Daily Devotion for May 4, 2014
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.
Our Virtual Sunday Church this week is a Greek Orthodox Monastery, singing possibly the greatest of all Gregorian chants, known in the West as Ordinarium Missae - 18 and, of course, anonymous. The only words are “Kyrie Eleison” (Lord have mercy), “Christe Eleison” (Christ have mercy), so well-entrenched that even Catholic and Anglican churches retain the original Greek.
Prayer of Ambrose of Milan
O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ's sake.
[Take away my heart of stone.]
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
For Eternal Life
O Merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life; whoever lives and believes in Him, will not die eternally, but have everlasting life. You have taught us, by the holy Apostle Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for those who sleep in him.
I humbly beseech you, O Father, to raise me and all who confess your holy name, from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we depart this life, we may rest in Him; and that, at the general Resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in your sight. I pray that you will give us that blessing, which your well-beloved Son will then pronounce to all who love and fear you, saying, Come, you blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this, I beseech you, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer.
Oh God who has made me, oh God who keeps me, oh God who will be my Lord through all eternity, shine down Your blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field; and may I keep You in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, during the coming week, and evermore.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
2 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (ESV)
Moses said to all Israel the words which the Lord commanded him:
“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
Notes on the Scripture
The temptations of the world are powerful, and we all succumb to them. When we go into “prayer mode” we might imagine a perfect life free from sin, and yet, it never seems to work out quite the way we hoped. We get angry whether we want to or not. We judge others. We allow ourselves to be influenced by others' judgment of us, in our actions, in our choices, in the very clothes we put on every morning. We covet. We want to be rich, powerful, and respected, and we allow these desires to influence our actions.
We do try, though. Probably nobody reading this page has not made decisions that ran contrary to their instincts, because of their love of Christ and desire to live as God wants us to live. Most of us do it every day. The very act of reading this page is such a decision, because all of us could be doing something else.
Have faith in God's grace, shown to us in the life, passion, and resurrection of his son. We are saved by grace from our many failures. We must make the choice spoken to the Jews by Moses, to hold fast to God, and we must make the choice every day. When we read the Scripture, when we pray, we make the choice to live. We choose something that we cannot accomplish, but it is the choice, not the accomplishment, that is the key, because making the choice to live is within our power. Once we choose to live, once we accept our baptism and make a daily effort to learn and live God's will, Christ becomes our advocate with the Father.