Daily Devotion for August 29, 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.
"For Each New Morning"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
I thank thee.
(From a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed me with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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.
Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.
Notes on the Scripture
The concept of bribing God is so ridiculous that it is funny, when you stop to think about it. Of course, it happens all the time. We attempt to strike a bargain: "God, just get me out of this and I promise I will never sin again". How many times and how many variations of this prayer have been said by all kinds and conditions of people? But it is absurd. You can't bribe God with promises of future good behavior. And moreover, such prayers are usually said to gain some kind of tangible reward, such as living through an ordeal, or not getting caught by the police or your parents or some other person who is going to punish you, or winning a game. These are not things God promises to anyone, saint or sinner.
The only time such a prayer might work is if we are asking for God's forgiveness, but it is not a bribe. It is good and right to promise God not to repeat sinful behavior, or at least to try, when you are praying for forgiveness; but God's forgiveness is, in effect, free for the asking. All you have to do is believe in Him, love Him, and ask for mercy in the name of Christ; it is God's grace that saves us from judgment, not our promises or even our past works.