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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for December 31, 2013

New Year’s Eve
Seventh Day of Christmas

Reims Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre Dame) <i>Day of Judgment</i>, angels leading souls to Abraham. /><br class=
Reims Cathedral, carving of angels bringing souls to Abraham.



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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.


Prayer of St. Edmund

O  Lord, into your hands and into the hands of your holy angels, this day I entrust my soul, my relatives, my benefactors, my friends and enemies, and all who confess your holy name.

O Lord, by the merits and prayers of your son, Jesus Christ, keep me today from all evil and unruly desires, from all sins and temptations of the devil, from a sudden and unprovided death, and from the pains of hell. Enlighten my heart with the grace of your Holy Spirit. Grant that I may ever be obedient to your commandments. Let me never be separated from you, O God, who lives and reigns forever, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Prayer to Look Beyond Appearances

Heavenly Father, I confess that in my life, I have been more attentive to someone who was beautiful and ignored another who was not. I have judged people by the way they look, by how old they are, by how they are dressed; and yet I know, in my heart, that all souls are beautiful to you and that you have commanded us to love one another, not through the sinful eye of our body and our emotions, but through the perfect eye of your Spirit.

Help me, I pray, to see other people as you see them. as fellow souls shrugging to find you. Let me not be deceived by appearance; let me not be misled by my prejudice. Let me not compare the outside of other people to the inside of myself, nor believe that the circumstances of my birth defined a standard that others are supposed to meet. Let me see my own imperfection, and not that of my fellow man, this I pray,


A Prayer to Follow the Star

Lord, may I be like the Wise Men who were guided to you by the Star of Bethlehem. Give me the wisdom to seek you, a light to guide me to you, the courage and persistence to search until I find you, the graciousness to worship you and the generosity to lay my gift before you, who is my King and my God for ever and ever.



The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, 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.

Abraham and the three men (angels)
God and the Angels visit Abraham, Arent de Gelder ca.1685.

How to Treat Others

Treat people as if they are what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.

~ Goethe

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 17:1-8

Abraham and the Covenant

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly." Then Abram fell on his face.

And God said to him, "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.

And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."

Notes on the Scripture

We are about to start our new calendar year. It is the time of beginnings, the time of renewal and fresh starts. The membership of Weight Watchers triples in January; gyms hire temporary employees. It is the time for getting down to the business of what is important to us in the long term.

Although these are usually intended to be permanent lifestyle changes, very few people keep their New Year's resolutions for more than a few months, if that. Don't fall into the trap of biting off more than you chew. It is better to do too little, and establish it as a permanent habit in your life, than to do too much and be doomed to failure from the first eager, ernest day.

New Years Resolution

You cannot establish a covenant with God; God's covenants are established by Him. People can only accept or reject. You can, however, give God a gift of daily discipline that will benefit you. And since we hope that our actions of devotion are pleasing to Him, perhaps you can accomplish that as well.

Take an impossibly small amount of time, say, ten minutes. If that is too much, five minutes. If that is too much, two minutes. And every morning (either early or at midmorning), do the most important thing you can possibly do for yourself. Go into a quiet place. If you have a hectic morning in your house, go into your room and lock the door, and let everyone know that you are not to be disturbed under any circumstances. The world is not going to end if you do not participate for five minutes (no matter what your children may tell you). Turn off the ringer on the telephone.

Sit in a comfortable spot, with your head upright, and close your eyes. Then take a deep breath and empty your mind. Meditate about God and the day to come. If you have read our Daily Devotional or read the Bible in the morning, you can take a phrase from the Scripture or one of the prayers as a starting spot. Or if you do it before your morning time of prayer and reading, it will put your mind in a state to receive God's word.

Relax and let God center you. When outside thoughts intrude, gently brush them away. Most importantly, time yourself on your watch.

You will want to stop immediately and get back to work. Don't do it. Persist until that anxiety alleviates!

If you do this, the minutes you spend will be returned to you ten times over. You will start your day with a lot less anxiety, confusion and turmoil. You may not even know how much confusion your mind has been in, until you lessen it. Satan loves to distract us from our purpose; if we spend every second trying to solve immediate problems, the most important things will never be addressed.

Best of all, this is a sustainable habit. If you do this for a few weeks, you can do it for the rest of your life. I do this, and if my mind starts to worry over things, I use the phrase “God give me the peace to do Your will” or even the simple word “Jesu” to relax and recenter my mind.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Acts 18:9: One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.”

