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DAILY PRAYER FOR FRIDAY 29 MAY
John 21: 15-19
He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
If Ye Love Me (Thomas Tallis) LINK >
One of my favourite children’s books is called ‘Guess How Much I Love You’- a beautiful intimate dialogue between Big and Little nut brown hare….the final word on the matter is: I love you to the moon and back!
It has been always been hard to describe love in words, often much easier to demonstrate with actions, attitudes and images.
In our passage today, Jesus asks Peter three times- do you love me, mirroring Peter’s earlier betrayal of Jesus three times before the cock crowed. Jesus is leading Peter in a restorative act, an act of completion before he departs, and yet an act of creation as he invites and challenges Peter to continue his work, to feed his sheep- a beautiful intimate dialogue of trust and empowerment. Love in a powerful image that sets the attitude and actions for Peter’s future.
May we hear Jesus’ invitation to know and love him afresh today- and demonstrate that love in words, prayers or deed to those in our care.
Jesus our Shepherd, where we have disowned or failed you, help us to turn back to your love and know your restoration and love.
Jesus who called Peter to continue your work as a shepherd, teach us how to love you, follow you and serve you during these difficult times. Help us be your hands and feet, even from a safe social distance.
DAILY PRAYER FOR THURSDAY 28 MAY
“…that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus LINK >
In this passage Jesus is praying for the unity of His followers – for a unity that transcends generations. It is a prayer that envisions a long line of followers who will share in a profound fellowship, not only with each other, but also with Jesus and the Father. It is an affirmation of our place in the “communion of saints.” It reminds us that we are part of something bigger and helps to alleviate any anxiety over our present concerns. It is the bigger picture that puts all else into its right perspective.
We are all included in Jesus’ prayer.
I wonder how do you feel about Jesus praying for you?
The unity that Jesus is praying for reflects the unity of God. It is a perfect relationship united in Love and fellowship and one that Jesus desires for all those who follow Him.
But what does this ‘unity’ look like?
Unity is not the same as uniformity. After all, Jesus’ first disciples demonstrated diverse temperaments and personalities. True unity cannot be achieved without recognising diversity. We are each different and we are each called to use our different gifts. But we are all united in the same bond of love that we have seen demonstrated in the life of Jesus. This is no weak love. The Love of God made visible in Jesus is a sacrificial love. It is a powerful Love.
It is as we, the community of believers demonstrate the Love with which we have been loved, that the “world will know” that Jesus was sent to show just how much God loves them and that they too will come to believe.
There is a lot to ponder in this prayer of Jesus for His Church.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
And the love of God
Fill our hearts and minds
And may your love O Lord
Be reflected in the living of our lives. Amen
DAILY PRAYER FOR WEDNESDAY 27 MAY
Thuma mina (Send me, Lord) LINK >
This is part of Jesus’s prayer for his followers, here specifically for those who have spent the past three years with him. He prays for their unity and protection as he sends them out into a tough world – v19 ‘As you sent me…I have sent them’. Within hours Jesus will be dead and the disciples behind locked doors. The world is certainly tough!
Those words are echoed in Chapter 20:21 on the evening of the first Easter day as the risen Jesus breaks through the locked doors to greet his terrified friends. He breathes into them his Spirit and says ‘In the same way as the Father sent me, so I am sending you’.
Pentecost, which we celebrate on Sunday, reminds us that the Holy Spirit is given to us all and that we too are sent to show God’s love to the world in which we live. And if that scares us, the writer to the Hebrews tells us (7:25) ‘Jesus ever lives to intercede for us’. We are not alone: the Spirit has been given to us and Jesus is praying for us. Alleluia!
Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what thou dost live, and do what thou wouldst do.
DAILY PRAYER FOR TUESDAY 26 MAY
Matthew 13: 31-33
Day by Day – Godspell (with lyrics on You Tube) LINK >
Jesus said that his kingdom was like a mustard seed and its growth into a tree.
Just as we cannot see a tiny seed spring to life under the soil, we can’t see the invisible work of the Word on the heart, or how God causes his kingdom to grow in a person’s life, but it does!
In an article in The Guardian May 3, the findings of a poll stated that a quarter of adults in the UK have watched or listened to a religious service since the Coronavirus lockdown began and that one in twenty have started to pray.
So many people with the potential to extend God’s kingdom!
Heavenly Father, growth happens when your Word is planted in hearts, and the outward growth of the kingdom is the result of inward change. We pray for all those turning to you for the first time during this lockdown, and for your Word to be planted in their hearts.