18 October 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (143) 18 October 2023,
Week of Prayer for World Peace (4)

‘The struggle for peace, like the struggle for human rights and humanity, is not one in which, having reached the peak of the mountain, the final goal comes into view’ … a peak-top monastery in Meteora in Greece (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 Church Calendar celebrates Saint Luke the Evangelist (18 October).

Before today begins, I am taking some time early this morning for prayer and reflection.

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 4:

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 4, Heroes: For those working with courage to improve the world:

O Allah, the Creator of all that’s good,
bless our heroes, courageous and understood.
For those who strive to make the world better,
grant them strength and guidance in every endeavour.

Watch over those who help others in need,
their acts of kindness, a noble deed.
Guide them in their mission, both big and small,
as they spread love and kindness to all.

Bless our heroes, young and old,
with bravery and hearts of gold.
May their efforts inspire us to do good,
and make a difference, just as they would. Ameen

‘The struggle for peace, like the struggle for human rights and humanity, is not one in which, having reached the peak of the mountain, the final goal comes into view. Rather, it should be thought of as the work of generating an uninterrupted and unstoppable flow of commitment that connects and is passed on from one generation to the next.

‘Each of us, no matter how weak or ineffectual we may feel ourselves to be, must build deep within our hearts a stronghold for peace, one that will be capable of withstanding and in the end silencing the incessant calls to war. This is the only way humanity’s tragic predilection for violence can be reformed and its energies channelled in new directions.

‘We need to awaken a common consciousness of being all inhabitants of Earth. This consciousness is not to be found in some distant place. It will not be found on a computer screen. It lies in our hearts, in our ability to share the pain of our fellow human beings. It is the spirit that says ‘As long as you are suffering, whoever you are and whatever your suffering may be, I suffer also.’
Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher

We thank you God, for all those who … courageously go into areas of conflict and natural disaster, to give humanitarian aid, bind wounds, heal broken bodies, save lives. We give thanks for all NGOs and charities … who bring healing and hope to all those affected by war and disaster.
Susan Gale WPWP Committee member

Saint Luke the Evangelist and Physician … a stained-glass window in Saint Michael’s Church, Tipperary (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Luke 10: 1-9 (NRSVA):

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you”.’

‘Study for the Calf of Saint Luke’ by Graham Sutherland in the ‘Consequence of War’ exhibition in Lichfield Cathedral in 2018 (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 (18 October 2023, Saint Luke the Evangelist) invites us to pray in these words:

Let us give thanks for the life and works of Luke the Evangelist. May we be inspired by his Christian witness.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
you called Luke the physician,
whose praise is in the gospel,
to be an evangelist and physician of the soul:
by the grace of the Spirit
and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel,
give your Church the same love and power to heal;
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:

Almighty God,
who on the day of Pentecost
sent your Holy Spirit to the apostles
with the wind from heaven and in tongues of flame,
filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel:
by the power of the same Spirit
strengthen us to witness to your truth
and to draw everyone to the fire of your love;
through 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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