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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Daily Devotion for November 20, 2013

Christian got up to the Gate, illustration by H. Melville (ca. 1836) for John Bunyan’s A Pilgrim’s Progress . An allegorical depiction of a man reaching the moment of decision to give his will over to God. Above the gate are engraved the words, “Knock and it will be opened unto 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.


Morning Prayer (George Washington)

O  Lord our God, most mighty and merciful father, I, your unworthy creation and servant, once more approach your presence. Though not worthy to appear before you, because of the many sins and transgressions which I have committed against your divine majesty; yet I pray you, for the sake of him in whom you are well pleased, the Lord Jesus Christ, to let me give you thanks and praise for your many and varied mercies extended toward me, for the quiet rest and repose of the past night, for food, clothing, health, peace, liberty, and the hopes of a better life through the merits of your dear son's bitter passion.

And O kind Father, continue your mercy and favor to me this day, and always; give resolution to all my lawful undertakings; let me have all my directions from your Holy Spirit; and success from your bountiful hand. Let the bright beams of your light so shine into my heart, and enlighten my mind in understanding your blessed word, that I may be enabled to perform your will in all things, and effectively resist all temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Preserve and defend our rulers in church and state. Bless the people of this land, be a father to the fatherless, a comforter to the comfortless, a deliverer to the captives, and a physician to the sick. Let your blessings guide me and all of us, this day and forever, through Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray.


For Those in Need of Strength

I  pray, Lord, for all who will need strength and courage in the day ahead: For those who face danger. For those who risk themselves for others. For those who must make an important decision today. For people who are seriously ill. For those facing persecution or torture. I ask you, Lord, to give them the power of your Spirit,



O  good shepherd, seek me out, and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favourably with me according to your good pleasure, until I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise your forever and ever with them that are there.


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

Emblem of John the Evangelist, Church of St. David, Llanarth, Ceredigion, Wales. The eagle is by tradition the symbol of John.

Psalm 103:1-5 (NSRV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits —

who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NIV)

God’s Holy Temple

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Notes on the Scripture

Many people, especially those who are accustomed to more restrained forms of worship, sometimes push the Holy Spirit to the back of their minds. But the Bible teaches us in this passage, in black and white, that God's Spirit dwells in us. No interpretation can belie this fundamental tenet of Christianity. Although various denominations have different beliefs on how we receive the Holy Spirit and place very different emphasis on the Spirit in their worship services, none (to my knowledge) rejects the clear Biblical teaching, that the Holy Spirit dwells in those who have received Christ's grace.

Man praying in devotion

It is important to remember our life in the Spirit in our daily lives, our thoughts and our prayers. The Spirit's presence is a gift that is given to us during our human existence, and it is a gift filled with power. The Bible teaches us that it will put words into our mouth when our brains fail us, in order to speak Christ's message. The power of the Spirit can and will help us resist temptation to sin, if we only use it. Calling on the Spirit can lift us from the despair that is the “gift” of Satan.

We must always remember that the Holy Spirit is a face of God. Although the Spirit serves us, He is not room service; He will only move us and empower us when we are acting in faith, as Christ's servants.

There is another problem: unfortunately, the power of the Holy Spirit is easily confused, in our minds, with our own human traits and powers. Charlatans posing as Christian ministers mislead many people who have been touched by the Spirit and actually encourage them to call upon the Spirit to feed their own human drives.

Just as often, people will become confused in their own minds; instead of following God, and calling upon the Holy Spirit to help them, they will seek the Spirit's help in satisfying the desires of the flesh: their pride, their wealth, their lust. They seek to become gods in their own right, harnessing the power of the true God to fulfill their human will. “Thy will be done” should be ever foremost in our minds, when we pray.

When we become confused about what is our will and what is God’s, the solution is to read the Bible and to compare our thoughts — or what somebody else is trying to tell us — against it. It is especially important to read the New Testament and even more especially important to read the teachings of Christ himself. We must actively seek not to dwell on passages that reinforce our personal beliefs; it is much more important to read passages that conflict with our beliefs and to meditate on contradictions between Biblical teachings and our own thoughts.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Proverbs 31:10-12 (KJV): Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

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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