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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for September 7, 2014


God have mercy on me, a sinner | Luke 18

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

This old video of a parade in London in 1910 shows how much fire William Booth and the Salvation Army once had in their bellies. How we could use a man like that today!



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.

Amen.

Lord, Bless My Enemies

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Enemies have driven me into Thy embrace more than friends have.
Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.
Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.
Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Thy tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.
They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself.
They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments.
They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself.
They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.
Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.
Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.
Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.
Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.
Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.
Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of Thy garment.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:
so that my fleeing to Thee may have no return;
so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs;
so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;
so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;
so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;
ah, so that I may for once be freed from self deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.

Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.
One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.
It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.
Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies.
A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand.
But a son blesses them, for he understands. For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Amen.

Blessing

May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.

Amen.


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.



endless knot

While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight-I'll fight to the very end!

~ William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 5:22 (ESV)

I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.


Notes on the Scripture

Forgiveness [2] — Overcoming Anger

In Wednesday's Daily Devotion, we discussed the repeated times where Christ tells us that mercy will come to the merciful, and that God will “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Forgiving people wo do us wrong, however, is one of the hardest things we can do. Anger and hatred are powerful and intransigent. If we have been wronged, even if we can calm our anger, thinking back to the incident may make us angry all over again. We don't want to see them forgiven; we want to be vindicated. We want to see them judged and punished.

We may know, in our mind, that Christ told us to “cast out the beam in our own eye” rather than to criticize our neighbor for the splinter in his eye; for it is easier to see faults in others than in ourselves. We may also remember the exhortation, “judge not, lest ye be judged”. But although knowledge of these rules is critical, in practical terms our emotions can remain obdurate, unmoved by remembering these rules.

So how can we overcome these powerful emotional forces within us? For always, anger and hatred damage us; sometimes, much more than they damage their object. It is often said, that hatred is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. The first step to forgiveness, as with all things, is that we must try.

If we cannot bear to forgive someone in our hearts, the secret is the power of prayer. We *can* force ourselves to pray for the person we hate — even if we must start by only saying the words, without truly meaning them.

God loves all his people, and we can pray that the object of our anger is God's beautiful child, someone God loves as much as us, someone God hopes to redeem. If our enemy has taken money from us, we can pray that God will grant him riches — even if we're just saying the words, “going through the motions”. If she has stolen our husband, we can pray that God give her sexual satisfaction and a happy home life; if he is arrogant, we can pray that God give him honor and glory among men. It will hurt even to pray such a thing in silence, but it will begin to erode our own feeling of injury.

We can then pray that we forgive the person and try to say, in our prayers, all the things that might underlie the person's wrongdoing. We say all the things that caused the person to act as he did. Behind the terrible thing that he or she did to us, there is always pain, and loneliness, and insecurity, and fear.

Anyone who can manage to do this, day after day, night after night, will find the Holy Spirit working a powerful miracle in their heart. It is guaranteed. Seeking to forgive brings the very power of God into a person’s life.

And, amazingly, it does one no actual harm. People do not toss and turn at night nursing forgiven wrongs!



Crucifixion
The Crucifixion by Jan van Eyck ca. 1635.

Daily Inspiration

“Six Unopened Boxes”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Peter 3:10: Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.


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