Prayer for the Day – Wednesday 2 September

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 7.14–23
Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’
When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, ‘It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

from Psalm 119
        Your testimonies are wonderful;
   therefore my soul keeps them.
        The opening of your word gives light;
   it gives understanding to the simple.
        I open my mouth and draw in my breath,
   as I long for your commandments.
        Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   as is your way with those who love your name.
        Order my steps by your word,
   and let no wickedness have dominion over me.
        Redeem me from earthly oppressors
   so that I may keep your commandments.
        Show the light of your countenance upon your servant
   and teach me your statutes.
        My eyes run down with streams of water,
   because the wicked do not keep your law.
        Righteous are you, O Lord,
   and true are your judgements.
        You have ordered your decrees in righteousness
   and in great faithfulness.
        My indignation destroys me,
   because my adversaries forget your word.
        Your word has been tried to the uttermost
   and so your servant loves it.
        I am small and of no reputation,
   yet do I not forget your commandments.
        Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness
   and your law is the truth.
        Trouble and heaviness have taken hold upon me,
   yet my delight is in your commandments.
        The righteousness of your testimonies is everlasting;
   O grant me understanding and I shall live.