Prayer for the Day – Friday 27 November

Stir up, O Lord,
the wills of your faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may by you be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 41.21–42.9
Set forth your case, says the Lord;
   bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
Let them bring them, and tell us
   what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are,
   so that we may consider them,
and that we may know their outcome;
   or declare to us the things to come.
Tell us what is to come hereafter,
   that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do harm,
   that we may be afraid and terrified.
You, indeed, are nothing
   and your work is nothing at all;
   whoever chooses you is an abomination.
I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
   from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name.
He shall trample on rulers as on mortar,
   as the potter treads clay.
Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know,
   and beforehand, so that we might say, ‘He is right’?
There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed,
   none who heard your words.
I first have declared it to Zion,
   and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.
But when I look there is no one;
   among these there is no counsellor
   who, when I ask, gives an answer.
No, they are all a delusion;
   their works are nothing;
   their images are empty wind.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
   my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
   he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
   or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
   and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
   he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
   until he has established justice in the earth;
   and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the Lord,
   who created the heavens and stretched them out,
   who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
   and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
   I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
   a light to the nations,
  to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
   from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
   my glory I give to no other,
   nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
   and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
   I tell you of them.

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
   you know my sitting down and my rising up;
      you discern my thoughts from afar.
You mark out my journeys and my resting place
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
   but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You encompass me behind and before
   and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   so high that I cannot attain it.
Where can I go then from your spirit?
   Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
   if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning
   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me,
   your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me
   and the light around me turn to night,’
Even darkness is no darkness with you;
      the night is as clear as the day;
   darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
   when I was made in secret
      and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished;
   already in your book were all my members written,
As day by day they were fashioned
   when as yet there was none of them.
How deep are your counsels to me, O God!
   How great is the sum of them!
If I count them, they are more in number than the sand,
   and at the end, I am still in your presence.
O that you would slay the wicked, O God,
   that the bloodthirsty might depart from me!
They speak against you with wicked intent;
   your enemies take up your name for evil.
Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?
   Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred;
   they have become my own enemies also.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;
   try me and examine my thoughts.
See if there is any way of wickedness in me
   and lead me in the way everlasting.