Prayer for the Day – Saturday 19 December

Collect
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 52.1–12
Awake, awake,
   put on your strength, O Zion!
Put on your beautiful garments,
   O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for the uncircumcised and the unclean
   shall enter you no more.
Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
   O captive Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
   O captive daughter Zion!
For thus says the Lord: You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money. For thus says the Lord God: Long ago, my people went down into Egypt to reside there as aliens; the Assyrian, too, has oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what am I doing here, says the Lord, seeing that my people are taken away without cause? Their rulers howl, says the Lord, and continually, all day long, my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore on that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.
How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
   before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
   the salvation of our God.
Depart, depart, go out from there!
   Touch no unclean thing;
go out from the midst of it, purify yourselves,
   you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
For you shall not go out in haste,
   and you shall not go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
   and the God of Israel will be your rearguard.

Psalm 146
    Alleluia.
      Praise the Lord, O my soul:
      while I live will I praise the Lord;
   as long as I have any being,
      I will sing praises to my God.
    Put not your trust in princes,
      nor in any human power,
   for there is no help in them.
    When their breath goes forth, they return to the earth;
   on that day all their thoughts perish.
    Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help,
   whose hope is in the Lord their God;
    Who made heaven and earth,
      the sea and all that is in them;
   who keeps his promise for ever;
    Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong
   and bread to those who hunger.
    The Lord looses those that are bound;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
    The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
   the Lord loves the righteous;
    The Lord watches over the stranger in the land;
      he upholds the orphan and widow;
   but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
      The Lord shall reign for ever,
   your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
      Alleluia.  Amen.