Prayer for the Day – Tuesday 1 September

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Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray
and to give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid
and giving us those good things
   which we are not worthy to ask
but through the merits and mediation
of 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 7.1–13
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me;
 in vain do they worship me,
   teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’
 Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.’

Psalm 107
    O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever.
    Let the redeemed of the Lord say this,
   those he redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
    And gathered out of the lands
      from the east and from the west,
   from the north and from the south.
    Some went astray in desert wastes
   and found no path to a city to dwell in.
    Hungry and thirsty,
   their soul was fainting within them.
    So they cried to the Lord in their trouble
   and he delivered them from their distress.
    He set their feet on the right way
   till they came to a city to dwell in.
    Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
   and the wonders he does for his children.
    For he satisfies the longing soul
   and fills the hungry soul with good.
      Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
   bound fast in misery and iron,
      For they had rebelled against the words of God
   and despised the counsel of the Most High.
      So he bowed down their heart with heaviness;
   they stumbled and there was none to help them.
      Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
   and he delivered them from their distress.
      He brought them out of darkness and out of the shadow of death,
   and broke their bonds asunder.
      Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
   and the wonders he does for his children.
      For he has broken the doors of bronze
   and breaks the bars of iron in pieces.
      Some were foolish and took a rebellious way,
   and were plagued because of their wrongdoing.
      Their soul abhorred all manner of food
   and drew near to the gates of death.
      Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
   and he delivered them from their distress.
      He sent forth his word and healed them,
   and saved them from destruction.
      Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
   and the wonders he does for his children.
      Let them offer him sacrifices of thanksgiving
   and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.
      Those who go down to the sea in ships
   and ply their trade in great waters,
      These have seen the works of the Lord
   and his wonders in the deep.
      For at his word the stormy wind arose
   and lifted up the waves of the sea.
      They were carried up to the heavens
      and down again to the deep;
   their soul melted away in their peril.
      They reeled and staggered like a drunkard
   and were at their wits’ end.
      Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
   and he brought them out of their distress.
      He made the storm be still
   and the waves of the sea were calmed.
      Then were they glad because they were at rest,
   and he brought them to the haven they desired.
      Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
   and the wonders he does for his children.
      Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people
   and praise him in the council of the elders.
      The Lord turns rivers into wilderness
   and water springs into thirsty ground;
      A fruitful land he makes a salty waste,
   because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
      He makes the wilderness a pool of water
   and water springs out of a thirsty land.
      There he settles the hungry
   and they build a city to dwell in.
      They sow fields and plant vineyards
   and bring in a fruitful harvest.
      He blesses them, so that they multiply greatly;
   he does not let their herds of cattle decrease.
      He pours contempt on princes
   and makes them wander in trackless wastes.
      They are diminished and brought low,
   through stress of misfortune and sorrow,
      But he raises the poor from their misery
   and multiplies their families like flocks of sheep.
      The upright will see this and rejoice,
   but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
      Whoever is wise will ponder these things
   and consider the loving-kindness of the Lord.