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Daily Devotional Prayer

Evening Devotion for November 13, 2019


<i>Judith Beheading Holofernes </i>, by Caravaggio, ca. 1599. The so-called “Caravaggio in the Attic” was discovered in the attic of an old house in Toulouse, France, in 1950.
Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Caravaggio, ca. 1599. The so-called “Caravaggio in the Attic” was discovered in the attic of an old house in Toulouse, France, in 1950.

Prayers

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

To Take up the Shield of Faith

Heavenly Father, let me take up the shield of faith carry it before me tonight and throughout tomorrow. For the darkness of the world attacks my soul from every direction.

The world wants me to hate myself and hate you, precious Lord, and tries at every turn to seduce me to the emptiness of lust and envy and pride, to love of money and power over others, to anger and vanity. Defend me against the constant assault of impurity that life in the world brings. Great and powerful God, I take up your shield, the only shield that can protect me: my hope and certainty that your love and promise to protect me, for all eternity, will be with me for the asking. For the only truth is yours, the only power is yours, and our only hope lies in you, our true and mighty and loving God. In Christ’s name I pray,

Amen.

Prayer of Clement of Rome

You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate; forgive me my sins and my injustices, my transgressions and my shortcomings.

drawing of a monk at prayer

Do not take into account every sin of your servant, but cleanse me with the cleansing of your truth, and direct my steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart, and to do what is good and pleasing in your sight and in the sight of my rulers. Yes, Lord, let your face shine upon all your servants in peace for our good, that we may be sheltered by your mighty hand and delivered from every sin by your uplifted arm; deliver us as well from those who hate us unjustly.

Give harmony and peace to me and to all who dwell on the earth, just as you did to our fathers when they reverently called upon you in faith and trust, that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth.

Amen.

Doxology

Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.

Amen.

The Isaacs remind us of the importance of surrender, in this soft pretty song.


Lyrics

Scripture

Jude 1:17-21 (ESV)

“In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.


Blue Latin Cross

Judith 13:11-20 (NABRE)

Judith Returns to Her City
F

rom a distance, Judith shouted to the guards at the gates: “Open! Open the gate! God, our God, is with us. Once more he has shown his strength in Israel and his power against the enemy, as he has today!”

When the citizens heard her voice, they hurried down to their city gate and summoned the elders of the city. All the people, from the least to the greatest, hurriedly assembled, for her return seemed unbelievable. They opened the gate and welcomed the two women. They made a fire for light and gathered around the two.

Judith urged them with a loud voice: “Praise God, give praise! Praise God, who has not withdrawn his mercy from the house of Israel, but has shattered our enemies by my hand this very night!” Then she took the head out of the bag, showed it to them, and said: “Here is the head of Holofernes, the ranking general of the Assyrian forces, and here is the canopy under which he lay in his drunkenness. The Lord struck him down by the hand of a female! Yet I swear by the Lord, who has protected me in the way I have walked, that it was my face that seduced Holofernes to his ruin, and that he did not defile me with sin or shame.”

Judith beheads Holofernes

All the people were greatly astonished. They bowed down and worshiped God, saying with one accord, “Blessed are you, our God, who today have humiliated the enemies of your people.”

Then Uzziah said to her, “Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the leader of our enemies. Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who recall the might of God. May God make this redound to your everlasting honor, rewarding you with blessings, because you risked your life when our people were being oppressed, and you averted our disaster, walking in the straight path before our God.” And all the people answered, “Amen! Amen!”

Notes on the Scripture

Oddly, the use of “female” (rather than “woman”) as a noun, uncommon in Greek, is accurate. Perhaps the author wanted to emphasize the shame brought upon a man, of the time and place, killed by the hand of a woman. We see in an obscure passage from Judges, concerning the miscreant Abimelech whose skull was fractured by a millstone a woman dropped on his head, who calls to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and put me to death so they will not say about me, ‘A woman killed him’ (Judges 9:52-54).”

We see the many sides of Judith’s appeal in the variety of artwork, for she is a favorite subject of painters from every era, and the artists’ depictions vary as much as their styles. The Caravaggio at the top of the page is gory and programmatic (i.e., it tells the story). Many other paintings show her standing alone, in triumph. Some resemble Joan of Arc, some Salome. The third primary theme is her beauty, or even erotic appeal—she is often painted topless or fully nude.

I’m not sure what school one would call the fabulous 19th-century portrait below, perhaps neo-classicist or “academic,” with a touch of orientalism. It shows the triumphant Judith, with a touch of exotic beauty.



Daily Inspiration

“Be Bold in Prayer”


<i>Judith</i>, by Jules LeFebvre, ca. 1898.
Judith, by Jules LeFebvre, ca. 1898.

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB): No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.



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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Nov 12, 2019 were:

Sylvia Banda (12)
Gary Merriman (11)
Norman Daniels (11)
Donna Williams (11)
Wayne Mills (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)