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Daily Devotion for December 19, 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.
It's our favorite time of year -- time for some Christmas music! You would be surprised how hard it can be to find a good quality video of Christmas music sung for a Christian holy day rather than a secular holiday, but this a capella version by the Bach Choir is fantastic.
Prayer for the Morning
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Help with Our Troubles
O God, my help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the supplications of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner. Have mercy upon me, and deliver me from all the troubles and tribulations of life. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that all trials of this life are given by you for our chastisement, when we drift away from you and disobey your commandments, and thus for our salvation.
Deal not with me after my sins, I pray, but according to your measureless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness. Grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering, I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life, and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make me perfect in every good work to do his will, working in me that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.
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 139:1, 7-12
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies [praises] the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
Notes on the Scripture
This haunting setting of Purcell's Magnificat expounds its meaning far better than my meager words: