arrow to previous dayarrow to next day
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Daily Devotion for December 18, 2017


<i>The Angel Appearing to Zacharias</i>, by William Blake, ca. 1800.
The Angel Appearing to Zacharias, by William Blake, ca. 1800.

Prayers

Scripture

188 people in our community are currently praying with you.

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.



Advent Prayer

Oh Lord Jesus, I come to you this morning, in this season of waiting for the feast of your birth, to ask your blessing on myself and all those in the world who wait for you. We wait now for your return, as the Jews of old waited for their Messiah; yet now we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us. But we know that Christmas will come, just as the prophets knew that you would come in the flesh; and we know that you will come, in clouds of glory to judge the living and the dead, and to take your faithful with you to a place where no tear will be shed.

We are like children waiting for their presents, sometimes. Help us not to be impatient, Lord Christ, but to wait as you have told us, showing the fruits of the spirit in every thought and work: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. And let us always have complete confidence in your return. Come Lord Jesus.

Amen.

Prayer for Family and Friends

Blessed are you, loving Father, for all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are you for giving me family and friends to be with me in times of joy and sorrow, to help me in days of need, and to rejoice with me in moments of celebration.

Father, I praise you for your son Jesus, who knew the happiness of family and friends, and in the love of your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.

Amen.

Meditation

[Making contact with someone this Christmas.]


Closing

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked will I return. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


<i>The Angel Gabriel Announcing the Birth of John the Baptist</i>,  by Bonifazio Veronese, ca. 1550.
The Angel Gabriel Announcing the Birth of John the Baptist, by Bonifazio Veronese, ca. 1550.

We Need the Promise

We must look to a baby born not with fanfare, pomp, and circumstance, but to poor parents in desperate times. Joseph and Mary, and the Baby Jesus for that matter, were real historical figures. But in a way, Joseph and Mary extend beyond themselves, beyond their particular place and time. They represent all of us. We are all poor and living in desperate times. Some of us are better than others at camouflaging it. Nevertheless, we are all poor and desperate, so we all need the promise bound up in that baby.

~ from “Peace: Classic Readings for Christmas” by Stephen Nichols.

Blue Latin Cross

Luke 1:18-25 (ESV)

The Conception of John the Baptist

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”



Notes on the Scripture

The news is brought by the angel Gabriel. The lore of angels and archangels is charming, but most of what we think we know about them are legends rather than Biblical fact. In the Old Testament, especially in the older parts, what we might call angels are simply manifestations of God the Father. For example, the “angel” with whom Jacob wrestled (see Genesis 32) was actually identified only as a “man”, whom Jacob later identified as the Lord. Hosea, speaking of Jacob, calls the entity with whom Jacob wrestled both “God” and “the Messenger”.

Angel Gabriel, Ferrari

Much later than Jacob, though, Daniel encounters Gabriel (Daniel 8), who is not called an angel, but a man. Still, this Gabriel is a being separate from God Himself (in fact, in Daniel 8, Daniel can hear God giving Gabriel orders). And in Daniel 9, Daniel says that Gabriel “flies swiftly” — perhaps the only Scriptural basis for angels being depicted with great wings.

Cherubim and seraphim, on the other hand, appear frequently, in Genesis and in the more florid apocalyptic visions, especially those of Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Revelation of St. John the Divine. They bear little resemblance to the angels in paintings and popular literature. For example, Ezekiel's cherubim have four faces (only one of them human), four wings, and feet like a calf. Isaiah's seraphs are fiery six-winged creatures.

As for archangels, only one is named in the Protestant Bible, the archangel Michael, and he is termed such only in a passing reference in the Epistle of Jude. Raphael appears as “one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord” in Tobit 12:15, which is part of the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, but is part of the Protestant Apocrypha.

If you are now thoroughly confused — well, actually, confusion is the proper result of education on the subject. People who think they “understand” angels are kidding themselves. There is no nice, neat hierarchy of angels laid out consistently in the Bible; it is an invention of early and medieval scholars, trying to make the Bible more understandable and available to the ignorant and miserable people of the Dark Ages.

But we do know that there is a benign and divine being named Gabriel, who is different from God but stands in His presence, who Luke calls an “angel,” and who carried His word in person to Zechariah and Mary. And there is no reason not to depict him as a beautiful man with wings, radiant in a white robe.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“ Expecting The Unexpected ”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Romans 8:18: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.


About Daily Prayer


Follow us on Facebook
Join the Daily Prayer Group.


If you are new to Daily Prayer, welcome. This page provides a non-denominational, Bible-based devotion every day, including prayers, Scripture, Bible study, music, and art, designed to be usable for worship and the deepening of faith by any person who confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

We hope you will take a look around at some of the features. Registration is not necessary, although if you do register, you will be greeted by name and be able to record your scores on our Daily Bible Quiz, Match-a-Verse, and Memorize Favorite Bible Verses features.

We do not email anything, except replies to emails from readers. Registration asks for an email address as a means of verifying that people are real, but this is kept completely private and never used.

“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon





Comments (1)

Topic: Devotion for Day of December 18, 2017 | Daily Prayer
Facebookdel.icio.usStumbleUponDiggGoogle+Twitter
Gravatar
Mason says...
I got an email from "Sarah" at yahoo.com with an incorrect email address. Sarah, I am praying for you. If you want a reply, please resend your address.

And everyone, please be careful to provide a valid email if you contact us. It makes me so sad not to be able to respond to someone.
17th December 2017 12:23pm
Gravatar
Andrea Flannery (Saratoga Springs -NY, US) says...
Beautifully written Ann. We just returned from a Christmas cantata, where O Holy Night brought tears to my eyes (again) in realization of how much love God bestowed on us.
16th December 2017 4:40pm
Gravatar
Kathy Thompson (US) says...
Today’s music selection....does not get any better than that! The amazing power of the Grace of God. Thank you!
16th December 2017 10:10am
Page 1 of 1

Add Comment

Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Dec 17, 2017 were:
Norman Daniels (12)
Tom Kraft (10)
randall martin (10)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)

Our Community Around the World: Visitors July 1, 2009 - January 1, 2018


US  27,351,090
PH  2,536,471
CA  1,853,222
UK  1,004,655
AU  226,003
MY  65,993
ZA  51,385
SG  49,058
NG  44,005
IN  43,546
AE  33,122
SA  29,493
TT  29,087
KE  27,995
NZ  48,220
BB  25,751
JM  20,844
FJ  17,844
KY  16,993
CN  16,385
DE  14,541
HK  12,325
KR  11,058
GH  10,924
DM  10,005
IT  10,002
FR  9,455
TZ  9,220
BM  8,941
BS  8,277
MW  7,459
ID  7,441
LC  5,995
ZW  5,478
GU  5,759
PK  5,589
CZ  5,325
CO  5,286
UG  5,459
HN  4,555
VC  4,106
QA  4,008
MX  3,569
KW  3,592
BR  3,421
NL  3,356
TH  3,225
BZ  2,994
BW  2,653
OM  2,551
BG  2,547
BO  2,420
EG  3,991
CH  4,560
NA  2,006
ES  2,245
AW  1,818
PR  9,258
LK  2,644
IE  2,546
IL  2,116
GY  1,935
ET  1,839
TW  1,832
CM  1,831
BE  1,674
DK  3,945
LB  1,443
ZM  1,209