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Daily Devotion for August 7, 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.
"Now Thank We All Our God", Sunday Anthem from The Washington National Cathedral (Episcopal).
Prayer for the Morning (written by Metropolitan Philaret)
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
A Prayer of St. Basil the Great
I bless you, O God most high and Lord of mercies, who forever works great and mysterious deeds for me, glorious, wonderful, and numberless; who provides me with sleep as a rest from my infirmities and as a repose for my body tired by labor. I thank you that you have not destroyed me in my transgressions, but in your love toward mankind you have raised me up, as I lay in despair, that I may glorify your majesty.
I entreat your infinite goodness, enlighten the eyes of my understanding and raise up my mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open my mouth and fill it with your praise, that I may unceasingly sing and confess you, who is God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, the only-begotten Son, and the all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Now may the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon me, and give me peace, in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.
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.)
It is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.
~ William J. H. Boetcker
Acts 21:15-16 (ESV)
Paul Goes to Jerusalem
After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge. When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.
Notes on the Scripture — A Brief Rehash of Paul's Journeys
Paul's missionary journeys have ended. (He will take an interesting fourth journey, but it will not be voluntary!)
We haven't indicated routes on our maps, since they are primarily made to be used in connection with reading Acts, where the route is given in the text. But it is easy to see the general route.
All of the journeys began in Paul's home base, Antioch. Paul's first journey, made with Barnabas, was relatively short. He sailed to Cyprus, then went north into the center of Anatolia to Antioch (in Pisidia). There he founded churches in a number of small towns and cities, after which he returned to Antioch (the great city, in Syria). His route described a rough circle clockwise from Antioch.
The second journey lasted three years and was, really, the great missionary journey of Christianity. At the very start, Paul squabbled with Barnabas, who then made his own missionary journey to Cyprus; so Paul took Silas as his primary companion. The second journey described a great circle, this time moving counterclockwise. Paul traveled the entire diagonal length of Anatolia from Antioch to the port of Troas, visiting the churches founded in the first journey and starting new ones. (It was on this leg that he met Timothy.) He then crossed to northern Greece (Roman Macedonia) and traveled south to Corinth, starting churches all along the way.
From Corinth, he went to Athens for his remarkable encounter with the Greek philosophers. He then sailed home, stopping briefly at Ephesus.
The third and longest journey was largely similar in route to the second, with two differences. Instead of heading to Troas in northeastern Anatolia, Paul traveled due east to Ephesus, where he spent three years building up a major church in Ephesus itself. He also traveled to unnamed small towns in the area around Ephesus (known to the Romans as "Asia"). He then visited the churches of Greece, but instead of taking a boat from Athens, he went back to the north of Greece by foot and then boated to Antioch via the Greek Isles.