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Intercessions for Lent 5: 17 March 2013

The Collect

Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading:Isaiah 43.16-21

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honour me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.

Psalm 126: Refrain: The Lord has indeed done great things for us.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, *then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter *and our tongue with songs of joy.
Then said they among the nations, *‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has indeed done great things for us, *and therefore we rejoiced. R
Restore again our fortunes, O Lord, *as the river beds of the desert.
Those who sow in tears *shall reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed, *will come back with shouts of joy, bearing their sheaves with them.

Refrain: The Lord has indeed done great things for us.


Second Reading: Philippians 3.4b-14

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.


Gospel Reading: John 12.1-8

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’

Thank-you, RSCM, for again putting a helpful gloss on the gospel reading in 2010: “Mary of Bethany, who had sat at the feet of Jesus learning as a disciple, now shows how much she has understood of what he taught her. She is once more at this feet, prophetic and extravagant in her gift to him, anointing him with expensive perfume, wiping his feet with her hair. She anticipates his death and burial in ways that his other disciples haven’t come anywhere near. It is a daring and unpopular gesture, but sometimes we need to do things for God which might seem crazy’. In other words, let us not measure out our love for God in careful teaspoonfuls, but offer him instead ‘my soul, my life, my all’, in the words of Isaac Watts:

Prayers of Intercession

Lord, as you have called us to your service, make us worthy of your calling; and hear us as we pray to you through the grace of your Son.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, as both the Church of England and the Catholic Church enter a new period and opportunity for growth in your Holy Spirit under new leaders, we ask you to inspire both the leaders and the led. Mindful of the sacrifice of our Lord for us, teach us in turn to serve you  as you deserve, putting aside all sectarianism  for the sake of the Body of Christ as a whole. Help us to heal our divisions and keep us on the path towards the sunlit uplands of your kingdom.

Lord, who has given of yourself so freely for us, may we in turn give freely of ourselves for you; in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, as you send rain and flowers even to the wilderness, renew us by your Holy Spirit; accepting the periods of aridity in our lives as well as the times of fruitfulness, we ask you to help us to sow good seed in time of adversity and to live to rejoice in your good harvest of all creation.

Lord, who has given of yourself so freely for us, may we in turn give freely of ourselves for you; in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The local community

Lord, whose son chose not one successor but twelve disciples to work together to spread the good news of your gospel, be with us as we attempt in our own community to work together in groups for the common good. May we delight in sharing in each other’s spiritual gifts and enabling every one to make their own contribution, whatever it may be, even if it is just appreciating and celebrating the work of others. In building your kingdom on earth, may we be ready to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will.

Lord, who has given of yourself so freely for us, may we in turn give freely of ourselves for you; in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Those who suffer

Lord, soften our hearts against any tendency to indifference to our neighbours. Help us to  feel your compassion and weep with your tears for any in our midst who are suffering in mind or body. Show us ways in which we can help alleviate this suffering, even if it is just the gift of our companionship and prayers. We ask you, Lord, to be with those, known to us and unknown, who find themselves in a period of darkness and seem unable to escape and show them the hope that can come from faith in you.

Lord, who has given of yourself so freely for us, may we in turn give freely of ourselves for you; in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, you have bound us together in life with those whom we have loved and opened the door of heaven through the suffering and resurrection of your son: look upon us all, both the living and the departed, in your love, and bring us to the fullness of the risen life, where we shall rest and we shall see; we shall see and we shall love; we shall love and we shall praise; in that world which has no end.

Lord, who has given of yourself so freely for us, may we in turn give freely of ourselves for you; in your mercy, hear our prayer

The illustration, from the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth is copyright: Zvonimir Atletic via Shutterstock


4 comments on this post:

Jonathan Evans said...

Thank you for these prayers. Very helpful.

Lay Anglicana said...

And I thank you for your encouragement, Jonathan 🙂

18 March 2013 07:30
17 March 2013 08:01
Katy Hughes said...

And thank you from me too, Katy Hughes

Lay Anglicana said...

And thank-you for saying so, Katy. It’s always good to know that there is an audience for these! 🙂

18 March 2013 07:32
17 March 2013 08:33

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