Saturday, 9 December 2017
Praying in Advent with USPG
and Lichfield Cathedral
(7): 9 December 2017
This is the first week of Advent, and in many parts of the church today [8 December] is Feast of the Conception of the Virgin Mary, or the Immaculate Conception.
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:
Saturday 9 December 2017:
Pray for more openness in the church regarding HIV and AIDS so that people may know they can turn to the church for support.
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: 16-19.
The reflection for today suggests:
Pray for all who find it hard to believe and trust in God. Pray for all who resist and oppose faith and religious expression. Ask for the courage to do one random act of kindness today.
Readings (Revised Common Lectionary, the Church of Ireland, Holy Communion):
Isaiah 30: 19-21, 23-26; Psalm 146: 4-9; and Matthew 9: 25 to 10: 1, 6-8.
The Advent Collect:
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.