Daily Devotion for August 26, 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.
James Kilbane sings Amazing Grace for the Presbyterian congregation and service for the RTE Irish television broadcast from Dublin, Ireland.
Prayer for Purity of Worship
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you and worthily praise your holy name. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done. All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
Prayer for Life
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Prayer for Peace
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
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.
Give to the Lord glory and strength.
Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
1 Corinthians 12:21-31 (ESV)
One Body with Many Members 
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.
But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Notes on the Scripture
In creating the content for this website, I have become acutely aware of the staggering amount of human time, work, and devotion that people have put into the work of doing Christ's bidding. Simply the amount of scholarship and commentary on the Bible is unfathomable, and the people who have done all of this have included some of the greatest minds of the past two thousand years.
But, in considering those who have devoted their lives to Christ, we must also think to those who have done so much in other ways. Most all of them are forgotten by us. Paul was likely a great missionary of the 1st Century A.D., but we do not know him so much for his works, as because of his writings. A handful of other early missionaries, we know slightly because they were canonized, and the occasional student of Christianity might read their story in a hagiography, or an artist might have remembered them in a stained glass window or painting.
But the vast majority of them did their work, and possibly died as martyrs, nearly anonymous to we humans. Of course, they served God, and they are remembered by the only one who counts. But it is important to us to remember that they existed. And they continue today, practically unknown except to a group of villagers or homeless somewhere in the world, and to their sponsoring organization.
And if forgotten missionaries are legion, what of the number who simply gave their work in other ways? The sextons who swept the floor in thousands of little churches? They are, according to today's teaching, given greater honor by God, that all the members of the body of the faithful "may have the same care for one another."
We are fortunate in our situation, to have so many who have gone before. Let us remember occasionally, in our prayers, the millions who have served Christ, not only for their own salvation, but to clear the path for us, that we might join them in eternal light and love.