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Daily Devotion for November 2, 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
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Help with Our Troubles
O God, my help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the supplications of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner. Have mercy upon me; deliver me from all the troubles and tribulations of life. Deal not with me after my sins, I pray, but according to your measureless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness.
Grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace. Endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering. I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion; that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy. I exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
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 one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.
Romans 8:26-30 (ESV)
The Spirit Within Us
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Notes on the Scripture
There are two parts to the passage today. Paul's first paragraph boils down to this: It doesn't matter so much what we pray as the fact that we pray. If we struggle for words in our prayers, it is fine. The Holy Spirit is there to help us. The Spirit will search our heart and pray with us and for us.
We cannot see into the future. So, how are things going to turn out for us in our lives? Some days, things may seem to be going great, and another day, not so well. Have faith; things are going to turn out great for us! We may not be able to see the future. We really cannot even see the present all that clearly. But God sees and understands everything, and he has promised us that everything is going to turn out well; so well, in fact, that we cannot even appreciate how good it will be.
In the final section, Paul talks about God's foreknowledge and people whom God predestined to be glorified just as Christ was, to be Christ's "younger brothers". Many churches avoid these verses, because the concept of predestination has been the source of great contention among Christians in the past. God's foreknowledge of how everything will turn out can be baffling to us, because we have trouble reconciling it with free will. If we have free will, how can our salvation be determined in advance?
But the passage is meant to be comforting, not baffling. Paul is telling us to have courage in the face of hardship, because God is not subject to human limitations of time. We can have faith that God knows things will turn out well for us, because God can see it now and could see it when the universe began. He knows that we will come to Him and be saved.
Ultimately, Paul wants us to stop depending and trusting in our ability and start trusting God's ability.