Daily Devotion for April 13, 2011
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.
This haunting hymn is usually sung at Christmas, but is equally appropriate to Lent.
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.
Lenten Verse -- Joel 2:12
Return to me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
Jesus' Final Prayer [Part 3]
"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Notes on the Scripture
John 17 consists of three prayers Jesus said aloud just before his arrest, summing up his teaching: One for himself, one for his disciples, and one for all the people of the world. This final prayer — although not Jesus' last words, his last teaching — is a prayer specifically for those who had not yet heard his word, for all the people of the world who would come to him through his word. In short, it was a prayer he said for you and me.
Without Christ's word, we would not know God. As he frequently said, "You have not known the Father; I know him. (John 8:55) Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:15) But he promises to include future generations in this knowledge; he tells God, and us, that he will "continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them." All we have to do is follow his dictate, "Abide in my love." (John 15:9)
But rather than leave it up to others to pass down his salvation, Jesus leaves a prayer directly addressed for us.
It is like an old man who knows something special, something unique. He knows that he will have grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many generations, who will need what he has. So on his deathbed, he writes a letter to them, even though they are not yet born. He wants to send a message addressed directly to them, so that they will know that his love for them did not die with him. He wants to talk to them first-hand. And he wants to tell each of them, individually, his message, so that they will know that they have a relationship with him.