Daily Devotion for August 23, 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
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 for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
BenedictionMay the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit fhow through my words and my actions. Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all who I may meet.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
A Renaissance fresco from the Court Chapel in Heidelberg, Germany
for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.
So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men,
Matthew 6:5-15 (The Lord's Prayer)
A Different Version from The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language
The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's bestó as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Notes on the Scripture
I realize that a lot of people will react (as I did) with surprise and even dismay at this translation of the Lord's Prayer. The Message is a very contemporary vernacular translation, and it sometimes seems absurd. But it is interesting to see what other people think and how they pray, and I certainly applaud the effort — it almost certainly appeals to people who might otherwise not read the Bible at all.
It was published in 2002, after nine years' of work, by a man named Eugene H. Peterson, a Presbyterian minister and professor of theology. Before I say anything else patronizing, I should point out that has probably forgotten more about Christianity and the Bible than I have ever known. He holds an M.A. in Semitic Languages and has authored a long list of respected works, as well as serving Christ as an active pastor.
Peterson wrote The Message to make the original meaning more understandable and accessible to the modern reader. As he himself put it:
This isn't a Bible I'm going to read as my primary source. I don't think the writing is very artful compared to earlier translations, and it seems to me to lose some of the meaning in the process of trying to be easily understood. If you can overcome your defensiveness (or even outrage), however, it actually can help in understanding some very dense passages, especially in the Epistles.