Praying at Home Today: Tuesday 20 October 2020
Praying at home today: praise amidst tribulation
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.
We follow the Track 2 “related” Old Testament reading and psalm (or equivalent response).
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.
Do not put us to shame,
but deal with us in your patience
and in your abundant mercy.
Nec confundas nos,
sed fac nobiscum juxta mansuetudinem tuam,
et secundum multitudinem misericordiae tuae.
Ne nous laisse pas dans la honte,
mais agis envers nous avec bonté,
selon ton immense amour.
The Liturgy of the Word *
One link to all three readings
Separate links to each reading
The extraordinary story of the Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
Yesterday’s first reading was about the Golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up on the plain of Dura in Babylon.
Some 9 feet wide and 90 feet tall (6×60 cubits), it was evidently a striking image.
The orchestra (“horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble”) was summoned to play at certain times and at those times everyone had to fall down and worship the statue, on pain of death: burning in a fiery furnace.
Three Hebrews, however, refused to do so and were duly reported to the king. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had been appointed over the affairs of the province, and wouldn’t have been able to escape notice.
Not that they felt the need to, nor did they present a defence for non-compliance with the law. They had trust in their God, they would be delivered from such a punishment.
Filled with rage at their blatant refusal, Nebuchadnezzar orders the fire to be heated up seven times more than usual and the three are thrown into the furnace by the king’s strongest men who are, themselves killed by the raging flames.
Nevertheless, the three, whose trust in God is complete, are preserved from the flames, walking about and singing hymns of praise (oh that we might be able to sing together!).
Songs of penitence and praise
(The following section is moved to a separate book in Protestant bibles.)
Azariah, standing still, prays aloud his Song (Daniel 3: 26-45), seeking God’s mercy on Jerusalem, the holy city that has been lost due to the people’s disobedience. This prayer is a commitment on behalf of the whole people to return to God.
Meanwhile, the king’s servants haven’t been idle, piling up more fuel for the fire, at no little cost to themselves, as many of them are burned alive.
An angel of God drives out the flames from the furnace (nearly 75 feet high) while the inside of the furnace is protected by a moist wind of coolness that protects the three young men.
Undeterred by all this drama around and above them, they start singing again (in unison no less), blessing the God of creation.
They are released
The king sees four men walking around in the centre of the furnace and is astounded. Apparently, he is converted to the living God (although the following chapter, narrating his warning dream and fall into madness, shows that he still has a long way to go before he fully embraces his new faith).
He orders that they are to be released, decrees that no-one is to disrespect God and showers favours on them.
It’s an extraordinary story, in physical terms hardly believable, and yet as a parable of trust in God, it’s probably unbeatable!
The second song, with its refrain “give glory and eternal praise to God”, is sung at Morning Prayer on Sundays and Feastdays in the RC Liturgy of the Hours.
We pray at home today, bringing before God the needs of the world:
- for those who persevere in faith despite persecution and terror
- for those who feel compelled to do as their leaders tell them, despite their consciences
- for leaders, that they may seek the common good
- for all affected by famine and drought.
(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we invite you to pray today
for Ian Paton, our Bishop, consecrated on this day in 2018.)
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.
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.
Almighty and merciful God:
in your goodness keep from us all that is harmful;
that, being ready both in body and soul,
we may freely accomplish your will;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
Returning to the world
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements
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 usually 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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