Prayer for the Day – Saturday 26 December

Gracious Father,
who gave the first martyr Stephen
grace to pray for those who took up stones against him:
grant that in all our sufferings for the truth
we may learn to love even our enemies
and to seek forgiveness for those who desire our hurt,
looking up to heaven to him who was crucified for us,
Jesus Christ, our mediator and advocate,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Galatians 2.16b-20
…yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Psalm 119.161-168
        Princes have persecuted me without a cause,
   but my heart stands in awe of your word.
        I am as glad of your word
   as one who finds great spoils.
        As for lies, I hate and abhor them,
   but your law do I love.
        Seven times a day do I praise you,
   because of your righteous judgements.
        Great peace have they who love your law;
   nothing shall make them stumble.
        Lord, I have looked for your salvation
   and I have fulfilled your commandments.
        My soul has kept your testimonies
   and greatly have I loved them.
        I have kept your commandments and testimonies,
   for all my ways are before you.