Prayer for the Day – Wednesday 23 September

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God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
   upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
   in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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 11.27-33
 Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.’ They argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say, “Why then did you not believe him?” But shall we say, “Of human origin”?’—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’

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.
      Let your faithful love come unto me, O Lord, 
   even your salvation, according to your promise.
      Then shall I answer those who taunt me, 
   for my trust is in your word.
      O take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, 
   for my hope is in your judgements.
      So shall I always keep your law; 
   I shall keep it for ever and ever.
      I will walk at liberty, 
   because I study your commandments.
      I will tell of your testimonies, even before kings, 
   and will not be ashamed.
      My delight shall be in your commandments, 
   which I have greatly loved.
      My hands will I lift up to your commandments,
      which I love, 
   and I will meditate on your statutes.