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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for August 29, 2013

<i>Charity</i>, Tiffany Studios ca. 1906
Charity, Tiffany Studios ca. 1906, St. John Episcopal Church, Somerville, NJ.



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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.


Anne Murray’s voice is the comfort food of music.

What a Great Morning

Holy God, thank you for giving me another morning! I am lucky to be alive on your beautiful planet, so full of marvelous things and the beautiful plants and animals and all the people you have created in your image. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, now and all day long, until I go to sleep, because I want to live with you every minute of this day. The time and opportunities I have right now will never return, so help me make the best of it, Lord. And let me remember this one thing: You know what you are doing, whether I can see it or not; so I will try to remember today that you are in charge, that you put me here for a reason and that, by your grace, things will turn out with your triumph and the Kingdom of Heaven, for all those who live by your grace. All praise to you forever,


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.



Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,


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

Evening prayer, little girl praying

Psalm 22:27-28 (ESV)

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.

For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 6:10 (KJV)

Sermon on the Mount - Lord’s Prayer [4]

Thy kingdom come: thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Notes on the Scripture

Most people get the basic meaning of this phrase, but perhaps have not considered the degree to which it represents a single idea. Technically, it should be read like a single verse in a psalm or proverb, in parallel style:

Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The general rule for psalm-like parallels is that the second phrase is closely related to the first; it repeats it in different words, perhaps looks at the same idea from a slightly different angle, and perhaps expands or explains it: and this holds true in the Lord's Prayer. These two phrases are different ways of addressing our proper relationship with God.

In the first phrase, we do not have the gut-level understanding of “kingdom” that someone had 2000 or even 300 years ago, because we have never lived in a monarchial society. The few kings and queens left in the world are celebrities, not rulers.

A king had more power than the United States' President, Congress, and Supreme Court combined; for he was not limited in his powers by a Constitution. He made the laws; he enforced the laws; he construed the laws; and the laws did not apply to him.

We are asking to be subject to an absolute monarch. By implication, we acknowledge utter trust in both his ability to know what laws to make, and his fairness and love for us in applying his laws. We pray, “I think you can do a better job than I can of running things.”

Our concept of heaven is a place where God's law is followed; all creatures within it follow His will perfectly. We ask that God bring this kingdom to earth.

But . . . we hardly need to ask for this. The matter has already been settled; God and God alone knows when it will be. (In fact, theologians' heads spin like tops over something we will read shortly: Christ Himself, at least while on earth, did not know when it would come. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36))

So why pray for it? Because even though it sounds like a petition, it is not. We are not asking God to do something, for it is more certain that God's kingdom will come than that the sun will rise tomorrow. It is the one absolute certainty in the universe.

We pray, rather, for change in ourselves. It is the humility prayer. By our nature, we want to be in charge; we want power. A greedy person wants power for personal benefit; but even a selfless person thinks he knows how to change things for the better. The world has seven billion self-appointed bosses.

In the Lord's Prayer, we first acknowledge our reverence for the Father; then the second thing we do is to pray, not really that He will rule, but rather, that we will follow. We pray that we will remember and be glad that God is in charge, and we live by our faith in Him; our only job is to play our part by trying to do His will.

endless knot

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Memory Verse

Matthew 6:24 (NKJV): No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon

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