Daily Devotion for November 11, 2012
Veterans Day (Remembrance Day)
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.
Our "Virtual Sunday Church" this week takes us to King's Chapel at Cambridge. This anthem from the Tudor Masses is so quiet, you might want to play it while you pray
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 for Those Who Have Served in War
God of compassion, God of dignity and strength, watch over the veterans of our blessed nation who have served with loyalty and at great sacrifice. Bless them with wholeness and love. Shelter those who are in want, heal those who bear wounds, comfort the hearts of those who have lost friends and family, and bring peace to all who are haunted by the terrible memories of war.
Protect them and their families from loneliness and want. Grant them lives of joy and bounty. And may their dedication and honor, which have shielded us from tyranny, be remembered as a blessing from generation to generation.
Prayer for Peace
I thank you, Master and Lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. I appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hatred for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in them the fear of you and confirm in them love one for another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
I pray, Lord our God, for all those who suffer from acts of war. I pray for your peace and your mercy in the midst of the great suffering that people are now inflicting on each other. Accept the prayers of your Church, so that by your goodness peace may return to all peoples. Hear us and have mercy on us.
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.
They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
~ Deuteronomy 16:16-17 (ESV)
Teach Us to Number Our Days
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
You turn man to destruction; and say, Return, ye children of men.
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
You carry them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which grows up.
In the morning it flourishes, and grows up; in the evening it is cut down, and withers.
For we are consumed by your anger, and by your wrath are we troubled.
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
For all our days are passed away in your wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of your anger? even according to your fearsomeness, so is your wrath.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Notes on the Scripture
This magnificent psalm treats a theme that is seen many times in the Bible: Life is transitory, just a brief moment in the vastness of eternity. Here, the psalmist (it is attributed to Moses) adds an Old Testament twist, showing that we live our lives in constant peril of God's anger.
This is a very Christian theme, the idea that our lives of all men are tainted by inevitable sinfulness. Although the psalm stops short of declaring an eternal life after death, to be lived in harmony with God, there is a strong implication of just such an idea.
On this day, we remember those who have fought in wars. And although history is written by the victors, for the most part, it is not hard to believe in the honest righteousness of the great wars we have fought against Fascist dictators and "Communism", the dreadful murderous slavery of Stalin and Mao. Many, many have died, and many more have given years of hard service, often at a sacrifice of physical or mental health, so that we might be free of tyranny. Life is a gift; but living is a duty. May we live in a way that justifies the terrible price we or others have paid for our freedom to live and worship in freedom.