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Week starting July 25

17collect/opening prayer reflection July 25 and week following [NZPB]
collect/opening prayer reflection July 25 and week following [BCP TEC]

Common Worship (CofE) – The Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Almighty Lord and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern
both our hearts and bodies
in the ways of your laws
and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Saint James July 25 (BCP TEC)

O gracious God,
we remember before you today your servant and apostle James,
first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ;
and we pray that you will pour out upon the leaders of your Church
that spirit of self-denying service
by which alone they may have true authority among your people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Common Worship (CofE)

Merciful God,
whose holy apostle Saint James,
leaving his father and all that he had,
was obedient to the calling of your Son Jesus Christ
and followed him even to death:
help us, forsaking the false attractions of the world,
to be ready at all times to answer your call without delay;
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.

You can share any comments as well as any resources, ideas, sermon-starters, children’s activities, hymns, prayers, etc. in the comments section below. Eg. does the gospel really imply that nagging God works?…

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4 thoughts on “Week starting July 25”

  1. Bosco,

    You asked on Twitter whether nagging God might make God more likely to respond– and whether this week’s texts seemed to underwrite that sort of view.

    For us in the United Methodist Church, the first lesson (from Hosea– we use the semi-continuous version of the lectionary) doesn’t do that at all.

    So it’s the teaching of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke that I could comment on.

    I think many of us may have been taught that the value of persistence was to wear down the resistance of the one whose aid we seek.

    But at least as I read Jesus’s description of what the Father will do– longs to do– persistence seems to play a very different role. It seems to be more about reminding US of God’s unfailing love and unremitting desire to pour out the Holy Spirit when we may be prone to disbelieve or question that.

    I think we may not hear this point as clearly as its first readers and hearers did, in part because of some fairly thorough Protestant training that says the Lord’s Prayer is ONLY a model prayer. It couldn’t be a rote prayer, after all, because God doesn’t want our “vain repetitions” (like those non-Protestants are so fond of!).

    Except, well, here, it looks like a specific prayer was exactly what the disciples were asking for. John had given one to his disciples, and it was apparently a fairly common practice for masters to give students such a specific prayer. Jesus just hadn’t done this yet. So they asked. And this is what he gave them.

    And as Luke tells the story, he gave it right away.

    Big clue there!

    So at least one thing Jesus is saying as Luke tells this story is that as you pray THIS prayer– which you will in fact pray again and again– never lose heart. Instead, be inspired by the understanding that God longs to give you the Holy Spirit and the good things you need in response to this prayer– and all your praying. And thus pray all the more– ever more filled with trusting hope.

    My take, anyway…

    Peace in Christ,

    The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards
    Director of Worship Resources
    The United Methodist Church

    1. Thank Taylor. Yes – I am part of the tradition that prays the Lord’s Prayer daily; several times daily often. It may be repetition, but not “vain” I hope 🙂
      I think this kind of repetition means it sinks into one’s bones, into one’s heart – “by heart” we pray it. Thanks for your points.

  2. David |dah•veed|

    The concept of nagging God for results is very loaded. It would seem to be in direct contradiction to teachings of Jesus elsewhere in which God as a loving parent who longs to fulfill all of our needs, and is aware of our needs before even we are aware of them.

    But the concept also paints an unflattering picture of an arbitrary and capricious God. I would just as soon not have a God, as to be subject to the one in that picture!

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