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Daily Devotion for August 24, 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 of Metropolitan Philaret
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love.
Grant me the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that I may be filled with a loving reverence toward You.
the Spirit of Piety that I may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know You and know myself and grow in holiness;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that I may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may aspire to the things that last forever;
Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
Community of Prayer
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.
St. Peter Monastary (Simonpetra), one of twenty Orthodox monastaries on the holy Mt. Athos, an independent state in Greek Macedonia.
A fresco from one of the monastaries.
Three-handed Virgin, the most sacred icon of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is roughly 1000 years old and is housed in the Hilander, one of the 20 monastaries on Mt. Athos.
Note on the Scripture for Today
About once a week, we try to present a setting that is different from our normal range of worship in the English speaking world. I am picturing, in my mind, a first-time visitor to this site today thinking "what in the world is this"? If you are that person, please understand that this haunting Orthodox chant is not the norm for our daily devotionals.
I put the music just above the text, with the suggestion that you read the psalm while listening to it chanted by the monks. The facing pictures add to the theme -- I suppose we are having Mt. Athos Day!
A Greek Orthodox setting of Psalm 50 sung by monks on Mt. Athos
From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.
He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people:
"Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah
"Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, your God.
I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,
for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
But to the wicked, God says: "What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips?
You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.
When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers.
You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit.
You speak continually against your brother and slander your own mother's son.
These things you have done and I kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face.
Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue:
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."