Daily Prayers for February 23

Polycarp of Smyrna (70 – 155)

Polycarp was arrested by Roman officials after having served as Bishop of Smyrna for many decades. When the Roman proconsul ordered him to declare that “Caesar is Lord” and to curse Christ, the elderly Polycarp refused, saying, “Eighty-six years I have served him and he never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Polycarp was sentenced to death by fire, but the flames miraculously stood like a wall around him and he was not burned. The executioner then stabbed him in the heart, which issued such an abundance of blood that the fire was quenched.

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 bow down and bend the knee : let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Song “I Will Trust in the Lord”

You who raised -Jesus from the dead : raise us also to life abundant.

Psalm 115:1 4

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory : because of your love and because of your faithfulness.

Why should the heathen say : “Where then is their God?”

Our God is in heaven : whatever he wills to do he does.

Their idols are silver and gold : the work of human hands.

You who raised -Jesus from the dead : raise us also to life abundant.

Genesis 40:1 – 23 Hebrews 11:13 – 22

You who raised -Jesus from the dead : raise us also to life abundant.

Søren Kierkegaard, a nineteenth-century Danish philosopher, said, “What the age needs is not a genius but a martyr.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Lord, in our work for justice, let us not seek after martyrdom for its own sake, but neither let us turn away from your truth because we fear suffering. Give us grace to live faithfully whatever the cost. 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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