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Daily Devotion for July 31, 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.
Psalm 67, sung by the Westminster Cathedral Choir
"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.
Prayer for Peace
We thank you, master and lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. We appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hate for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in them the fear of you and confirm in them love for one another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,
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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Paul's Third Journey
Paul in Troas
Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.
But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him." Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.
Notes on the Scripture
If you have ever thought that your church services lasted a long time, this Scripture might change your mind. Paul's sermon starts at supper and runs until midnight. He was a world-class talker.
And his little congregation was only human; a long sermon, after supper, certainly put more than one listener to sleep. But Eutychus has the bad fortune to fall out a window from the third floor, thereby becoming immortalized in the Bible for going to sleep during a sermon. Luckily, he either did not die or was restored to life by Paul, so we can have a chuckle about it. Paul's sermon nearly bored one listener to death!
This story also reminds us of the sense of community that has been so diluted in much of the modern world, especially in larger cities. Before radio and television, when we were not bombarded with entertainment, people really did know their neighbors better. Modern technology, especially in the area of communication, is a wonderful thing, but there is a cost in terms of community. It is worthwhile to make the effort to know your neighbors better. Weeknight church events are a wonderful way to do this.