Daily Devotion for September 5, 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.
Prayer for the Morning
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
For our Enemies
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
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.)
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Acts 28:7-10 (NKJV)
Paul on Malta
In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days.
And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.
They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul is on Malta, where he and the entire company of his ship have been shipwrecked. Because it is still the stormy season — they likely landed in November or December — they have no way to leave the island. They are forced to stay for three months.
Malta was a Roman colony. It is an odd island, half-European and half-north-African, lying in a critical position between Sicily and the north African coast. 2000 years ago, the climate and ecology of the Mediterranean were vastly different than today. Roman "Africa", which included Carthage (Libya), Tunisia, and part of Algeria, was not an impoverished semi-arid region. Like Malta, its geography would be unrecognizable today. It was green and fertile, ideal for growing grain. It was the breadbasket of southern Europe and fueled first the growth of Greece (e.g. Athens) and, later, Rome.
So Malta, the only island lying astride the principal trade route for Rome's food, had some significance. Paul does his best to make friends, but there is no account of his preaching. He was under arrest, and although he was not kept in chains or a jail, no doubt his freedom was curtailed.