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Intercessions for Trinity + 15 – Proper 19 – Year B – 13 September 2015 – Series 2


The Collect

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; 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: Proverbs 1.20-33

Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice.  At the busiest corner she cries out;  at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: ‘How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing  and fools hate knowledge?  Give heed to my reproof;  I will pour out my thoughts to you;  I will make my words known to you.  Because I have called and you refused, have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,  and because you have ignored all my counsel  and would have none of my reproof,  I also will laugh at your calamity;  I will mock when panic strikes you,  when panic strikes you like a storm,  and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.  Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;  they will seek me diligently, but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge  and did not choose the fear of the Lord,  would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way  and be sated with their own devices.  For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.’

Psalm 19

Refrain: The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

The heavens are telling the glory of God * and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
One day pours out its song to another * and one night unfolds knowledge to another.
They have neither speech nor language * and their voices are not heard,
Yet their sound has gone out into all lands * and their words to the ends of the world.
In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun, * that comes forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber & rejoices as a champion to run his course.
It goes forth from the end of the heavens and runs to the very end again, * and there is nothing hidden from its heat. R
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; * the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart; * the commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever; * the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, * sweeter also than honey, dripping from the honeycomb.
By them also is your servant taught * and in keeping them there is great reward. R
Who can tell how often they offend? * O cleanse me from my secret faults!
Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins lest they get dominion over me; * so shall I be undefiled, and innocent of great offence.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, * O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Refrain: The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

Christ, the sun of righteousness,
rise in our hearts this day,
enfold us in the brightness of your love
and bear us at the last to heaven’s horizon;
for your love’s sake.

Second Reading:  James 3.1-12

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue – a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Gospel Reading: Mark 8.27-38

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ Jesus asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’ He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

In 2012 (see below) I felt that these readings are about zeal, a fervour in the service of Our Lord. And indeed that is one strain running through the whole lectionary. But they are also about wisdom: we need to draw upon our heads as well as our hearts, our intelligence as well as our burning ardour, just as we control our galloping horses with bridles and bits. For discipleship is not a game, it is a serious undertaking which involves sacrifice, even though the ultimate reward is the heavenly one of union with our God in light perpetual.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to the Father, who has called us to follow Christ in all things.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, through your word and your Holy Spirit, you inspire us to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Empower us, we pray, to temper this fervour with the wisdom and the love for one another to welcome all into the Body of Christ, each of us with our own strengths and weaknesses, our own insight into the beauty of your truth.

Lord, may we be fervent in our love for you: in your mercy, hear our prayer

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

Creator Lord, yearning and striving to bring harmony out of chaos, so fill with your wisdom the inscape of our being, and so move with the wind of your presence among the landscapes of our world, that the earth may reflect the wonder of the universe, in the glory of the transfigured Christ, at one with you in the cost of creating. *

Lord, may we be fervent in our love for you: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The local community

Lord, guard our speaking as we meet with others, and save us in our turn from idle gossip about ourselves and our families. Shield us from hasty words and disregard of truth and persuade us that there is a time when we should speak and a time when, in the wisdom we borrow from you, we should remain silent.

Lord, may we be fervent in our love for you: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for compassion. Help us to be truly conscious of the worlds that others inhabit, the crosses that they carry, and the pains that they endure. And, in unfolding ourselves to share in this pain, may we become both more fully human, and also more fully the children of Christ. **

Lord, may we be fervent in our love for you: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, hear us as we remember with love all those who have died…..

Help us so to live that, with them, you will not be ashamed of us when you come in your glory.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…

Prayer after Communion

Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy;
and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall,
keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful,
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Collect (15th after Trinity) © 1980, 1986 Mowbray, a Cassell Imprint: Prayers for the Alternative Services comp. David Silk Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Post Communion (15th after Trinity) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

*Prayer by Jim Cotter inspired by Psalm 19.

** Based on this prayer, quoted by the Ignatian Spirituality FB page:

A Prayer for Compassion

Oh God, I wish from now on
to be the first to become conscious
of all that the world loves, pursues, and suffers;

I want to be the first to seek,
to sympathize, and to suffer;
the first to unfold and sacrifice myself,

to become more widely human
and more nobly of the earth
than any of the world’s servants.

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ


These are the intercessions I wrote for this Sunday in 2012:

Bidding prayer

O Lord, give us boldness to proclaim your redeeming love and saving power in the world; may we be ready to bear the cross and give ourselves for others and the advancement of your kingdom.

May we be fervent in our faith, and wise in applying it: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The Church

Lord, empower your Church to follow the example of Christ in all things, courageous to face the hard demands of the Gospel. As the moment approaches for the selection of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, we ask you to send your Holy Spirit down upon those charged with the decision. May they find someone who is able to lead all your flock in unity, though not in uniformity, to bring your kingdom to this green and pleasant land.

May we be fervent in our faith, and wise in applying it: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The World

Lord, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, and no strength known but the strength of love: so guide and inspire, we pray, the labours of those who seek to establish righteousness and peace among the nations, that all peoples may find their security, not in forces of arms but in the the fellowship of the gospel and the perfect love that casts out fear.

May we be fervent in our faith, and wise in applying it: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Our Community

As the Leveson report into the behaviour of the press is prepared for publication, we pray for all who influence our minds through print, broadcast and cyber media. May they be true to the BBC prayer  that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished… and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.

May we be fervent in our faith, and wise in applying it: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Human Need and  Suffering

Enfold, O Lord, within your loving kindness all those who feel rejected, unwanted or alone. Hear our prayer for prisoners and all who are caught up in processes of law; for those enclosed within a private world of desolation by incapacity of mind or body, by age or grief or sickness, or because society has passed them by. Draw near and comfort them wherever they may be; and move the hearts of us and all your people to care more deeply for the pains of others.

Timothy Dudley-Smith

May we be fervent in our faith, and wise in applying it: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The Communion of Saints

Receive, O Lord, in tranquillity and peace, the souls of your servants who, out of this present life, have departed to be with you. Grant them rest, and give them the life that knows not age, the good things that pass not away.

St Ignatius Loyola

May we be fervent in our faith, and wise in applying it: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

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