05 May 2024

Daily prayer in Easter 2024:
36, 5 May 2024

The Resurrection depicted in a fresco in Analipsi Church in Georgioupoli, Crete … the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Easter today (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Easter is a 50-day season that continues until the Day of Pentecost (19 May 2024), and today is the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Easter VI). Easter has been later in the Greek Orthodox Church this year, and Easter is celebrated in the Orthodox Church today.

Throughout this Season of Easter, my morning reflections each day include the daily Gospel reading, the prayer in the USPG prayer diary, and the prayers in the Collects and Post-Communion Prayer of the day.

I atteneded the Easter celebrations in the Greek Orthodox Church in Stony Stratford late last night and early this morning. Later this morning, I hope to be present at the Parish Eucharist in Saint Mary and Saint Giles Church, Stony Stratford. But, before this day begins, I am taking some quiet time this morning to give thanks, for reflection, prayer and reading in these ways:

1, today’s Gospel reading;

2, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary;

3, the Collects and Post-Communion prayer of the day.

Peacocks, symbols of the Resurrection, at the former studio of Alexandra Kaouki in Rethymnon … the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Easter today (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

John 15: 9-17 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 9 ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.’

‘You have delivered us from the power of darkness’ (Post-Communion Prayer) … an icon of the Harrowing of Hell and the Resurrection in Saint Andrew Holborn (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Today’s Prayers (Sunday 5 May 2024, Easter VI):

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 ‘Thy Kingdom Come.’ This theme is introduced today with these ‘Reflections’:

‘In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities.’ – The Most Revd Justin Welby

Ascension Day marks the first day of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ – an annual invitation to prayer called by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Since it began in May 2016, God has grown TKC from a dream of possibility into a movement which unites more than a million Christians in prayer in nearly 90% of countries worldwide, across 85 different denominations and traditions – so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Running until Pentecost, every person, household and church is encouraged to pray during the 11 days in their own way. It is the hope and prayer that those who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and His love for the world will hear it for themselves and respond and follow Him. For those who know God already, it is an opportunity for us to explore our calling into a deep relationship with our Father in heaven. We are called into a meaningful community, a universal fellowship.

This week is Ascension Day, reminding us of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Having completed His Father’s mission on earth, Jesus was taken up to be reunited with His Father, to sit at His Father’s right hand, far above all earthly rule and authority. Today, like the disciples in the Acts 1, we can wait and pray for the Holy Spirit to empower us to be Jesus’ witnesses to our family, our friends and in our church community. May each of us be willing to ask God how we can share the love of our Father in Heaven with the people we know.

Find out more www.thykingdomcome.global

The USPG Prayer Diary today (5 May 2024, Easter VI) invites us to pray:

Almighty God,
your ascended Son has sent us into the world
to preach the good news of your Kingdom:
inspire us with your Spirit
and fill our hearts with the fire of your love,
that all who hear your word may be drawn to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect:

God our redeemer,
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence in us he may raise us
to eternal joy;
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.

Post Communion Prayer:

God our Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life:
may we thirst for you,
the spring of life and source of goodness,
through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Additional Collect:

Risen Christ,
by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:
help your Church to obey your command
and draw the nations to the fire of your love,
to the glory of God the Father.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Thy Kingdom Come Through The Years

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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