Prayer for the Day – Monday 21 September

O Almighty God,
whose blessed Son called Matthew the tax collector
to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain
     and the possessive love of riches
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Matthew 9.9-13
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’

from Psalm 119
      Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes 
   and I shall keep it to the end.
      Give me understanding and I shall keep your law; 
   I shall keep it with my whole heart.
      Lead me in the path of your commandments, 
   for therein is my delight.
      Incline my heart to your testimonies 
   and not to unjust gain.
      Turn away my eyes lest they gaze on vanities; 
   O give me life in your ways.
      Confirm to your servant your promise, 
   which stands for all who fear you.
      Turn away the reproach which I dread, 
   because your judgements are good.
      Behold, I long for your commandments; 
   in your righteousness give me life.
      O Lord, your word is everlasting; 
   it ever stands firm in the heavens.
      Your faithfulness also remains from one generation to another; 
   you have established the earth and it abides.
      So also your judgements stand firm this day, 
   for all things are your servants.
      If your law had not been my delight, 
   I should have perished in my trouble.
      I will never forget your commandments, 
   for by them you have given me life.
      I am yours, O save me! 
   For I have sought your commandments.
      The wicked have waited for me to destroy me, 
   but I will meditate on your testimonies.
      I have seen an end of all perfection, 
   but your commandment knows no bounds.