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Comments (14)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of December 31, 2013 | Daily Prayer
Micheal Harper (Chicago, US) says...
I stumbled upon this site a couple of weeks ago. I like what I read and particularly enjoy the prayers. However, as a Black Christian I would like to see more of the African presence of the Bible in your displays. While you state that the website has contributions from many cultures, your paintings and visible displays reflect a predominantly white culture.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! May The Lord bless and keep all of us.
31st December 2013 11:01am
Mason (Atlanta GA, US) says...
Hi Michael (Micheal?), I'm sorry your comment got flagged as needing approval by the Commentics software for a reason I don't understand, and I just got back into the office today. So anyway that is why it didn't appear before today. We usually get a pretty good mix of race and even nationality on the site. I hope as you go along you will see this and agree. I had a similar comment via email from an African-American woman once, and she sent me a retraction several weeks later. We ... Read More
2nd January 2014 11:15am
Platt (Boise, US) says...
Daily Prayer has been my home page for some time. As part of my morning routine, it refreshes and refocuses me. Thank you so much for this wonderful gift, and may you all have a wonderful, blessed New Year.
31st December 2013 10:24am
dorothy myers (harrisburg, US) says...
Smile I really enjoy the daily devotional and bible study. I get up early before work and start my day with them. I work in a rought place that lacks spirituality but this keeps me focused. Im blessed to have found you guys
31st December 2013 9:01am
mary Pregler (Glen Saint Mary, US) says...
To Florence and Deacon Dottie There are many of us who struggle with our concentration, and maybe that's just the point. We try to create something, rather then letting it well up from within.I meditate every day for about 20 to 30 minutes.Like Mason says when outside thoughts come into your mind let them float right on by. Do not evaluate them, or you. Satan loves it when he can get your mind off track. And remember that the Lord loves it when we are willing to take time out just for Him. ... Read More
31st December 2013 8:54am
Mason Barge says...
I don't know if I mentioned this, but I actually took a course in Transcendental Meditation when I was young. Of course, I didn't really understand that I was participating in some sort of Hindu holy ritual! Or maybe, at the time, I didn't care. But it is where I learned the technique; I don't use the mantra my guru gave to me, since for all I know it means "I worship a six-headed snake statue", but instead replace it with a simple word like "Jesu". I ... Read More
31st December 2013 10:36am
Sandra (Columbus, US) says...
Enjoy and look forward every morning to the message and prayers provided by Daily Prayer Daily Devotional. Thank you for enriching my life and the lives of those I share your message with.
Happy New Year and Blessing to all!
31st December 2013 8:05am
Patrick (Germantown, US) says...
Thank you for caring the baton and adding the focus on mediation. "GOD has truely blessed those whom has placed in the company of good people."
31st December 2013 7:54am
Kim (Winder, US) says...
I send a daily morning text to my Sisters in Christ every morning, something inspirational from this website! They love it, say it's a great way to start the day1 Thank you!
31st December 2013 6:12am
Florence Yu-Pe Benito (Cebu City, Philippines) says...
I live such a hectic life....and so I believed....that even when I read the Daily Prayer, I unconsciously allow other thoughts to get in the way.. The meditation really helps a lot. Smile
30th December 2013 9:00pm
Deacon Dottie (Lincoln, US) says...
Florence. I have the same thing happen. When it does I make myself rethink the last phrase I read or a word to dwell on. I Do believe it is me still trying to be in charge. When I let go and let God it becomes easier. Now we know there were two of us that this happen to so it will help us keep focused on God and HIS words. Peace and Happy New Year from Lincoln Delaware US.
31st December 2013 7:55am
Rachael says...
Make that three of us... I like the addition of meditation. Happy New Year and God Bless you all (from Long Island).
31st December 2013 8:31am
Mason Barge says...
Make that four! I don't think I ever say the Lord's Prayer when I don't have to stop and resay something, because I realize I'm just spouting the words while my mind has moved on to something else.
31st December 2013 10:22am
Rachael says...
Make that three of us... I like the addition of meditation. Happy New Year and God Bless you all (from Long Island).
1st January 2014 6:53am
Patrick (Germantown, US) says...
I also agree with D and Mary; I do not meditate often enough. Thank you for the reminder and the encourgement.
30th December 2013 9:37am
mary Pregler (Glen Saint Mary, US) says...
I agree with D. Meditation is part of my prayer life. This afternoon when I meditate I will use the mustard seed as my starting point [hope] and watch it grow. The Lord always takes over and creates a masterpiece.
30th December 2013 8:40am
L. Hubbard says...
Love the analogy, planting a mustard seed in a cracked vessel. Many people come to mind... me included. Thank you.
30th December 2013 8:25am
D Malmberg (Clover, US) says...
I really liked the meditation you included with this morning's prayers. It was a nice addition.
30th December 2013 7:44am
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