Prayer for the Day – Thursday 31 December

Almighty God,
who wonderfully created us in your own image
and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share in our humanity,
so we may share the life of his divinity;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

John 1.29–34
 The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’

Psalm 102
    O Lord, hear my prayer
   and let my crying come before you.
    Hide not your face from me
   in the day of my distress.
    Incline your ear to me;
   when I call, make haste to answer me,
    For my days are consumed in smoke
   and my bones burn away as in a furnace.
    My heart is smitten down and withered like grass,
   so that I forget to eat my bread.
    From the sound of my groaning
   my bones cleave fast to my skin.
    I am become like a vulture in the wilderness,
   like an owl that haunts the ruins.
    I keep watch and am become like a sparrow
   solitary upon the housetop.
    My enemies revile me all the day long,
   and those who rage at me have sworn together against me.
      I have eaten ashes for bread
   and mingled my drink with weeping,
      Because of your indignation and wrath,
   for you have taken me up and cast me down.
      My days fade away like a shadow,
   and I am withered like grass.
      But you, O Lord, shall endure for ever
   and your name through all generations.
      You will arise and have pity on Zion;
   it is time to have mercy upon her;
      surely the time has come.
      For your servants love her very stones
   and feel compassion for her dust.
      Then shall the nations fear your name, O Lord,
   and all the kings of the earth your glory,
      When the Lord has built up Zion
   and shown himself in glory;
      When he has turned to the prayer of the destitute
   and has not despised their plea.
      This shall be written for those that come after,
   and a people yet unborn shall praise the Lord.
      For he has looked down from his holy height;
   from the heavens he beheld the earth,
      That he might hear the sighings of the prisoner
   and set free those condemned to die;
      That the name of the Lord may be proclaimed in Zion
   and his praises in Jerusalem,
      When peoples are gathered together
   and kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
      He has brought down my strength in my journey
   and has shortened my days.
      I pray, ‘O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days;
   your years endure throughout all generations.
      ‘In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
   and the heavens are the work of your hands;
      ‘They shall perish, but you will endure;
   they all shall wear out like a garment.
      ‘You change them like clothing, and they shall be changed;
   but you are the same, and your years will not fail.
      ‘The children of your servants shall continue,
   and their descendants shall be established in your sight.’