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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Daily Devotion for August 24, 2013

Matthew 6:14, If you forgive men for their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you.



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

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.


Mahalia Jackson in her famous rendition of the classic spiritual, Trouble of the World.

Prayer to Love Others Today

Oh holy Christ, who has commanded us to love others as ourselves, it is a challenge to follow this commandment; many times every day I judge another, or grow angry, or look down upon someone. Or, I am simply selfish. I try to brag subtly, so that others will glorify me without me seeming conceited. I buy shiny new things I do not need just so that other people will be impressed. Sometimes, I pretend to love others, when inside I know my words are a lie.

My prayer is that you will help me to burn your love on my heart, so that I may know the peace of loving my fellow man. Let me be sincere in choosing good over evil. Let me seek my glory in you, Lord Christ, instead of in my own image, my own fame or status; for status is no more than vanity, that will disappear in the blink of an eye. Soften my heart so that I feel true sympathy, and so I value others just as I do myself.

May your Holy Spirit, who is with me, guide me in everything I think and do, this day and always.


Prayer of Salvation

Most blessed Christ, I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. No matter how weak or lowly I may feel, I will always remember your words: that those whom the earth despises — the stones that the builders rejected — have become the cornerstone of your church. Let me be strong in faith and strong in your Spirit; for only by You, Lord Christ, may the gates of righteousness be opened to a sinner. I pray that I may be part of the foundation of your church on earth, and that by your grace, the gates of righteousness may be opened to me and to all who confess your holy name.



As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

<i>Angel</i> by Abbott Thayer, ca. 1889. Thayer often painted his beautiful daughters as angels; this would appear to be his eldest daughter, Mary.
Angel by Abbott Thayer, ca. 1889. Thayer often painted his beautiful daughters as angels; this would appear to be his eldest daughter, Mary.

First Things First

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.

~ E.M. Bounds

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 6:9-15 (KJV)

Sermon on the Mount - The Lord’s Prayer

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Notes on the Scripture

Having told us not to use vain repetitions, Christ then gives us His model prayer which, ironically, is probably more often said as an automatic, routine, desultory prayer than any other in Christendom. Most of us know it so well that we can say it while working a crossword puzzle. Instead of a message to change our hearts, we often just run through it, perhaps letting a couple of high spots sink into our consciousness a little.

We are going to take the time, starting Monday, to go through it line by line, exploring all the interesting and illuminating subtleties of the prayer; and thus, hopefully, we will be enriched every time we say it, and not be tempted to rush through it.

A more fitting name for it would be “The Disciples' Prayer”, as both the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-2) and, even more strongly, the account of it in Luke (Luke 11:1-4) set it in the context of Jesus teaching His apostles. Although we have a multitude sitting and trying to hear in Matthew, the entire Sermon is more specifically a lecture for future teachers. These are the men who will go off on their own to spread the good news, first traveling short distances in pairs during Christ's life, and more importantly, traveling far and wide after His death and resurrection.

It is not primarily a child's prayer, or a prayer to convert nonbelievers, or a family prayer. It is primarily a prayer for the devout, for those who have been reborn in Christ. In other words, it can only be effectively prayed by those who understand what they are saying, both in their mind and in their heart. It is densely worded and, in several spots, difficult to understand fully.

The prayer has three parts. The first deals with God Himself and our wish to be united with Him in proper relationship. The second is intercessory, for our own needs to be met, and itself has three subparts. If you examine them closely, you will notice that each seems to invoke a different person of God. Our daily bread, implicating the earth and its creation, speaks to the Father, the Creator; our forgiveness, to the Son; our resisting temptation, to the Holy Spirit.

The last section also divides into thirds, each addressing a different aspect of God's greatness: God as King, that is, the maker of laws and the judge of all persons; God as Creator, by whose will all thing were made and are sustained; and God the object of our adoration, the God who is worthy of praise above all else in the world.

In the short footnote Christ references and reiterates the difficult teaching earlier: “love your enemies, bless those who curse you . . .”

endless knot

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