Daily Devotion for February 5, 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.
A wonderful modern setting of the Magnificat by Italian pop singer Mina.
Magnificat anima mea Magnificat
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est
(Repeat first verse)
Prayer for the Morning (written by Metropolitan Philaret)
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Father in heaven, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Thank you for all the grace and blessings, both spiritual and temporal, you have bestowed upon me, my loved ones, and this community of prayer: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the love we have for one another; and the lives of our Lord and friends.
Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved me from death.
And now, as a little child, let me abide in you all this day, oh Christ, so that when you appear I may have confidence and not shrink from you in shame at your coming. For I know that you are righteous, and I am sure that I will be made righteous only by my life in you.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Deciding What to Do
Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
~ Dr. Howard Thurman
Exodus 8:8-15 (ESV)
The Second Plague: Frogs 
Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” And he [Pharaoh] said, “Tomorrow.”
Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. The frogs shall go away from you and your houses and your servants and your people. They shall be left only in the Nile.”
So Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord about the frogs, as he had agreed with Pharaoh. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses.
The frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
Notes on the Scripture
Most of us have known someone like Pharaoh. They want you to do something for them, and they promise to do something for you in return. And then, after you have done your part, they say they have changed their mind.
In Pharaoh's case, the biggest motivation for his dishonesty is pride. Notice that Moses does not say, "The frogs will go away so that you will let the Hebrews go worship," but rather, "so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God." If there has ever been a prideful person on earth, it was a pharaoh of Egypt. They were more than absolute monarchs; they were demigods. They believed that their very nature was superior to others.
Moverover, they were not accustomed to honesty; they were above laws. Their will was higher than any law, any contract.
But here, there is more at stake than simply adherence to a contract. Moses seeks to make Pharaoh admit that the god of this abased tribe of slaves is greater than Pharaoh himself, something that he has never encountered or even recognized as a possibility. And Moses is making some headway: Pharaoh has clearly lost some measure of confidence in his magicians, and he asks Moses to plead with Yahweh to take the frogs away. But pride is a resistant fault in all of us; and the pride of the King of Egypt is — literally — monumental.
Today in Daily Prayer
Romans 10:9: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved
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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon