Praying at Home Today: Thursday 17 September 2020

Praying at Home Today: Thursday 17 September 2020

A warm welcome to PrayingAtHome.com, where you can find worship resources for praying at home today or wherever you are.
We hope these readings, prayers, music and the short reflection will help you stay in touch with the Church and to sustain you on your journey through life.

If this is your first visit to this website, then you might like to read about the common elements and the suggested structure for each day’s prayer.
Everything is optional!

We follow the Track 2 “related” Old Testament reading and psalm (or equivalent response).

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, France

Opening to the Word

You can spend a few moments in silence,
focussing on your breathing
to become more mindful of the present moment
and to open yourself more fully
to God’s presence within you.

In the name of the living God,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Short reading

Look! On the mountains the feet of one who brings good tidings,
who proclaims peace!

Ecce super montes pedes evangelizantis,
et annuntiantis pacem.

Voici sur les montagnes les pieds du messager
qui annonce la paix.

Nahum 1:15

The Liturgy of the Word *

Here are today’s Bible readings. You can read just one, or all three if you have time.
One link to all three readings
Separate links to each reading

Short Reflection

The opening of Nahum’s oracle

The opening verses (1: 2-14) of Nahum’s oracle form a part-alphabetical diatribe of God’s wrath against the guilty, interspersed with messages to Judah.

This time it’s the Assyrian empire that’s the guilty party. For years, like all empires, they had plundered smaller nations, stealing their resources and enslaving their peoples.

But, as with all bullies, a bigger one came along in 612BC and destroyed Assyria, beginning with the capture of its capital Nineveh (yes, that’s the one in the story of Jonah).

Naturally, after years of terror, the smaller states rejoiced at the downfall of a country they hated. 

God’s judgement

God’s wrath isn’t indiscriminate – it’s not a blind fury as we read of the pagan gods – it distinguishes between the faithful and those who live as if there were no responsibility for their actions.

The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of distress
and calls to mind those who trust in God
when the flood overtakes them.

Nahum 1:7-8a

Narrow nationalism vs global redemption

Nevertheless, there is a danger of narrow nationalism – Israel’s joy didn’t last long: Jerusalem fell shortly afterwards.

It took Isaiah to show that the messenger bringing peace was a global herald for worldwide redemption.

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’

Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.

Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his  people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.

The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

In a favourite hymn, we sing

So be it, Lord;
thy throne shall never,
like earth’s proud empires, pass away;
thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever,
till all thy creatures own thy sway.

John Ellerton, 1870*

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Prayer Suggestions

In a spirit of trust in a God who redeems, we pray.

For the peace of the world,
that all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.

For all who serve the world
bringing good news of peace and justice.

For deacons and all ministers of the Word.

For those who serve on liturgical commissions of their Churches.

(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we pray today 
for Alistair Warwick, the Choir and Music Group.)

We pray for all who have asked for our prayers.

a moment of silence

Pray for us all.

Music for reflection *

The Lord’s Prayer

We can say the Lord’s Prayer in any language or version we choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever. Amen.

Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificatur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.

Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Amen.

Notre Père qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié.
Que ton règne vienne.
Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offences
comme nous pardonnons aussi
à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
mais délivre-nous du mal.

Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.

Concluding prayer

As o’er each continent and island
the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor dies the strain of praise away.
Amen.

Returning to the world

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Benedicamus Domino.
Deo gratias.

Thank you for joining us in praying at home.
Oremus pro invicem.

In these strange times, we are called to trust

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, France
* You can find more organ music from Holy Trinity Church, Stirling
on Alistair Warwick‘s website and on SoundCloud
* See a letter to the New York Times about this hymn

There are several books by Brother Roger of the Taizé Community from many booksellers.

You can buy The Complete Chronicles of Narnia at Amazon

Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements

* Beginning with the week after Pentecost, the lectionary for weekdays is taken from the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. Currently, we’re following the semi-continuous readings (Track 1).

In that lectionary, the readings are in the following order: Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament reading; we have changed the order to the more usual OT, Psalm and NT.

English Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Latin Bible texts are from Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and are in the Public Domain.

French Bible texts are from Version Segond 21, copyright © 2007 Société Biblique de Genève by Société Biblique de Genève.

Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown in Scotland, by Alistair Warwick.

Music engraved by The Art of Music.

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