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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Daily Devotion for October 5, 2017


<i>Temptation of St. Anthony Abbot</i>, by the Master of the Osservanza, ca. 1440.
Temptation of St. Anthony Abbot, by the Master of the Osservanza, ca. 1440. St. Anthony the Abbot (an Egyptian) is generally considered to be the founder and father of organized Christian monasticism. Here, he is tempted by the devil in the guise of a beautiful woman.

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.

Come you sinners, lost and lonely, Jesus’ blood can make you free.




Prayer for the Morning

May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ's name I pray,

Amen.

Prayer to Gain and Share Wisdom

Lord, there is so much that I don't know, and I ask you to inspire me with a thirst for knowledge. I pray, too, for wisdom and understanding that I may use my knowledge well. I give thanks for many people I have never met whose knowledge and understanding have been passed on to me. I ask that I may benefit from their work and experience and may contribute, in turn, to the well-being of others.

Amen.

To Lay My Suffering at Jesus' Feet

Lord Jesus, you call me to live every aspect of my life in your presence, and so I come before you as I am. With the myrrh that the wise men carried I bring, too, the pain and sorrow and suffering that I have experienced. I lay them before you because they are all part of who I am. I ask that good may come from whatever negative things happen to me, knowing that nothing can ever separate me from your love.

Amen.

Meditation

[Do I have a willingness to learn, even if it is something that disagrees with what I think?]


Dedication

Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,

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

Psalm 88:1-2 (NKJV)

O Lord, God of my salvation;
I cry out day and night before you.

Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!


Blue Latin Cross

1 John 5:16-21 (ESV)

The End of John’s Epistle

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life — to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.


Notes on the Scripture

John’s teaching gives an important example of the preceding verses concerning our confidence that, when we pray in accordance with the will of Christ, God will hear us and grant our requests.

The passage, with all its talk about sin that leads to death and sin that does not lead to death, can be very confusing. John does not clarify what sin leads to death. One interpretation is that he is talking about mortal sin and venial sin, a concept important to Catholics, but not adopted by most Protestants. Surely, not finding Christ at all (John 14:6) or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31) are sins that “lead to death.”

O

ne apparent meaning of this passage is that we cannot necessarily save other peoples’ souls through our own prayers. Every person is responsible for their own salvation, at least in the first instance: a person finds salvation and eternal life only by faith in Jesus Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit. We can and should forgive them, for it is not for us to judge; and we might ask God to forgive them, but we have no confidence that our prayer will be granted.

On the other hand, where a brother or sister in Christ has sinned, we may pray for their forgiveness, even if they do not; Christ will hear our prayer and grant it. This solves a big problem; we do not have to engage in some sort of salvation game at the time of our death. A great many Christians die suddenly, or with sins they do not realize or have not confessed, but these sins will not lead to death. God will hear and respond to a prayer that another’s sin be forgiven, in many cases.

There are theologians and even lay persons who will tell you, with absolute certainty, what this passage means. But they disagree with one another, often radically, and sometimes (unfortunately) heatedly. Personally, I cannot find a definitive answer within the four corners of the Bible. But as a more practical and meaningful matter, one can say with certainty that we should pray that others’ sins, and especially sins against us ourselves, be forgiven. (See Acts 7:54-60.)

To quote the great Matthew Henry: “We should pray for others, as well as for ourselves, beseeching the Lord to pardon and recover the fallen, as well as to relieve the tempted and afflicted. And let us be truly thankful that no sin, of which any one truly repents, is unto death.”



<i>Saint Anthony Abbot Tormented by Demons</i>, by Sano di Pietro, ca. 1440.
Saint Anthony Abbot Tormented by Demons, by Sano di Pietro, ca. 1440. More ordeals for the founder of Christian monasticism!

Daily Inspiration

“My Time is My Own!”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, . . . so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.



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