Prayer for the Day – Thursday 24 September

Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy;
and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall,
keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful,
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Mark 12.1-12
Then he began to speak to them in parables. ‘A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watch-tower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But those tenants said to one another, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture:
“The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;
 this was the Lord’s doing,
   and it is amazing in our eyes”?’
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.

Psalm 40
    I waited patiently for the Lord; 
   he inclined to me and heard my cry.
    He brought me out of the roaring pit,
      out of the mire and clay; 
   he set my feet upon a rock and made my footing sure.
    He has put a new song in my mouth,
      a song of praise to our God; 
   many shall see and fear
      and put their trust in the Lord.
    Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, 
   who does not turn to the proud that follow a lie.
    Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.
      How great your designs for us! 
   There is none that can be compared with you.
    If I were to proclaim them and tell of them 
   they would be more than I am able to express.
    Sacrifice and offering you do not desire 
   but my ears you have opened;
    Burnt offering and sacrifice for sin you have not required; 
   then said I: ‘Lo, I come.
    ‘In the scroll of the book it is written of me
      that I should do your will, O my God; 
   I delight to do it: your law is within my heart.’
      I have declared your righteousness in the great congregation; 
   behold, I did not restrain my lips,
      and that, O Lord, you know.
      Your righteousness I have not hidden in my heart;
      I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; 
   I have not concealed your loving-kindness and truth
      from the great congregation.
      Do not withhold your compassion from me, O Lord; 
   let your love and your faithfulness always preserve me,
      For innumerable troubles have come about me;
      my sins have overtaken me so that I cannot look up; 
   they are more in number than the hairs of my head,
      and my heart fails me.
      Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; 
   O Lord, make haste to help me.
      Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed
      who seek after my life to destroy it; 
   let them be driven back and put to shame
      who wish me evil.
      Let those who heap insults upon me 
   be desolate because of their shame.
      Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad; 
   let those who love your salvation say always,
      ‘The Lord is great.’
      Though I am poor and needy, 
   the Lord cares for me.
      You are my helper and my deliverer; 
   O my God, make no delay.