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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Daily Devotion for February 21, 2010



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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 for the Morning

Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.

May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his countenance and come to us

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us,

that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.

Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.

God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.


Community of Prayer

Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.


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

Starting Our New Year Project

We ran a poll a few weeks ago, and the response was unanimous to read the story of the first Hebrew kings — Saul, David, and Solomon are especially subjects of curiosity. So, to celebrate the New Year, we are going to begin reading 1 Samuel, as any account of Saul and David cannot be understood except in the context of the great prophet behind them.

It all begins with a man named Elkanah and his two wives, Peninnah and Hannah . . . .

1 Samuel: 1-20 (abridged)

The Birth of Samuel

There was a man whose name was Elkanah. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. And because the Lord had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.

Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord's temple. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk.

He said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."

"Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."

Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went home. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him."

Notes on the Scripture

The story of the great Hebrew kings begins with the conception and birth of Samuel. We don't really know who Eli was or where he came from. When this ancient book begins, Eli is fully grown and an important priest. He seems to be a reasonably conscientious man, but the Hebrew nation (as will be seen) is in bad shape, and Eli's two sons are ne'er-do-wells who inherit the power of the priesthood on their father's coattails, rather than due to any merit.

The name "Samuel" apparently meant something close to "heard from God".

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