Prayer for the Day – Thursday 10 December

Almighty God,
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again
   as judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God.  Amen.

Isaiah 48.1–11
Hear this, O house of Jacob,
   who are called by the name of Israel,
   and who came forth from the loins of Judah;
who swear by the name of the Lord,
   and invoke the God of Israel,
   but not in truth or right.
For they call themselves after the holy city,
   and lean on the God of Israel;
   the Lord of hosts is his name.
The former things I declared long ago,
   they went out from my mouth and I made them known;
   then suddenly I did them and they came to pass.
Because I know that you are obstinate,
   and your neck is an iron sinew
   and your forehead brass,
I declared them to you from long ago,
   before they came to pass I announced them to you,
so that you would not say, ‘My idol did them,
   my carved image and my cast image commanded them.’
You have heard; now see all this;
   and will you not declare it?
From this time forward I make you hear new things,
   hidden things that you have not known.
They are created now, not long ago;
   before today you have never heard of them,
   so that you could not say, ‘I already knew them.’
You have never heard, you have never known,
   from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,
   and that from birth you were called a rebel.
For my name’s sake I defer my anger,
   for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
   so that I may not cut you off.
1See, I have refined you, but not like silver;
   I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.
1For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
   for why should my name be profaned?
   My glory I will not give to another.

Psalm 53
   The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’
   Corrupt are they, and abominable in their wickedness;
      there is no one that does good.
   God has looked down from heaven upon the children of earth,
   to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks after God.
   They are all gone out of the way;
      all alike have become corrupt;
   there is no one that does good, no not one.
   Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
   who eat up my people as if they ate bread,
      and do not call upon God?
   There shall they be in great fear,
      such fear as never was;
   for God will scatter the bones of the ungodly.
   They will be put to shame,
   because God has rejected them.
   O that Israel’s salvation would come out of Zion!
   When God restores the fortunes of his people
      then will Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.