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Daily Devotion for September 6, 2017
Daily Prayer’s Eighth Anniversary
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.
By what I can't see and what lies before me.
Then Jesus comes, and he says,
“My child I'm here, hold on.”
When the dark night comes around,
And loneliness and emptiness invade my heart,
And there's no one to guide me,
Jesus comes, and he says, “my child, hold on”.
Hold on through the dark side,
Hold on though the week is too long,
My grace is a vision for thee.
He can take your life
And mold it into something new,
He took nothing,
and made something out of my life.
It's yours to control,
I give you my heart and my soul,
I'll take your will, never mine,
With treasure to find.
Give wisdom to choices I make
Along every path that I take,
So that when I complete my day,
“Well done,” you will say.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
Prayer of St. Basil the Great
O God and Lord of the Powers, and maker of all creation, who, because of your clemency and incomparable mercy, sent your only-begotten son and our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind, and with his venerable cross tore asunder the record of our sins, and thereby conquered the rulers and powers of darkness: Receive from me, a sinful person, O merciful Master, these prayers of gratitude and supplication, and deliver me from every destructive and gloomy transgression, and from all visible and invisible enemies who seek to injure me.
Nail down my flesh with fear of you. And do not let not my heart be inclined to words or thoughts of evil, but pierce my soul with your love, that always contemplating you, being enlightened by you, and discerning you, the unapproachable and everlasting Light, I may unceasingly confess my misdoings and show my gratitude to you: The eternal Father, with your only-begotten Son, and with your all-holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip us with every good thing that we may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse tells us that others who profess Christ, but have different beliefs than we do, are not our enemies?
Daily Prayer Anniversary
Technically, Daily Prayer has been publishing devotions online since the summer of 2008, but we first added music and commentary on the Scripture on August 31, 2009. This is “day 1” in our current filing system, so we decided to celebrate. The Scripture and Notes for today are a reprint of day 1. Unfortunately, we have no idea what the music was for that day, and there was no artwork.
Anyway, thanks to all who study and pray with us, every day or just occasionally. I don't know if any of the 150 or so people who read the first devotion are still with us, but we have grown to as many as 20,000 readers per day, and our Facebook site is now over 600,000. God bless us each and every one.
Psalm 1 (NKJV)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.
And he will be like a tree planted by the river of water, that brings forth fruit in its season; his leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper.
The ungodly are not so, but are like chaff carried away by the wind.
The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows those who follow the path of righteousness; but the path of the ungodly leads to death.
Notes on the Scripture
ne of the most wonderful things about Psalm 1 is the multiple meanings of the images in the first sentence. You can see a real person walking with a group who do not believe in God. Perhaps he is experiencing the natural human desire to be accepted by the group. Certainly, since he is walking in their “counsel”, he is being influenced by them. The psalm reminds us of the power (and danger) of peer-pressure. Trying to fit into a group can lead us into terrible mistakes, and yet, the desire to be accepted can feel overpowering.
In a second, more poetic sense, “walk” can mean “act” or “live”. The phrases “walk like a man” and “walk the walk” don’t refer to the way someone puts one foot in front of the other; it refers to the way they act, the way they lead their lives. In this sense, the psalmist warns us not to live our lives based on the advice of the ungodly.
Next, we get a physical description of a man or woman standing in a certain way. You can almost see a gang of juvenile delinquents slouching in a doorway or a gaggle of sexy girls gossiping. The immediate message is: We will be blessed if we do not look like that. Today, the spectacle of sin on parade is more visible, more seductive, and more widely accepted than ever. Drunken teenagers in Cancun are convinced to strip nearly naked and simulate sex for the amusement of spectators. Dad salivates when he sees a new Mercedes, Mom “has to have” that outrageously expensive purse.
The advice not to “stand in the way of a sinner”, however, mainly concerns a more abstract meaning of “stand”. We say we “stand” somewhere when we take a position, as in: “where do you stand on that?” A common call to action based on our beliefs is the term, “stand and be counted” — this rarely means that we should stand up so that somebody can count heads, but it is a vivid image of taking action based on a moral principle. So when the psalm urges us not to stand with sinners, it reminds us not to compromise our moral stance, just because other people are doing it. The greatest example: Christ himself was so violently unpopular that his own people killed him. And know that God understands how powerful others’ influence can be; even Peter could not stand with Christ.
The third phrase, “sits in the seat of the scornful”, gives a sharp picture of a person sitting high in a chair with a sneer on his face. He is contemptuous and disdainful of somebody else -- a cynic. Such people often gain approval and even adulation for their wit, their cleverness, their sophistication. We must remember Paul’s words in Ephesians 4: “As a follower of the Lord, I order you to stop living like stupid, godless people. Their minds are in the dark, and they are stubborn and ignorant and have missed out on the life that comes from God. They no longer have any feelings about what is right, and they are so greedy that they do all kinds of indecent things.”