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Daily Devotion for December 27, 2009
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.
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 All People
O God, the creator and preserver of all humanity, I humbly pray to you for all sorts and conditions of people; that it might please you to make your Word known to them and bring your saving health to all nations. In particular I pray for the entirety of your church, in all of its many forms; that it may be guided and governed by your Holy Spirit, and that all who profess your name and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth. May all of us live in the unity of spirit our faith in Christ provides to us, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.
Finally, I commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are ill or in distress, in their mind, body, or circumstances. May it please you to comfort and relieve them in accordance with their needs, giving them patience during their suffering, and a fortunate outcome to all of their problems. And this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, who was always pleased to relieve the suffering of those he encountered.
Community of Prayer
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.
Quote of the Day
"Prayer is where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
Oneida Church of God
What Do We Know?
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, saying:
"Who is this that darkens my counsel, using words without knowledge? Gird your loins like a man; for I am going to ask questions, and you are going to answer me.
Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you know, who marked off its measurements? Surely you know that! Who stretched the guide string? Where were its foundations fastened, and who laid the cornerstones, while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted with joy?
Who shut up the sea behind doors when it broke forth like a babe from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling, when I set its boundaries and put into place doors and bars to constrain it, when I said, 'This far you may come, but no farther, and here is where your proud waves will be stayed'?
Have you commanded the morning since your birth, showing dayspring its place, that it might take hold of the edges of the earth and shake the wicked out of it?
Can you hold the beautiful Pleiades in place, or cut the cord that binds Orion? Can you make the constellations appear in their season, bringing out the Great Bear with her cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you establish God's dominion over the universe?
Can you shout to the clouds to cover yourself with water? Do you send lightning bolts on their way? Do these report to you, saying, 'Here we are'?
Who endowed the heart with wisdom and gave understanding to the mind? Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the heavens' water jars, when the dust hardens and the earth sticks together in clods?
Do you hunt the lion's prey, and feed the hungry cubs in their dens, or lie in wait in the thicket? Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God, and they wander for lack of food?"
Comment on the Scripture
This is about half of God's diatribe against Job's prideful speech, in response to Job's espousing his theories of the universe. Job thinks he has things pretty well figured out, but God disagrees. I mostly read this to keep my own thoughts and theories in perspective, but I'm reminded of it every time I read one of those confident headlines in a magazine or newspaper, "How to Fix ____". The current topic, as I write this, is "How to Fix Healthcare", and the diversity of opinion is united only in the confidence every pundit has in his solution. Having a small bit of knowledge seems to engender a disproportionate degree of self-confidence in overall understanding. And it often seems that the more zealous a person is about his solution, the worse it turns out in practice.
Job is probably the earliest written book in the Bible. God began his written advice to mankind with a stern warning about confidence in our understanding and opinions. If it is "Lesson # 1", our society apparently has not passed the first day of kindergarten.