Today's Psalms

16th Sunday after Pentecost

This week’s reading reminds us that God will answer our prayers. To some of us, though, it’s wrapped in a slightly odd context. Jesus’ parable in Luke is about a widow who pesters a (godless) official with her requests. In the end, he gives in and deals with her case, simply to get rid of her.

That, of course, is not the way that we think it works with God. God, we know, listens to every request, every prayer. However, that doesn’t mean that prayers should be fire-and-forget, one-time entreaties. God has heard, but – as we know – his answers and solutions aren’t the ones that we expect. By repeated our prayers – we may think of it as pestering, but God won’t! – we are reminding ourselves of the importance of that request, and (in modern managerial parlance) giving ourselves the chance to evaluate any response from God.

Keep asking; God will answer.

Our psalm this week gives us the confidence to believe this: God’s acts are noble and glorious; his goodness lasts for ever, it reminds us. And our Opening Antiphon reinforces this: “God hears us when we call”.

Transcript

Introductory Prayer

May the Lord open our minds, hearts and mouths to sing and speak his praise. Alleluia. Amen

Song: Fishers of Men

Opening Antiphon

God hears us when we call. He will defend his people, and create for us a home filled with equality and peace.

His palaces will be aired by breezes of love, his orchards will overflow with rich fruit and his rivers will flow clear and bright.

Those who are pure will be blessed

Psalm 111

Respect for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Follow him, and you will understand all things
I will praise God before the whole world, with all my heart, in the gathering of the good.
His acts are noble and glorious, and his goodness endures for ever.
He has made his works wonderful; they will be remembered. The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his promise.
He has shown his powerful acts to his people, and he passes the heritage of other nations on to them.
All he does is based on truth and justice – his commands are sure.
They stand firm for all ages, and are made in truth and goodness.
He has reclaimed his people, in a commandment he has set to last for all ages; his promise is holy and his name is to be revered.
Respect for the Lord is the foundation of all wisdom; those who follow him will perfectly understand all things. His praise lasts forever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it is, always has been and always will be, through the infinite ages. Amen.
Respect for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Follow him, and you will understand all things

Scripture reading: Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told them a parable about how they should pray and not give up. He said:

There was a certain official in a certain city. He did not fear God, and had little respect for anyone. There was also a widow in that same city, and she came to him and said: “Help me settle a dispute with my enemy.” And for some time he didn’t help her. But after a while he started to think, “Although I don’t fear God and don’t have respect for anyone, still this widow troubles me. I will help her settle this dispute because otherwise she might just wear me out with her constant requests”.

And Jesus said: “Did you hear what that unrighteous official said? And will God, hearing his chosen ones calling out to him day and night, not carry out their wishes? Will he put off answering their prayers? I say to you: God will carry out their wishes and restore justice quickly. But even so, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?

Canticle: The Magnificat

Learn the ways of doing good; seek justice. Put right the wrongs which come from oppression and fear. Bring justice to the orphan and plead the widow’s cause. If you do these things God’s Kingdom will come
My soul magnifies the Lord’s greatness, and my spirit rises within me at the thought of God my Saviour.
As he has seen the humility of his servant, so future generations will all call me blessed.
Glorious and powerful, he has made me stronger: and his name is holy.
Never-ending mercies fall on all who fear him.
In his strength he has wielded strength; he has undone the proud through their own self-importance.
From their seats of power the mighty have been thrown; he has lifted the humble.
In his goodness he has given food to the hungry; cowering, the rich have been sent away with nothing.
All his people, from ancient times, have been supported by him: that was the promise he made to Abraham, and all our ancestors, for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it is, always has been and always will be, through the infinite ages. Amen.
Learn the ways of doing good; seek justice. Put right the wrongs which come from oppression and fear. Bring justice to the orphan and plead the widow’s cause. If you do these things God’s Kingdom will come

The Prayers

We pray for peace. In a world with tensions that come from national pride, concerns over pandemic cures and vaccines, and from climate change and its affects, we ask God to settle his peace and justice. And may we, in our own way, be part of that peace

For the church, gathered together in person and online on this Sunday. May she be the beacon which guides God’s people; may she provide the support and leadership they need; and may she work tirelessly towards God’s goals

For our family and friends; those who are with us now and those who are distanced by the requirements and changes brought about by the pandemic. Lord, be with them, guard them; give us the time and strength to communicate with them, despite the difficulties

We pray for the sick. And as we remember those who are currently suffering from the pandemic, we also bear in mind those who carry other illnesses, diseases, injuries hurts, physical and mental, severe and minor. Comfort them, strengthen them, heal them, O Lord – who once healed the lepers and the blind

And we pray for the dead, who will be received into your open Kingdom. May their passing be kind and their new home bring them the glory for which we pray

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
Amen

May the Lord keep us day and night in his care, safe in the hope of eternal joy. Amen