Daily Devotion for December 10, 2010
15 Days 'Til Christmas
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.
Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.
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 my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I 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.
May 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 flow 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.
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.
Psalm 136 (New International Version)
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
We were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind.
We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
Notes on the Scripture
Like Paul in Romans 8:20-21, Isaiah uses the image of pregnancy to describe our state as human beings. Here, Isaiah uses pregnancy to symbolize the pains we take, and the pain we suffer, in order to try to deliver ourselves from the destruction we slowly undergo in our bodies and lives while we are on earth. We try and try, but all we accomplish is to give birth to the wind; eventually our earthly accomplishments blow away, invisibly, leaving no sign behind.
But our lives are not in vain, because the earth is pregnant with our dust. The earth will give birth to the dead; a symbolic morning will come and the dew will be God's light, which is to say, Christ Jesus. Remember the beginning of Chapter 1 of John: "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." When we pass away from this life, it is as if the earth is pregnant with us; and we will be born into God's bliss when the light of Christ shines upon the earth once more.