Daily Devotion for August 30, 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.
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Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Irish BlessingDeep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
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.)
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
Acts 27:9-12 (ESV)
Paul's Warning is Ignored
Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, "Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives."
But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said.
And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul's ship is most likely an imperial grain ship, which brought grain from Asia to Rome. The season for these ships was spring and summer, because the route becomes adverse in September. So the owners are probably trying to eke out a greater profit by making another, more dangerous run in early autumn; the pilot and crew thus have a financial interest in getting to Italy promptly, which has led them to their predicament. The end of the "Fast" – the Jewish Day of Atonement – would have been in early October, so this ship is sailing very late, in a time of short days, long nights, increased rain and snow, and heavy westerly winds pushing against them.
By this point, they are already in trouble. Although they have scratched and clawed their way to Fair Havens, they have a difficult decision: winter in an unsafe harbor, or risk the adverse conditions to reach a safer harbor at the western tip of Crete. They run for it.
The broad metaphor of the Roman centurion trusting in the pilot and owner — the servants of mammon — rather than in Paul, the servant of God, is difficult to miss.