A Call to Worship
Day of Epiphany of our Lord, Year C 2013
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

We are called together to worship our God of justice and mercy.
Holy God, we come, giving thanks for the blessing of your justice.

We are called together to honour and revere our Merciful God.
Nurturing God, we come to pray for your peace-giving reign.

We are called together to celebrate and praise our trustworthy God.
Steadfast God, we come to worship and to give thanks that God’s reign
is one that offers people the hope of living in harmony and peace. Amen.

Prayers of Petition and Intercession
Day of Epiphany of our Lord, Year C 2013
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

Trustworthy God, we come to you in prayer today for all leaders
throughout the world. However these people have received this
honour, we pray that they will look to the Lord God for inspiration—
so that with God’s guidance, they may bring and maintain peace;
that they may promote justice for all people; and that they wisely
care for and use their natural resources for benefit of all people.

Guardian God, we pray that all people in authority will be merciful
towards people weaker than themselves; that they may be generous
and compassionate towards under-privileged people; that all ageing
people may receive dignity and respect, that all children may be fed
and nurtured; and that people be given the opportunity for freedom
from oppression and choices in education. We pray, too, for leaders
who turn their back on God’s ways, and who have no understanding
of the need to care for their people. We pray for all oppressed people
who are struggling each day just to survive; for people separated
from their loved one; and for all who have lost hope for a better life.

The ancient Psalmist also prayed for these gifts and blessings for
his own king and leader, and even asked God: “...May his reign be
as refreshing as the springtime rains—like the showers that water
the earth...”
How wise and insightful was this man of God, because
he knew that the gift of a free spirit, that delights in creation, is to
be treasured. We pray that all leaders will be given good judgement,
an unflinching conscience, and a desire to be of service to their people.

Holy and Righteous God, Creator and Ruler of all things and all peoples—
as we seek to be good citizens within God’s reign, we ask that you hear
our prayers; and may we each help in being an answer to these prayers. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Day of Epiphany of our Lord, Year C 2013
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

According to the first chapter of 2nd Chronicles, God appeared to
King Solomon in a dream, in which God asked which gifts Solomon
considered necessary to become a good king. In response, Solomon
asked God for the continuation of the gifts God blessed his father’s rule—
the gifts of wisdom and knowledge to help his people be a great nation.
God blessed King Solomon with learning and wisdom and many other
gifts, but Solomon treasured God’s gift of wisdom above all other gifts.
There are 100s of quotes on the internet that define good and true
“leadership” qualities, but what I found most interesting was the list
of people whose quotations defined “leadership”. These famous people
were “leaders” because they exhibited their understanding of good and
true “leadership” through their ideals and principles, which guided their
selfless commitment to other people; instead of through any exploits.

Creative pause: “Good and true leadership” - how would you define it?

The ancient Psalmist also prayed thus: “May all the godly flourish
during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the end of time.”

Just because there were wise and learned kings ruling, did that mean
that everyone was prosperous, and that every godly person flourished?
I often wonder whether that prayer was ever answered in the affirmative?

Creative pause: Do all godly people automatically flourish?

In the years that immediately followed the time of the kingdoms of David
and Solomon, we have the ancient prophets with their angry words about
the godlessness of the Israelite peoples of their day – revered prophets
that included Elijah and Elisha. Another hundred years later came the
prophets Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Micah with strongly condemning words!
It seemed as if no matter how faithfully people prayed, there are often other
influences that seemed to negate the power of their prayers. Have we
learned anything at all from history? Have we as individuals ever learned
from the mistakes made by our parents? It seems that invariably, we all
have to make our own mistakes, and maybe, we will finally learn from them!

Creative pause: Help us, God, to live so that we start to answer our own prayers.

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and
Meditations are from the ‘New Living Translation’, © 1996. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA.

*The additional weekly numbering is from the Revised COCU Indexing Scheme
COCU = ('Consultation on Church Union'); as it offers an easy sequential numbering for the Revised
Common Lectionary for the Church Calendar.

If any part of these Prayers and/or Meditations is used in shared worship, please provide
the following acknowledgement:
© 2013 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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