Daily Devotion for July 20, 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.
Elvis doing his part to preach against anger.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
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 hatred 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 one for another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For You are our peace and to You we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
We pray, Lord our God, for all those who suffer from acts of war. We pray for your peace and your mercy in the midst of the great suffering that people are now inflicting on each other. Accept the prayers of your Church, so that by your goodness peace may return to all peoples. Hear us and have mercy on us.
Lord our God, remember and have mercy on our brothers and sisters who are involved in every civil conflict. Remove from their midst all hostility, confusion and hatred. Lead everyone along the path of reconciliation and peace, we pray You, hear us and have mercy on us.
Let all believers turn aside from violence and do what makes for peace. By the strength of your mighty arm save your people and your Holy Church from all evil oppression; hear the supplications of all who call to You in sorrow and affliction, day and night. Merciful God, let their lives not be lost, we pray You, hear us and have mercy.
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
A Quote from Buddha
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing itóhe will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Notes on the Scripture
I included a quote from Buddha today. Of all the non-Christian religions, Buddhism is by far the closest to Christianity in its teachings about daily life and behavior. As Christians, we must reject some of its fundamental tenets — most basically, its failure to grasp the concept of salvation through God's grace. But many of Buddah's teachings lend a practical aspect to behavior that is also taught by Christ and the disciples.
Both Buddha and James tell us to avoid anger. Like so many Christian teachings, following a path for spiritual reasons gives us benefit in our earthly life.
As Christians, we must avoid anger because it is usually sinful in itself, and even more strongly, the emotion of anger leads to even more sin. It is called one of the "seven deadly sins". James goes so far as to call it "moral filth".
But taming our anger also helps us live better and longer lives on earth. Scientific studies have proven that a person's subject's hostility ratings (how hostile and irritable they tend to act towards others) predict heart disease -- the number one cause of death -- more accurately than other known risk factors including cholesterol, alcohol intake, cigarette smoking and being overweight.
It is in this respect that Buddha's sayings ring so true. To become angry, to act out of hatred, harms the person who has the anger. We may do even more harm to someone else, but have no doubt, by acting on your anger you hurt yourself in the physical world as well as in the world of the spirit. People who give free reign to their anger live short and miserable lives.
(There is a good secular article on anger and anger management at MentalHelp.net.)