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Daily Devotion for July 27, 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 takes us to a Russian Orthodox Church, for a profound and moving rendition of the Lord’s Prayer.
Sunday Morning Invocation
God of glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell: fill my spirit, and the spirit of all the people of your universal church, with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned, and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Sunday Prayer of Praise to God's Glory
Heavenly God, you are the King eternal, immortal and invisible. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God; the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In times long past did you lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands: Yet they will perish, but you will endure; yes, all of them will grow old like a garment, as a coat you will change them, and they will be changed; but you are the same, and your years will have no end.
You alone are God, and do not change; and because of this, we may hope to be preserved. Are you not from eternity, O Lord our God, our Holy One? The everlasting God, even the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, who does not faint nor grow weary? There is no searching out your understanding, mighty Lord, but by our praise we may glorify your Holy Name, now and all our lives.
Penitential Prayer of St. Ambrose of Milan
O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake,
Doxology (Traditional Anglican)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
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.
Whatsoever we have over-loved, idolized, and leaned upon, God has from time to time broken it, and made us to see the vanity of it; so that we find the readiest course to be rid of our comforts is to set our hearts inordinately upon them.
~ John Flavel
1 Corinthians 14:26-33 (ESV)
What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
Notes on the Scripture
Meetings of the early church in Corinth must have been a madhouse. At least several people would talk at the same time, some of them giving personal revelations, some of them giving prophesy or teachings, while some would speak in tongues and, apparently, more than one at a time, with no attempt to “translate”. Today's passage has little to do with theology. Someone with authority simply needed to set down some guidelines of basic group meeting protocol.
What has changed, and possibly for the worse, is that in these early Christian meetings, the congregation did not sit passively, without any active participation except to sing an occasional hymn (in most cases, barely audibly) and to pray en masse following a printed text, or listen to someone else pray. It is easy to see that individual action by personal initiative would be unworkable in a large congregation. But unless we have a smaller “Sunday School” class, or a prayer group, or something of that nature, we can go our entire lives without ever witnessing to our faith in public.
This is clearly a mistake. Faith in Christ cannot be delegated to a professional worshiper, not completely. If we do not speak our hearts and our faith in public, as an individual, we lose much. There is nothing that reinforces our faith so powerfully as giving witness, nothing that will validate our beliefs and give us a deep feeling of community. We hide our thoughts from the entire world. And we never feel the human support of someone saying “Amen” to our testimony.
This is an odd sentiment to express on an internet devotional site where, by the very nature of the medium, we cannot interact with each other face-to-face. We encourage everyone to register, log in, and say whatever moves them in the Comments section of Daily Inspiration (link below).