St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 28th October 2021
Led by Rev Douglas A O Nicol
The Psalmist wrote:
‘Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come.
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be
satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.’
(Psalm 65: 1-4)
Let us worship God.
The Gospel according to St. Luke, chapter 6, verses 12-16:
Now during those days Jesus went out to the mountains to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
When offering to us a list of Jesus’ disciples, St. Luke is the only Gospel writer who tells us about Jesus spending the night before the appointments in prayer. It is another way in which the medical doctor Luke reminds us of the importance of prayer in the life of the Master, as He drew strength from His relationship with God the Father.
Mother Teresa once said that ‘Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself.’ This was surely evidenced through her life as she gave herself in her generation to caring for those in need in the city of Calcutta.
As we, disciples of Jesus in 2021, enter a new day of life let us remind ourselves of the importance of prayer in our lives … and find in the Scottish paraphrase our inspiration to be faithful in prayer each and every day of our lives:
O God of Bethel! By whose hand
thy people still are fed,
who through this earthly pilgrimage
hast all our fathers led:
Our vows, our prayers, we now present
before thy throne of grace:
God of our fathers! Be the God
of their succeeding race.
Through each perplexing path of life
our wandering footsteps guide;
give us each day our daily bread,
and raiment fit provide.
O spread thy covering wings around,
till all our wanderings cease,
and at our Father’s loved abode
our souls arrive in peace.
Such blessings from thy gracious hand
our humble prayers implore;
and thou shalt be our chosen God,
and portion evermore.
Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God:
our eyes cannot see you,
our hands cannot touch you.
You are beyond the imagining of our minds.
Yet you have breathed your Spirit
into our spirits.
You have formed our minds to seek you,
inclined our hearts to love you,
called us to be heirs of your eternal kingdom.
Give us faith to lay hold of things unseen,
to live as those who see the invisible God.
Bring us at the last
to those things beyond our seeing,
beyond our hearing,
beyond our imagining,
to the vision of your glory
when we shall see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we approach the beginning of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change
Conference in Glasgow, we pray:
that the resources of the world
may be gathered, distributed, and used
with unselfish motives and scientific skill
for the greatest benefit of all;
that beauty may be given
to our towns and cities,
and left untarnished in the countryside;
that children may grow up strong in body,
sound in mind, and inspired in spirit;
that there may be open ways,
and peace, and freedom,
and health and healing,
from end to end of the earth;
that those for whom we have a special concern,
whose names and places are in our hearts and minds,
may know your peace and love,
and spend their years in fulfilment and hope,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
in 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, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever,
May the Lord bless you and guard you;
may the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
may the Lord look kindly on you
and give you peace.
(Numbers 6: 24-26)
J.S.Bach Ach bleib bei uns BWV 649