Trinity 9

Prayers at home for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Paul wrote:
Live by the Spirit I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
(Galations 5 : 16, 20-23, 25)

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets is hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Penitence
St. Paul teaches us not to “grieve the Holy Spirit of God”. Therefore we now confess those sins which hinder the Spirit’s work among us……

Lord, forgive us when we have closed our hearts to the Spirit’s renewing power…
Lord have mercy
Lord, forgive us when we have closed our minds to learning anything new……
Christ have mercy.
Lord, forgive us when we have failed to bear witness to the gospel of Christ…..
Lord have mercy.

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Collect and Readings.

Almighty God, who sent the Holy Spirit to be the light and life of your Church; open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love, joy and peace, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the same Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.

1 Kings 19 : 9-18
Psalm 8 : 8-13
Romans 10 : 5-15
Matthew 14 : 22-33

Affirmation of Faith
Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of Jesus…….
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles;
this we have received and this we believe. (1 Cor 15 : 3-7)
This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Intercessions.
As followers of Jesus, we rejoice because we share in his new life, and are led by the Spirit, and so we pray….
For Bishop Gregory and for all clergy and lay ministers, that they will serve the Church with holiness, humility and inspiration……
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray
For our Queen and government and for the leaders of the nations, that they might promote peace and justice, freedom and well-being and that they might always be mindful of the poor and the dispossessed….
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
For those parts of the world where food is scarce, jobs are few or life is dangerous, that conditions will improve for all who struggle to survive….
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
For our families and all who are close to us, that in these testing times they will be protected from harm and given the gifts of perseverance and hope….
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
For the sick, the isolated and the lonely. For those who feel the pain of separation from loved ones and for all in any kind of need……..
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father…

(You might like to make the Act of Spiritual Communion now)

Grant, Lord, that we may hold to you without parting, worship you without wearying, serve you without failing, faithfully seek you, happily find you, and for ever possess you, the only God, blessed now and always. Amen
(St. Anselm)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and for ever. Amen.

Reflection on the Gospel reading for Trinity 9 – Matthew 14 : 22-33
 
During the course of his public ministry Jesus faced great pressures. In last week’s reading from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew Jesus received the news of John, his cousin’s, death. John’s murder by Herod was a turning point in Jesus’ ministry as he begins to face the prospect of his own death. As at other crucial moments he seeks time alone with his heavenly Father.
 
The disciples, meanwhile, are on familiar territory, the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly life lurches out of control. Even as experienced sailors they fear for their lives. Jesus does not come to them immediately but continues praying. Then in the early morning light he walks towards them on the water and identifies himself as God. “It is I” he says. “I AM” was God’s name revealed in the Old Testament. In the turmoil of the storm the disciples hear the quiet words of Jesus, “Do not be afraid”. The water responds to Jesus’ presence by bearing his weight and the storm subsides. Like the feeding of the vast crowd from a few loaves and fishes, this is another foretaste of the healing of the relationship between creation and human beings which the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus brings about.
 
Peter, impetuous and incredibly brave, responds, “If it is you, tell me to come to you”. And Jesus did and Peter does…..and it is all brilliant…until Peter looks at the waves around him and begins to sink. Jesus rescues him, they both get into the boat and the storm ceases. God, in Jesus Christ came to him and rescues him.
 
God in Jesus Christ comes to us, and rescues us. He comes in the midst of whatever we fear, whatever is out of control in our lives, whatever is threatening  us, perhaps even when our very survival is threatened. Yet he does not always make everything right immediately. We can not dictate terms to God or expect a repeat performance of something he has done for someone else.
 
God does not spare Jesus the anguish of John’s death. So Jesus having fed the people, and still distressed at the news of John’s brutal execution, deliberately takes time to be alone with God. To wait on him in the silence. Matthew does not tell us what he prayed about.
 
The Gospel for today tells us that God does not abandon us in our distress, but meets us in completely unexpected ways. In other words God is reliable but never predictable. He is a God of surprises. We will find him in the most unexpected places and in those we may think are the most unlikely people