Daily Devotion for May 12, 2013
Mothers Day (US and Canada)
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.
This extremely deep and spiritual anthem is the end of Rossini’s Stabat Mater.
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 of Thanks
Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life and everything you have bestowed upon me and upon all people, this week and every day. I thank you for the good and bad, the understanding of forgiveness, and your holy power, without which we would have nothing. I thank you this day for all your blessings, your gifts, your never ending love for us. Although we all are sinners, I ask you to forgive me every day for what I might have done wrong, that I might not have noticed. Even though we all come short of the glory of God, I thank you for the sacrifice of your only son Jesus Christ for all our sins. You and only you know us Father and you know if our hearts are true. So once again, I thank you with all my heart and soul. In the name of Christ I pray,
Prayer for the Departed
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of your servants departed from this life and beseech you to grant them rest in the place of your rest, where all the blessed repose, and where the light of your countenance shines forever.
And I pray also to grant that my present life may be godly, sober, and blameless, that I too may be made worthy to enter into your heavenly Kingdom with those I love but see no longer: for you are the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of your departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto you I ascribe all glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in his sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 8:1-2 (NKJV)
O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Philippians 1:12-20 (CEV)
Paul in Rome
My dear friends, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the good news. The Roman guards and all the others know that I am here in jail because I serve Christ.
Now most of the Lord's followers have become brave and are fearlessly telling the message. Some are preaching about Christ because they are jealous and envious of us. Others are preaching because they want to help. They love Christ and know that I am here to defend the good news about him.
But the ones who are jealous of us are not sincere. They just want to cause trouble for me while I am in jail. But that doesn't matter. All that matters is that people are telling about Christ, whether they are sincere or not. That is what makes me glad.
I will keep on being glad, because I know that your prayers and the help that comes from the Spirit of Christ Jesus will keep me safe. I honestly expect and hope that I will never do anything to be ashamed of. Whether I live or die, I always want to be as brave as I am now and bring honor to Christ.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul's spirits are raised because he knows that his imprisonment has helped spread Christ's word. Other Christians, instead of being cowed by it, have become braver and tell a hostile world the good news fearlessly. Even "agent provocateurs", who preach the Gospel hoping to upset the authorities further and thus make Paul's punishment more severe, make him happy: they are unwittingly furthering the spread of Christianity.
Most of us struggle with our work and testimony about our belief, at some level, and it can be discouraging. How uplifting to hear Paul, in prison and uncertain of his future, so full of spirit and determination. The secular world can be so far from God's work today, with the increasingly wide spread of pornography, sexual activity at younger ages, dislike and even hatred among people within the country and in attitudes towards other countries and cultures — and receiving the same hostility from neighbors and people in foreign countries alike.
But we know, in our hearts, that hatred and hostility are the anathema to Christ's message. We must keep faith that telling his Word, telling people the true message of Christ's gospel and salvation, is the work of God and is done to His glory.