 5:1-5 NIV
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NIV
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession – Zion, September 20, 2020

Our Lord and our God, we glorify your name.
Be glorified in creation, be glorified in your church, be glorified in our worship this very morning.
Help us to magnify your name, help us to make the nature of your grace larger and easier for people to see.
Help us to live and to worship in such a way that we reflect your forgiveness, mercy and love, so that our neighbours and coworkers and children and friends might see your love come into focus in ways they may not have seen before.
When people ask for an explanation of the hope we have, give us the words to answer thoughtfully and well.
When people wonder out loud who Jesus is and why he matters, help us to reply in words that will echo the wonder of your gospel.
Help us to bring honour to your name, O Lord, sharing your gifts of compassion and kindness with all, that you may be glorified in all the earth.
Make us transparent to you so that, because of your Spirit at work in us, this world can become a better place, a place which reflects Your Kingdom of Grace.

Father, ours is a world that could use more glimpses of glory and fewer glimpses of the misery to which our sin so easily leads.
Ours is a world that needs more of the wise, gentle and inspiring words of your Son, Jesus, and fewer meaningless, strident, and empty words shouted out from our TVs.

Bless our congregation.
Be with all of us as we worship you now and as we prepare ourselves for the week ahead.
For children who climb aboard buses and study at school, be with them and keep them safe even as they day by day deepen their awareness of the world of wonders you have made.
For teachers who struggle to both maintain protocols and at the same time somehow manage to teach, we pray.
For those who worry and who have much to worry about, lend peace.
And for any people here today who face an anxious week, grant extra measures of your Spirit’s presence and calm.

Be also with all the lonely people.
Be with the widow who has been alone for many years and who we all think has done so well but who alone knows how much her heart still aches more days than not.
Be with those who so wish they could find someone to talk to but cannot, those who wait for the phone to ring but it stays silent, those who work so hard on tasks that no one ever mentions or comments on.
Be with those who are hungry for a word of gratitude that never comes, those who search crowded rooms for a familiar face but can never seem to find a friend.
Be with all the lonely people; be their friend when this world’s friends fail, be their companion when they feel that they walk life’s journey alone, be their word of kindness and hope when the world seems to leave them behind.
Heal those who are ill; comfort those who are grieving; reassure those who feel troubled and frightened by what the future may hold.
As we continue our worship now, fill us with yourself. As we sing, lift us ever higher to yourself. As we turn to your Word, encounter us with your very self. Be glorified in all we do.
We pray it ever and only in Jesus’ precious name, who taught us to pray, saying:

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.