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Daily Devotion for April 24, 2014



Denial of Saint Peter by Caravaggio, ca. 1610.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.

Gospel legend Milton Biggham performs his signature song, The Lord is Blessing Me.


Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Father, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You have truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.

Amen.

Meditation

[This blessed day.]


Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.

Amen.

Benediction

And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father's boundless love, with the Holy Spirit's favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.

Amen.


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


Devotional Carving of St. Peter

Behind the Lines

“Remember, you are in enemy territory.”

~ C.S. Lewis


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 26:69-75 (ESV)

Peter Denies Jesus

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.”

And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.”

After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.”

And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.


Notes on the Scripture

Matthew nicely intersperses the narrative of Christ's arrest and trial with descriptions of Peter's activities. When Jesus was first arrested, the apostles ran away. Their fear was well-grounded: standing before them was a large force of armed men whose sole intention was to stop Christ; and with them was Judas, who knew all of the apostles by sight and was acting as their spotter.

Rooster from illuminated Tanakh

But Peter doesn't go far; he follows the arrest party and eventually decides to get as close as he can, sitting in the courtyard of the high priest with the soldiers. The moment of decision comes with his first denial. Once he has made up his mind to deny his closeness to Christ, he does so with vigor. Each denial is stronger than the one before.

The people who discuss Peter's “cowardice” miss the point. Peter was no coward. He had shown his willingness to fight and die for Jesus; yet Jesus stopped him. Peter and the other apostles did not fully comprehend the chain of events that God had ordained for our salvation; it is still extraordinary today. Christ foresees and God intends their confusion, e.g. John 14:17.

Thinking of Peter in terms of bravery and cowardice ignores the critical fact: It was not part of God's plan that the apostles should die with Christ; they were intended to live, to receive the Holy Spirit and spread the Gospel to the world.

Their conduct during these events points up the difference between a man who believes in God, and a man in whom God dwells. From the time Christ is arrested and taken from them, until the Pentecost, they are without God's direct presence. They scatter and hide, in fear of their lives. There is no shame in their self-preservation; It is God's plan.

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:25-26)

The Bible does not inform us why Christ told Peter that he would deny him three times. But we might infer that Christ, who loved Peter, was preparing him for an emotional ordeal, so that Peter would not feel so guilty about the denial when it happened. Both Peter and we are intended to understand the difference between what we accomplish with our natural gifts, and what we accomplish with the power of God. For when the Holy Spirit does come, Peter is transformed into utter fearlessness; he will stand before the Sanhedrin, just as Christ did, testifying to Christ's divinity and calling them a pack of murderers and hypocrites to their very faces. (Acts 4:5-12; Acts 5:27-33)



endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 15:3 (ESV): For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.


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Comments (15)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of April 24, 2014 | Daily Prayer
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Les Brown (Brownsville, US) says...
Unsure I am a bit puzzled. You seem to imply that the disciples first received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Did I interpret you right? John 20:22 seems to suggest to me that Holy Spirit was given to them while they were still in the locked room after Resurrection. Is my "reading" faulty? Mason, I truly appreciate your work. I have made Daily Prayer as part of my morning devotions. Thank you. YBIC, Les Brown
25th April 2014 2:16pm
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Margaret Flynn (Stanley, Canada) says...
I do not seem to have access to the poll sight and so will post a comment.I LOVE THE MUSIC SELECTIONS!!Many new doors have been opened to me ,and I often spend time listening to other selections by the same artists.The music playes an important part in morning worship. Thank you Mason!!!
24th April 2014 11:06am
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Karen (US) says...
I wasn't able to find the link for the poll - however, I enjoy traditional Catholic music along with modern Christian rock!
24th April 2014 10:42am
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Eva Salloum (Bayshore, Trinidad-Tobago) says...
Thank you for all the music! I would like to hear John Michael Talbot's music on the site if possible.
24th April 2014 9:53am
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Mason Barge says...
We have had John Michael Talbot before - Holy Is His Name, I think. It has been awhile, but you'll see him. There is a LOT of music out there.
24th April 2014 6:41pm
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Tuckwell (Coldstream, Canada) says...
I voted and tried to leave a comment but the space is so small that I only got to about 5 words before it ended. I do enjoy the diversity of music but have yet to see any contemporary groups such as Third Day, or others that have some low key "rock" songs.
24th April 2014 9:46am
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Mason Barge says...
As to the short comment box, you can always use "Contact Us" to suggest music. In fact, we really appreciate suggestions. As to contemporary artists, you have to understand, after a certain point in life, "contemporary" covers increasingly long spans of time. I would have said we do contemporary music at least twice a week! There is a certain limit to how much in the way of heavy drums/electric guitar I want to use on the site. But I plugged Third Day into Youtube and loved ... Read More
24th April 2014 6:52pm
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Phil True (Richmond VA, US) says...
I often listen to the music. I prefer choirs--though some soloists are fine--and the great songs of the church. The voices of a great choir seem more inspiring that the simple "praise" songs that seem to appeal to younger listeners. Folk artists and trios are a nice alternative, as well. Smile
24th April 2014 8:53am
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Mason Barge says...
I'm probably more in your camp, although I like some really odd things, like old black gospels groups. There is a certain genre of rather tuneless worship videos, with nothing but lyrics in the video, that we don't use. That's about the only thing I don't use out of personal taste. As you see from just these few comments, the range of likes and dislikes is really wide. We used to have a lot more "classical" music until I ran the first poll and found it was the least ... Read More
24th April 2014 7:01pm
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mary Pregler (Glen Saint Mary, US) says...
I love the diversity of music that you present. I usually save it for last, it helps me to settle down, and head into meditation. Today I especially liked the serenity prayer, its one of my favorites, and the Benediction was beautiful. I used the idea of being in union with Christ as a lead into meditation. I am in Him, and He is in me!
24th April 2014 8:30am
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Doug (US) says...
Though I am 67 I like the newer, more modern Christian songs, not the old hymns or old gospel songs which to me are boring and hard to focus on the words. In fact, when I see the song selected as fitting into this "old hymn" category, I don't even play it.
24th April 2014 8:13am
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Carol says...
Possibly the music voting response is 0.1% because it is not apparent where one goes on the site to vote. If we are voting by comment, I extremely enjoy the variety of the music posted.
24th April 2014 7:56am
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Mason Barge says...
If you are registered and signed in, you should see a blue box at the bottom of the prayers section.
24th April 2014 8:09am
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Mason Barge says...
Oh, it won't work if there is anything other than "dailyprayer.us/daily_devotion.php" in the URL. If there is something that looks like "dailyprayer.us/daily_devotion.php>day=1777", or a question mark with anything after it, the box will disappear.
24th April 2014 8:13am
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Kathryn (Okemos, US) says...
Yes, I listened to the music today and I loved it. Very uplifting. I enjoy all different types of music and am happy with the variety you provide us every day.
Thank you Mason!
24th April 2014 6:35am
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Beverly (Nashville, US) says...
Our Lord is the source of courage. There is no better example than the transformation of the apostles. Thank you for this clear reminder.
21st April 2014 8:42am
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T (Baltimore, US) says...
What an absolute delight to see the gratitude prayer by E.E. Cummings ! Thank you Mason !
21st April 2014 8:14am
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