Prayer for the Day – Thursday 8 October

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
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 14.43–52
Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.’ All of them deserted him and fled.
A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

from Psalm 78
      How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
   and grieved him in the desert!
      Again and again they tempted God
   and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
      They did not remember his power
   in the day when he redeemed them from the enemy;
      How he had wrought his signs in Egypt
   and his wonders in the field of Zoan.
      He turned their rivers into blood,
   so that they could not drink of their streams.
      He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them,
   and frogs which brought them ruin.
      He gave their produce to the caterpillar,
   the fruit of their toil to the locust.
      He destroyed their vines with hailstones
   and their sycamore trees with the frost.
      He delivered their cattle to hailstones
   and their flocks to thunderbolts.
      He set loose on them his blazing anger:
   fury, displeasure and trouble,
      a troop of destroying angels.
      He made a way for his anger
      and spared not their souls from death,
   but gave their life over to the pestilence.
      He smote the firstborn of Egypt,
   the first fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.
      But he led out his people like sheep
   and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
      He led them to safety and they were not afraid,
   but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
      He brought them to his holy place,
   the mountain which his right hand took in possession.
      He drove out the nations before them
      and shared out to them their inheritance;
   he settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
      Yet still they tested God Most High
      and rebelled against him,
   and would not keep his commandments.
      They turned back and fell away like their forebears,
   starting aside like an unstrung bow.
      They grieved him with their hill altars
   and provoked him to displeasure with their idols.
      God heard and was greatly angered,
   and utterly rejected Israel.
      He forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh,
   the tent of his presence on earth.
      He gave the ark of his strength into captivity,
   his splendour into the adversary’s hand.
      He delivered his people to the sword
   and raged against his inheritance.
      The fire consumed their young men;
   there was no one to lament their maidens.
      Their priests fell by the sword,
   and their widows made no lamentation.
      Then the Lord woke as out of sleep,
   like a warrior who had been overcome with wine.
      He struck his enemies from behind
   and put them to perpetual shame.
      He rejected the tent of Joseph
   and chose not the tribe of Ephraim,
      But he chose the tribe of Judah
   and the hill of Zion, which he loved.
      And there he built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven,
   like the earth which he founded for ever.
      He chose David also, his servant,
   and took him away from the sheepfolds.
      From following the ewes with their lambs he took him,
   that he might shepherd Jacob his people
      and Israel his inheritance.
      So he shepherded them with a devoted heart
   and with skilful hands he guided them.