Daily Devotion for October 25, 2009
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
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. 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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33
Christ and Peter Walk on the Water
[After feeding the multitude], Jesus had the disciples board the boat and go ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. When he had dispersed the crowd, he went up the mountain by himself to pray; and he was there alone when evening fell.
By then, the boat was well out to sea. An unfavorable wind arose; waves threatened to swamp the boat. In the fourth watch of the night, Christ came to them, walking on the sea. The sight of him, walking on the waters, upset the disciples so that they cried out for fear, saying, "It is a ghost." But Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Do not be afraid; it is I. Be cheerful."
Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it is you, invite me to come out upon the water."
And he said, "Come."
So Peter climbed down from the boat and walked upon the water toward Jesus. But he became afraid when the wind freshened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately held out his hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "Your faith is weak; why did you doubt me?"
When they returned to the boat, the wind died down; and the men in the boat worshipped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
Comment on the Scripture
The Bible tells us about Peter's struggle with his faith in several different passages. He was the greatest of the apostles, the rock upon which Christ founded his church. Ultimately, he gave his life for his belief. In today's passage, he is the only person in the boat whose faith is sufficient to impel him to step out of the boat, onto a stormy sea. And yet, even Peter's faith fails him. He becomes afraid and begins to sink.
Most Christians have crises of faith, periods in which we have doubts of one kind or another. We were reminded of this once again, in August, 2007, when the letters of Mother Theresa were published. She was a beacon of Christian compassion and strength for the 21st century; but her writings show periods of profound questioning and near-despair. If persons of such great faith as Peter and Mother Theresa have these struggles, who are we to think we should be free of them?
The point is, we should not fall apart with hysteria and guilt when we struggle with our faith. Stronger Christians than us have had these problems. Like any sin, it can be confessed and will be forgiven. Both the Bible and modern life teach us that our struggles are human, part and parcel of our Christian life. We can pray that the Holy Spirit will help us renew our faith, and pray in the name of Christ for forgiveness, and be at ease, confident in Christ's ultimate victory over sin.