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Daily Devotion for May 29, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
This song has a special religious significance in South Africa.
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Proverbs 14:16-17 (NKJV)
Than great treasure with trouble.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.
1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Notes on the Scripture
With all of the discussion about suffering and Christianity the past weeks, there is one type of earthly suffering that we do not have to endure: Anxiety. In fact, as our faith increases, our anxiety will decrease.
Anxiety and worry are a terrible emotion. They do not help us in the future while robbing us of the present. We can plan for the future and do whatever is in our power to ensure a better future, but we do not have to suffer the pain of uncertainty.
Outsiders may consider much of Christian conduct a burden, but as we grow in our faith, we know better. When Christ said, "Come to me, all of you who suffer and carry heavy burdens, and I will relieve you," this is exactly what He was talking about. It is easy to see that, once we know Christ, we never have to feel the crushing load of anxiety again.
We give our worries to Christ by prayer. We can call upon the Holy Spirit to assist us, for people often find worry a difficult habit to break. But if you do not do so, you should try it. If you are fretting about something, there is no need to simply sit there. Drive those heebie-jeebies right out of your day! Because we know how it is all going to turn out. There is nothing to worry about. We are assured of eternal peace, for God's victory has been proven to us by the resurrection of Christ.
Just close your eyes, or if it helps, get on your knees, and begin to pray to God. There is no secret formula. Tell Him that you know you have nothing to worry about and talk to Him about how silly your worries are, in the long run. Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you and take away your burden. If you can't think of anything else, simply say, "Holy Spirit, be with me."
If it helps, you can think of anxiety as a sin. We usually think of sin as something that gives us pleasure in the short run, but here is a sin whose only purpose is to make us miserable! But it is sinful, really, because ideas of anxiety always occur in a vacuum of faith and hope. Where faith and hope fill our hearts, there is no room for worry. Everything is going to turn out great — in fact, perfectly — in the long run. So stop worrying and be full of joy!