The Prayers, 4th Sunday after the Epiphany, Proper 4, Cycle A (February 2, 2020)

Let us pray that the light of Christ may shine
upon the Church, the world, and all people according to their need.

A brief silence

Father, thank you for Jesus and his teaching! We are challenged,
humbled, and empowered by his Beatitudes. Give us a double portion of your Holy
Spirit, so that by your grace, we may begin to live out those Beatitudes, to
your glory and for the blessing and benefit of others.

Lord, in your
mercy, please hear our prayer.

Grant that your Church should be so filled with, and led by, your Holy
Spirit, that it constantly loves justice, does mercy, and walks humbly before
you, its Lord and God. Fill the Church with the splendor of Jesus’ glory, the
beauty of his holiness, and the sweetness of his love.

Lord, in your
mercy, please hear our prayer.

Make each member of this congregation into disciples of
Jesus, so that we may be a sign of your goodness and mercy to our friends,
families, neighbors, and community.

Lord, in your
mercy, please hear our prayer.

Raise up pastors, theologians, professors, deacons, and other Christian
leaders who earnestly and patiently seek your will, and who teach others, by
word and by example, to do the same.

Lord, in your
mercy, please hear our prayer.

Be the light in dark places, the sword and shield
victorious, for our military and first responders, and for all who risk their
life on behalf of others. Give them integrity, courage, and wisdom as they
strive to bring justice and safety in dangerous places. Heal all wounds to body, mind, and soul. Strengthen
their loved ones. Help us to honor their sacrifice and benefit from their

Lord, in your
mercy, please hear our prayer.

We pray for our earthly rulers, whether we like them,
agree with them, or voted for them. Conform their minds, hearts, and actions to
your holy will. Help them to strengthen the bonds of affection, trust, and
concord within families and communities.

Lord, in your
mercy, please hear our prayer.

Bless, heal, and strengthen everyone who is burdened by
suffering, especially those we name now before you: {List}. We also pray for
women who are pregnant or have recently given birth, especially those whose
health is imperiled; for women who have had an abortion or miscarriage; for
newborn infants, especially those at risk of illness or injury; for all
fathers; and for everyone who cares for and rejoices in the gift of new life.

Lord, in your
mercy, please hear our prayer.

As today also commemorates the Presentation of our Lord,
let our constant prayer be that of Simeon as he entrusted his life into God’s
keeping: Now, Lord, you let your servants go in peace; your Word has been
fulfilled. Our own eyes have seen the salvation that you have prepared in the
sight of every people. A light to reveal you to the nations, and the glory of
your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in
the beginning, is now, and will be forever, Amen.

All these things, and whatever else you see that
we need, grant to us, dear Father, for the sake of your Son, our Savior Jesus
Christ. Amen.

Devotion for Tuesday, January 7, 2020

“But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife
who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce
her.  And a woman who has an unbelieving
husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away”
(1 Corinthians 7:12-13).

Paul gives his opinion.  The Lord has already spoken about making two
one flesh.  But what is the purpose of
this?  Is it not for building one up to
become like Christ?  We often make laws
of what is meant as something to individually drive the sinner into repentance.  Do not be driven by any law (other than to
die to sin), but be driven by the upward call of the Lord into your eternal

Lord, help me to not be reactionary. 
It is You who calls me to what You call me.  Lead me in the way You call that I may follow
according to the Father’s will.  Let me
not be tossed about by human opinions – even good ones – but stand firm in the
peace You give to those who believe.  If
in hardship, then with joy, if in plenty, then with thanksgiving; In all
things, lead me to be in You.

Lord Jesus, You alone are able to save us.  Sometimes it is tempting to think that I can do the right thing to gain merit.  But it is grace, not  the merit I truly seek.  Let me be content with whatever You would have me do.  Guide me according to Your goodness to seek what is the better part for my life, not as I see it, but as You know it must be.  Lead me Lord in the way of salvation.  Amen.