Daily Devotion for November 18, 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.
Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me.
This I pray in Jesus' name.
Now may God himself and our Father, and my Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto Him. And the Lord make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward Him; to the end He may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 92:6-8 (HCSB)
A stupid person does not know, a fool does not understand this:
Though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be eternally destroyed.
But You, Lord, are exalted forever.
Breaking Out of Prison
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
They answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.
Notes on the Scripture
Sometimes we get into bad habits. We get stuck in a rut. All of the spirit goes out of us and we don't seem to be able to find the power to change. Often we get obsessed with some way of life: a hobby, a way of living, a daily routine.
But the Bible shows us how God can make great changes occur in our life. Paul and Silas were thrown into a stone prison in Macedonia and their feet locked into stocks. Like a person who has been enslaved by obsession or habit, they were seemingly bound without hope of escape. But they did not despair. They prayed and sang hymns, and suddenly a great earthquake occurred. The very foundations of the prison were rocked, and Paul and Silas were set free.
We are capable of great changes in our lives. If you are in a rut you despise, there is a way out. If you are obsessed by work, or by physical fitness, or by watching television, or by a hobby, or by alcohol, or anything else, God will send a metaphorical earthquake into your life to free you from your shackles and knock down the prison walls of your mind.
Prayer is the key to change. It will lead you to whatever help you need and give you the courage to change. The earthly prisons in which we may find ourselves cannot withstand the mighty hand of God.