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Daily Devotion for September 25, 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.
Today's Virtual Sunday takes us to a Presbyterian Church service in Dublin, Ireland.
A General Intercession
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who in your mercy and all-loving kindness regards the prayers of all who call upon you with their whole heart, incline your ear and hear my prayer, now humbly offered unto you:
Be mindful, O Lord, of the church of all who believe and confess the name of Jesus Christ; confirm and strengthen it, increase it and keep it in peace, and preserve it unconquerable forever. Be mindful, O Lord, of all priests, ministers, pastors, deacons, bishops, and others known by whatever title, who work as Christian leaders, for you have established them to feed the flock of the Word. And by their prayers, have mercy upon me and save me, a sinner.
Be mindful, O Lord, of all civil authorities, of our Armed Forces, of this city in which I dwell, and of every city and land; grant us peaceful times, that we may lead a calm and tranquil life in all godliness and sanctity.
Be mindful, O Lord, of my parents, my brothers and sisters, my relatives and friends, and all who are near and dear to me, (name those who you wish to remember), and grant them mercy, life, peace, health, salvation and visitation, and pardon and remission of sins; that they may evermore praise and glorify your holy Name.
Be mindful, O Lord, of those who travel by land, and sea, and air; of the young and the old; orphans and widows; the sick and the suffering; the sorrowing and the afflicted, all captives, and the needy poor; upon them all send forth your mercies, for you are the Giver of all good things.
Be mindful, O Lord, of me, your humble servant; grant me your grace, that I may be diligent and faithful; that I may avoid evil company and influence, and resist all temptation; that I may lead a godly and righteous life, blameless and peaceful, ever serving you, that I may be accounted worthy at the last to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Be mindful, O Lord, of all those who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection unto life eternal, especially (name those you wish to remember); pardon all their transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, whether in word, or deed, or thought. Shelter them in a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the sight of your countenance rejoices all your Saints from all the ages. Grant them your heavenly Kingdom, and a portion in your ineffable and eternal blessings, and the enjoyment of your unending Life.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, for you are merciful and compassionate, and love mankind, and to you are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
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.)
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
Romans 1:1-7 (ESV)
Introduction to Paul's Epistle to the Romans
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul wrote his letter to the Roman church during his third missionary journey, while he was in Greece (most likely Corinth). Rome was, of course, the greatest city on earth and would have loomed large in the minds of Christian missionaries; however, as far as we know, no great apostle, no missionary, no learned representative from Jerusalem or Antioch had ever visited there. It was probably started by Roman Jews who had visited Jerusalem and been converted and baptized by Peter (see Acts 2). Undoubtably, it had been strengthened by converts from Paul's missions in Greece, Macedonia, and Asia.
A grassroots church in such a great city would face innumerable problems and obstacles. Especially difficult would have been the problems of reconciling Jewish and Gentile converts and ensuring the teaching of sound doctrine. It fell to Paul, Christ's premier missionary apostle, to help them out. Paul therefore, putting pen to paper, expounded the most important statement of Christian faith ever made.
Today's Scripture is the heading of his letter. Before he even says "Hello", he summarily hits the high points of both his own credentials and the bases of Christian doctrine. He first wants to validate his authority to teach Christian doctrine. This letter is "official". In fact, spreading the doctrine is Paul's single purpose in life, a purpose given to him by Christ himself.
Then he introduces the basic tenets of the gospel. This not only acts as an introduction or outline, for readers who might new to it, but also demonstrates the soundness of his own doctrine. He wants to give readers a preview, so that they will know immediately that he isn't one of the many teachers of false doctrine who had already started to arise.
And finally, he emphasizes his mission to spread the gospel "among all the nations." The Roman church would have had many Gentiles; Paul validates both their right to be part of the church and his mission to instruct Jew and Gentile alike.