Daily Devotion for January 13, 2013
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.
To the melody of a Greek chant, this movement interweaves alto solo (accompanied by low voices) with answering phrases by the upper voices of the chorus.
Gospodi Bozhe moy, vozvelichilsya yesi zelo.
Vo ispovedaniye i v velelepotu obleklsya yesi.
Na gorakh stanut vody.
Posrede gor proydut vodi.
Vsya premudrostiyu sotvoril yesi.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh my God, you know my weakness and failings, and that without your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others'. Grant me, therefore, the help of your grace, according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the tasks you will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and let me set my hand to these tasks with the vigor and joy of one with whom you abide. And if I should face trials, suffering or failure, I pray that your hand will lift me up, and I may be refreshed. In the name of Christ, 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,
I dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.
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.
Hear my prayer, O Lord,
Give ear to my supplications!
In Your faithfulness answer me,
And in Your righteousness.
Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no one living is righteous.
Then Peter began to speak to them:
“I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Notes on the Scripture
Judging others is contrary to Christian belief. Christ taught us this in no uncertain terms. For example, "Judge not, lest ye be judged". (Matthew 7:1-3)
It is a sin to judge other people; it is the sin of pride. When we do it, we puff ourselves up. Again, as Christ taught, we should not complain about a splinter in our neighbor's eye, but worry about the stake that is in our own eye.
When we judge others, we compare their exterior against our interior. Our interior is a poor guide, because it is human nature to justify oneself. People universally inflate the importance and truthfulness of their thoughts and biases.
On the other side of the coin, we cannot see into someone else's heart. The most devout people are those least likely to brag on their own deeds and attitudes. We judge or even dislike other people for the most ridiculous reasons. Their skin is a different color. They go to a different church. Our parents told us not to like them. A friend said something uncomplimentary about them.
Confession is a critical part of prayer. When we confess our sins, in whatever form we do it, we must remember instances when we have judged others. Let us pray for humility. This will gradually but surely lead us closer to God, and we will become more aware when we judge another person. And let us always keep in our heart Christ's promise: "everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:14)