23 April 2020

Praying in Easter with USPG:
12, Thursday, 23 April 2020

Saint George … an icon in a church in Corfu (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

I am continuing to use the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections throughout this Season of Easter. 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.

Throughout this week (19 to 25 April 2020), the USPG Prayer Diary has taken as its theme the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe – Central Africa Province. This theme was introduced on Sunday in the Prayer Diary.

Today too is Saint George’s Day in the Calendar of the Church of England and some member churches of the Anglican Communion.

Thursday 23 April 2020:

We pray again for communities around the world that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The Readings: Acts 5: 27-33; Psalm 34: 1, 15-22; John 3: 31-36.

The Collect of the Day (Easter II):

Almighty Father,
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
Grant us so to put away the leaven
of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Collect for Saint George’s Day in Common Worship was written by the late Michael Perham for Celebrating Common Prayer. It has no focus and is simply a collect for a martyr in Eastertime, because, according to Paul Bradshaw’s Companion to Common Worship, what we know about Saint George is based on a ‘very doubtful legend’:

God of hosts,
who so kindled the flame of love
in the heart of your servant George
that he bore witness to the risen Lord
by his life and by his death:
give us the same faith and power of live
that we who rejoice in his triumphs
may come to share with him the fullness of the resurrection;
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 forever.

However, I came across this collect on another blog:

Almighty God,
We have been taught by the legend of Saint George
to fight against dragons and to rescue the helpless.
Deliver us, by the truth of the gospel,
from that great dragon who leads the whole world astray.
Free us from our slavery to sin and death
And grant that your light may dawn again on this nation of England.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

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