Prayer for the Day – Friday 21 August

Collect
Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Mark 4.21–34
He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’
 He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

From Psalm 69
      As for me, I am poor and in misery;
   your saving help, O God, will lift me up.
      I will praise the name of God with a song;
   I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
      This will please the Lord more than an offering of oxen,
   more than bulls with horns and hooves.
      The humble shall see and be glad;
   you who seek God, your heart shall live.
      For the Lord listens to the needy,
   and his own who are imprisoned he does not despise.
      Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
   the seas and all that moves in them;
      For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah;
   they shall live there and have it in possession.
      The children of his servants shall inherit it,
   and they that love his name shall dwell therein.