Daily Devotion for January 20, 2010
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 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,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. 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.
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God:
And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Notes on the Scripture
Jonah was a noted prophet of the 8th century BC; he was mentioned 2 Kings. Yesterday, God commanded him to travel to Ninevah — capital of the mighty Assyrian Empire — to preach against its sinfulness; and Jonah fled by boat, apparently in fear of his life. Much like Adam, his attempt to hide from God did not turn out well.
His beautiful prayer to God's mercy in today's Scripture is often lost in the colorful circumstances of his experience with the whale (or "great fish"). It anticipates Christ's resurrection. When he speaks of being in the "pit", he uses the Hebrew word "Sheol", a concept of a place after death somewhere between hell, nonexistence, and being physically buried under the ground. He was in the fish's belly for three days, just as Christ spent three days in death before His resurrection.