Daily Devotion for February 17, 2017
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.
The ethereal “Benedictus” from Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D.
From the traditional (Catholic) Latin Mass.
Prayer for the Morning
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
For All Who Sin
Mighty Jesus, you are the radiant dawn bringing life into the world, and yet there are those who would hide in the shadows and under cover, in the caves of the flesh, telling each other that the darkness is good, and easy, and comfortable. I pray dear God that you will send your Holy Spirit to all of them, to show them that the fearful jaws of their insecurity become toothless when seen in the sunshine of your Word, and that they might see the true nature of evil, which hides with them in the dark, to keep them company and whisper lies in their ears.
For those who have seen the light and shrunk from it, I pray that they may be restored, and that you will ease the terrible pain that drove them to hide from you, that they might be assured of forgiveness if they will only repent. Lighten the minds of those who have been warped by anger, by bitterness, by selfishness, or by the allure of glittering bangles of wealth or status or pride.
Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, where I have strayed; and bring your light to all our brothers and sisters, that they may seek your mercy also, and find your perfect and eternal life.
And now let me go forth praising you, O Lord, with all my heart, telling of all your wonders, with my words and in my actions. I will be glad and rejoice in you this day. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.
~ C S Lewis
Psalm 13 (NKJV)
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
4 Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5 But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Notes on the Scripture
This is one of the most clearly “musical” psalms. It very much in the style of David, with two or three phrases in each verse, which are related in some way: the second might restate or amplify the first (as in line one), or might have a causal relationship (as in the last line).
salm 13 is divided in two distinct parts. The first two verses bewail God's absence in the singer's life, and the terrible consequences. The final verse rejoices in God's gifts and reaffirm the poet's devotion and thanks. Thus the feeling expressed is a movement from desperation to hope and thanks, something that many of us have experienced in our prayer.
Who of us has not felt that God has hidden His face from him? We might even cast blame on God when things are going badly. It is a common temptation, when trouble lasts long, to think that it will last always.
But God allows us to suffer no more than He himself, for Christ was beaten bloody and tortured to death. What will we ever suffer that is worse? Thereafter, God's most faithful children suffered likewise, and all of the apostles except John were beaten, stoned, imprisoned, murdered. They also lived lives of poverty; they were the equivalent of modern minimum wage earners.
But we let life and society raise our expectations, and then we blame God when they are not met. And yet, this is the very time to strengthen our faith. “Those who have long been without joy,” said Matthew Henry, “begin to be without hope.” Yet, we know that life will deal us terrible blows; our faith not that we will avoid sorrow, but that we will overcome it. Life is a trial. It is a test of our resolved to find God and eternal life.
Thus, says the Psalmist, I will trust in God and rejoice at my salvation, for it is faith that will sustain us through any ordeal we may face, if we only hold fast. Life itself is a gift from God, and nothing that is taken was not first given.