19 October 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (144) 19 October 2023,
Week of Prayer for World Peace (5)

‘I have to deal with … my anger, with care, with love, with tenderness, with non-violence’ (Thich Nhat Hanh) … street art in Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and the week began with the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity (Trinity XIX, 15 October 2023). The Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today remembers the life and work of Henry Martyn(1812), Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India and Persia. Today is also the Feast of Saint Frideswide, Abbess and Patron of Oxford, a woman of vision and courage.

I plan to stay up late tonight, watching the by-election results in the constituencies of Tamworth and Mid-Bedfordshire. But, before today begins, I am taking some time for prayer and reflection early this morning.

The Week of Prayer for World Peace began on Sunday, and so my reflections each morning this week are gathered around this theme in these ways:

1, A reflection on the Week of Prayer for World Peace ;

2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

The Week of Prayer for World Peace began with ‘A Call to Prayer for World Peace’ signed by faith leaders in 1974

A Week of Prayer for World Peace, Day 5:

The International Prayer For Peace:

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe

Day 5, Reconciliation: For strength to reconcile rather than seek revenge:

If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow.
Chinese Proverb

I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight … I have to deal with it, with my anger, with care, with love, with tenderness, with non-violence.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk

‘I wonder how humanity managed to survive.’

Captain Kirk: ‘We overcame our instinct for violence.’
Star Trek

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself … War has its roots in human nature.
Francis Meehan

But I tell you who hear Me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

One Race – the Human Race

Religions are different; the diversity of religious practice quite extraordinary. This leads to two common reactions: that only one religion is true, or that all are really the same. Here the Guru offers another view, starting not from religion but from the One God in whom we find our commonality.

One man by shaving his head hopes to become a holy monk.

Another sets up as a yogi or some other kind of ascetic.

Some call themselves Hindus: others call themselves Muslims. Among these there are the Shiah, there are the Sunnis also.

Yet human beings are of one race in all the world; God as Creator and God as Good, God in His Bounty and God in His Mercy, is all one God. Even in our errors, we should not separate God from God!

Worship the One God, for all people the One Divine Teacher.

All people have the same form, all people have the same soul.
– Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh)

Jains believe that violence in thought and speech is as bad as physical violence, so they try to control things like anger, greed, pride and jealousy.
– Jain

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

‘If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow’ (Chinese Proverb) … street art in Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Luke 11: 47-54 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 47 ‘Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute”, 50 so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.’

53 When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile towards him and to cross-examine him about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.

Today is the Feast of Saint Frideswide, Abbess and Patron of the Diocese of Oxford … a stained-glass window in Saint Mary’s Church, Shenley Church End (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayers: USPG Prayer Diary:

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Helpline to women in need.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (19 October 2023) invites us to pray in these words:

We pray for The Church in North India – for their congregations, their mission, and their church leaders.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
who by your Holy Spirit gave Henry Martyn
a longing to tell the good news of Christ
and skill to translate the Scriptures:
by the same Spirit give us grace to offer you our gifts,
wherever you may lead, at whatever the cost;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post Communion Prayer:

Holy Father,
who gathered us here around the table of your Son
to share this meal with the whole household of God:
in that new world where you reveal
the fullness of your peace,
gather people of every race and language
to share with Henry Martyn and all your saints
in the eternal banquet of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s Reflection

Continued Tomorrow

The Week of Prayer for World Peace began on Sunday 15 October 2023

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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