07 December 2017

Praying in Advent with USPG
and Lichfield Cathedral
(5): 7 December 2017

USPG is supporting programmes run by the health department of the Anglican Church of Tanzania that is preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child

Patrick Comerford

This is the first week of Advent, and in many parts of the church today [7 December] is Feast of Saint Ambrose of Milan.

Throughout this season of Advent, 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.

Introducing this week’s prayers, the Prayer Diary says: ‘Throughout Advent, as we remember the Nativity, we’re looking at how the world is reaching out to mothers and babies.’

This week, the diary follows the theme of the story told yesterday from the USPG-supported PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) HIV programme run by the Church of Tanzania.

The USPG Prayer Diary:

Thursday 7 December 2017:

Pray for support for church-run health work in Tanzania, where there is often a lack of medicines, medical supplies and equipment, and skilled health personnel.

Saint Ambrose (third from left) among Seven Fathers of the Church carved above the south porch of Lichfield Cathedral (from left): Saint Augustine, Saint Jerome, Saint Ambrose, Saint Gregory, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Athanasius and Saint Basil (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Lichfield Cathedral Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar:

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

Today’s suggested reading is Matthew 11: 28-20.

The reflection for today suggests:

Jesus promises us rest for our souls but asks us to share his life. Think what this means. What’s the next step? Pray for those who cannot rest.

Readings (Revised Common Lectionary, the Church of Ireland, Holy Communion):

Isaiah 26: 1-6; Psalm 118: 18-77a; and Matthew 7: 21, 24-27.

The Advent Collect:

Almighty God,
Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow.

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