Prayer for the Day – Wednesday 9 December

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succour us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 47
Come down and sit in the dust,
   virgin daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground without a throne,
   daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called
   tender and delicate.
Take the millstones and grind meal,
   remove your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
   pass through the rivers.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
   and your shame shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
   and I will spare no one.
Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—
   is the Holy One of Israel.
Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
   daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called
   the mistress of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people,
   I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand,
   you showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke
   exceedingly heavy.
You said, ‘I shall be mistress for ever’,
   so that you did not lay these things to heart
   or remember their end.
Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
   who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
   ‘I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
   or know the loss of children’—
both these things shall come upon you
   in a moment, in one day:
the loss of children and widowhood
   shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
   and the great power of your enchantments.
You felt secure in your wickedness;
   you said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and your knowledge
   led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
   ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’
But evil shall come upon you,
   which you cannot charm away;
disaster shall fall upon you,
   which you will not be able to ward off;
and ruin shall come on you suddenly,
   of which you know nothing.
Stand fast in your enchantments
   and your many sorceries,
   with which you have laboured from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed,
   perhaps you may inspire terror.
You are wearied with your many consultations;
   let those who study the heavens
stand up and save you,
   those who gaze at the stars
and at each new moon predict
   what shall befall you.
See, they are like stubble,
   the fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
   from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
   no fire to sit before!
Such to you are those with whom you have laboured,
   who have trafficked with you from your youth;
they all wander about in their own paths;
   there is no one to save you.

Psalm 62
    On God alone my soul in stillness waits;
   from him comes my salvation.
    He alone is my rock and my salvation,
   my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.
    How long will all of you assail me to destroy me,
   as you would a tottering wall or a leaning fence?
    They plot only to thrust me down from my place of honour;
      lies are their chief delight;
   they bless with their mouth, but in their heart they curse.
    Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul;
   for in him is my hope.
    He alone is my rock and my salvation,
   my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
    In God is my strength and my glory;
   God is my strong rock; in him is my refuge.
    Put your trust in him always, my people;
   pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
    The peoples are but a breath,
      the whole human race a deceit;
   on the scales they are altogether lighter than air.
      Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride;
   though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
      God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same,
   that power belongs to God.
      Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord,
   for you repay everyone according to their deeds.