Daily Devotion for July 16, 2010
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Peace
We thank you, Master and Lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. We appeal to You to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hate for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in them the fear of You and confirm in them love for one another. Extinquish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For You are our peace and to You we ascribe glory: to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be forever destroyed.
But you, O Lord, are exalted forever.
The Jail and the Earthquake (Part 2)
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
They answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.
Notes on the Scripture
Sometimes we get into bad habits. We get stuck in a rut. All of the spirit goes out of us and we don't seem to be able to find the power to change. Often we get obsessed with some way of life: a hobby, a way of living, a daily routine.
But the Bible shows us how God can make great changes occur in our life. Paul and Silas were thrown into a stone prison in Macedonia and their feet locked into stocks. Like a person who has been enslaved by obsession or habit, they were seemingly bound without hope of escape. But they did not despair. They prayed and sang hymns, and suddenly a great earthquake occurred. The very foundations of the prison were rocked, and Paul and Silas were set free.
We are capable of great changes in our lives. If you are in a rut you despise, there is a way out. If you are obsessed by work, or by physical fitness, or by watching television, or by a hobby, or by alcohol, or anything else, God will send a metaphorical earthquake into your life to free you from your shackles and knock down the prison walls of your mind. Prayer is the key to change. It will lead you to whatever help you need and give you the courage to change. The earthly prisons in which we may find ourselves cannot withstand the mighty hand of God.