Prayer for the Day – Tuesday 18 August

God of our pilgrimage,
you have willed that the gate of mercy
should stand open for those who trust in you:
look upon us with your favour
that we who follow the path of your will
may never wander from the way of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Acts 4.1–12
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.
 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is
“the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
   it has become the cornerstone.”
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

Psalm 73
    Truly, God is loving to Israel,
   to those who are pure in heart.
    Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone;
   my steps had well-nigh slipped.
    For I was envious of the proud;
   I saw the wicked in such prosperity;
    For they suffer no pains
   and their bodies are sleek and sound;
    They come to no misfortune like other folk;
   nor are they plagued as others are;
    Therefore pride is their necklace
   and violence wraps them like a cloak.
    Their iniquity comes from within;
   the conceits of their hearts overflow.
    They scoff, and speak only of evil;
   they talk of oppression from on high.
    They set their mouth against the heavens,
   and their tongue ranges round the earth;
      And so the people turn to them
   and find in them no fault.
      They say, ‘How should God know?
   Is there knowledge in the Most High?’
      Behold, these are the wicked;
   ever at ease, they increase their wealth.
      Is it in vain that I cleansed my heart
   and washed my hands in innocence?
      All day long have I been stricken
   and chastened every morning.
      If I had said, ‘I will speak as they do,’
   I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
      Then thought I to understand this,
   but it was too hard for me,
      Until I entered the sanctuary of God
   and understood the end of the wicked:
      How you set them in slippery places;
   you cast them down to destruction.
      How suddenly do they come to destruction,
   perish and come to a fearful end!
      As with a dream when one awakes,
   so, Lord, when you arise you will despise their image.
      When my heart became embittered
   and I was pierced to the quick,
      I was but foolish and ignorant;
   I was like a brute beast in your presence.
      Yet I am always with you;
   you hold me by my right hand.
      You will guide me with your counsel
   and afterwards receive me with glory.
      Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And there is nothing upon earth that I desire
      in comparison with you.
      Though my flesh and my heart fail me,
   God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
      Truly, those who forsake you will perish;
   you will put to silence the faithless who betray you.
      But it is good for me to draw near to God;
   in the Lord God have I made my refuge,
      that I may tell of all your works.