Prayer for the Day – Thursday 17 December

God for whom we watch and wait,
you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:
give us courage to speak the truth,
to hunger for justice,
and to suffer for the cause of right,
with Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 51.9–16
Awake, awake, put on strength,
   O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
   the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
   who pierced the dragon?
Was it not you who dried up the sea,
   the waters of the great deep;
who made the depths of the sea a way
   for the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
  I, I am he who comforts you;
   why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
   a human being who fades like grass?
You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
   who stretched out the heavens
   and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
   because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
   But where is the fury of the oppressor?
The oppressed shall speedily be released;
   they shall not die and go down to the Pit,
   nor shall they lack bread.
For I am the Lord your God,
   who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
   the Lord of hosts is his name.
I have put my words in your mouth,
   and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,
stretching out the heavens
   and laying the foundations of the earth,
   and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’

Psalm 63
    O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you;
   my soul is athirst for you.
    My flesh also faints for you,
   as in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
    So would I gaze upon you in your holy place,
   that I might behold your power and your glory.
    Your loving-kindness is better than life itself
   and so my lips shall praise you.
    I will bless you as long as I live
   and lift up my hands in your name.
    My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness,
   and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,
    When I remember you upon my bed
   and meditate on you in the watches of the night.
    For you have been my helper
   and under the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.
    My soul clings to you;
   your right hand shall hold me fast.
      But those who seek my soul to destroy it
   shall go down to the depths of the earth;
      Let them fall by the edge of the sword
   and become a portion for jackals.
      But the king shall rejoice in God;
      all those who swear by him shall be glad,
   for the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.