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Posts Tagged "Intercessions for 27 September 2015":

Intercessions for Trinity +17 – Year B – Proper 21- 27 September 2015 – series 2


The Collect

Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you: pour your love into our hearts and  draw us to yourself, and so bring us at last to your heavenly city where we shall see you face to face; 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: Esther 7.1-6,9-10; 9.20-22

The king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, ‘What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.’ Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have won your favour, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me – that is my petition – and the lives of my people – that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.’ Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, ‘Who is he, and where is he, who presumed to do this?’ Esther said, ‘A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!’ Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, ‘Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.’ And the king said, ‘Hang him on that.’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated. Mordecai recorded these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, enjoining them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same month, year by year, as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor.

Psalm 124

Refrain: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

If the Lord himself had not been on our side, * now may Israel say;
If the Lord had not been on our side, * when enemies rose up against us;
Then would they have swallowed us alive * when their anger burned against us;
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us and the torrent gone over our soul; * over our soul would have swept the raging waters. R
But blessed be the Lord * who has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowler; * the snare is broken and we are delivered.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, * who has made heaven and earth.

Refrain: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

O God, maker of heaven and earth,
you save us in the water of baptism
and by the suffering of your Son you set us free;
help us to put our trust in his victory
and to know the salvation won for us
by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Second Reading: James 5.13-20

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest. My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.


Gospel Reading: Mark 9.38-50

John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

Two things I love about today’s readings: the first part of the collect, and the line in the gospel: ‘Whoever is not against us is for us’. This is a lot more interesting than its obverse, which we see so often in action today: ‘who is not for us is against us’. I love the presumption that people are naturally good, naturally followers of Christ.

The lectionary today leaves little hiding space for ‘Sunday Christians’, as Jane Williams spells out with a certain relish (search ‘whine’ p109):


Prayers of Intercession

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we hear your voice saying ‘whom shall I send, and who will go for us? If it be your will, help each one of us to respond ‘Here am I! Send me’.  Help us to take up joyfully whatever mission you may entrust to us. Help us to know that, though the task be daunting, those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.

Lord, show us how to remain close to you, breathing in harmony: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


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

Lord, your Spirit is around us in the air we breathe. Your glory touches us in the light we see, the fruitfulness of the earth and  our joy in its creatures. You have written for us your revelation, as you have granted us our daily bread: teach us how to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest all that you make known to us.

Lord, show us how to remain close to you, breathing in harmony: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The local community

Lord, guide us that we may become more sensitive to the needs of all those we live amongst. May we be aware of the need of the reserved for human contact; the need of the noisy for affirmation; the need of the young to know that what they have to say is valued by the community as a whole; the need of the old to know that they are not seen as useless ; and the need of us all to know that we are valued.

Lord, show us how to remain close to you, breathing in harmony: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Those who suffer

Lord, when destructive powers rise up and seem to bar our path; when they threaten to sweep all before them like a fire in the forest; when the river of life turns into a raging torrent; in all the dangers of the pilgrim way, we thank you for being our constant companion. Strengthen us to face the perils of the storm when they threaten to overwhelm us, and show us yet again that your all-encompassing love is the strongest force in the universe. *

Lord, show us how to remain close to you, breathing in harmony: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶The communion of saints

Lord, we thank you for the multitude of quiet and gracious souls whose presence has purified and sanctified the world: and for those whom we knew and loved, who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller light of life with you.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…

*Based on Jim Cotter’s meditation on the psalm.

When I wrote the intercessions for this Sunday in 2012, I apparently decided the theme was our need for help, our vulnerability and our reliance on the divine.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): 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 (17th after Trinity) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

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