Friday, 6 March 2020

Praying through Lent with
USPG (10): 6 March 2020

The gas chambers of Birkenau were blown up by the SS in an attempt to hide their crimes (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are more than a week into Lent today [6 March 2020], and later this morning I am speaking at the ‘World Day of Prayer’ service in Embury Court, Adare, Co Limerick.

The theme of ‘World Day of Prayer’ this year is ‘Rise – take up your mat and walk!’ and the resources were prepared by the woman of Zimbabwe.

During Lent this year, I am using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections. Because this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Holocaust, I am also illustrating my reflections with images on this theme.

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

This week (1-7 March), the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on ‘Theological Education: a Key Pillar of Mission,’ with a particular focus on Bishop Gaul Theological College in Harare, which takes its name from Bishop Billy Gaul, an early SPG missionary from Ireland. The acting principal, Bishop Chad Gandiya, is a former Regional Desk Officer for Africa and the Indian Ocean at the USPG office in London.

However, the focus of the diary turns today from Zimbabwe to Ghana:

Friday 6 March:

Let us pray for the Anglican Diocese of Accra and for all the people of Ghana as they celebrate their nation’s Independence Day.

Readings: Ezekiel 18: 21-28; Psalm 130; Matthew 5: 20-26.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
Give us grace to discipline ourselves
in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s reflection

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