Daily Prayers for December 26

Stephen of Jerusalem (? – 35)

Stephen was the first in a long line of Christian martyrs. He looked on those who were about to kill him and asked the Lord to forgive them (Acts 7:60). His courageous nonviolence in the face of death resembled that of Christ. It is said that -Jesus sat at the Father’s side after his ascension into heaven, but rose to greet Stephen when he arrived.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us sing to the Lord : let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Woke Up This Mornin’ ”

In the morning when we rise : may your image shine in us.

Psalm 119:164 68

Seven times a day do I praise you : because of your righteous judgments.

Great peace have they who love your law : for them there is no stumbling block.

I have hoped for your salvation, O Lord : and I have fulfilled your commandments.

I have kept your decrees : and I have loved them deeply.

I have kept your commandments and decrees : for all my ways are before you.

In the morning when we rise : may your image shine in us.

Isaiah 62:6 – 7, 10 – 12 John 3:31 – 36

In the morning when we rise : may your image shine in us.

Fourth-century church father Gregory of Nazianzus wrote, “God became human and poor for our sake, to raise up our flesh, to recover our divine image, to recreate humanity. We no longer observe distinctions arriving from the flesh, but are to bear within ourselves only the seal of God, by whom and for whom we were created. We are to be so formed and molded by -Jesus that we are recognized as belonging to his one family. If only we could be what we hope to be, by the great kindness of our generous God!”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Lord, your coming is still miraculous. Your joining the family of the poor and displaced still baffles and convicts us. Keep us by your manger until we learn the way of love. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

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