26 December 2017

Praying at Christmas with USPG
and Lichfield Cathedral
(2): 26 December 2017

‘Give thanks for those whose inspiration is the Law, the Prophets and the Writings of Holy Scripture’ … pages from a hand-made copy of Saint John’s Gospel in the ‘Holy Writ’ exhibition in Lichfield Cathedral some years ago (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Today is Saint Stephen’s Day [26 December 2017].

Until the end of December 2017, I am continuing a practice I began at the beginning of Advent this year. I am spending a short time of prayer and reflection each morning, using the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency, USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) and the Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar from Lichfield Cathedral.

USPG, founded in 1701, is an Anglican mission agency supporting churches around the world in their mission to bring fullness of life to the communities they serve.

Under the title Pray with the World Church, the current prayer diary (22 October 2017 to 10 February 2018), offers prayers and reflections from the Anglican Communion.

This week, the Prayer Diary visits the Holy Land, and this theme was introduced on Sunday by Salwa Khoury, who is based at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Nablus on the West Bank.

The USPG Prayer Diary:

Tuesday 26 December 2017, Saint Stephen, deacon, first martyr:

Give thanks for those whose inspiration is the Law, the Prophets and the Writings of Holy Scripture, that they may find in its pages wisdom, challenge and hope.

Lichfield Cathedral Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar:

The calendar suggests lighting a candle each day as you read the Bible and pray.

Today, the calendar suggests reading Matthew 10: 17-22.

The reflection for today offers this challenge:

Pray for all who have witnessed to Jesus through suffering and death. Pray to have a share in their courage and their assurance of God’s love and purpose.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow.

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