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.
In utter humility, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I come before you this morning, Eternal Spirit of God, to offer myself, my soul and body to you. I live in awe of your purity, your justice, and the power of your love. You are the strength and light of my soul, for without you I have neither life nor goodness. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you.
Mercifully guard my every thought; and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to listen first for your voice in everything I may say or do, this day and always,
Oh Lord, I remember before thee today all the workers of the world;
Workers with hand or brain:
Workers in the cities or in the fields:
Those who go forth to toil and those who work at home:
Employers and employees:
Those who command and those who obey:
Those whose work is dangerous:
Those whose work is monotonous or mean:
Those who can find no work to do:
Those whose work is the service of the poor or the healing of the sick or the proclamation of the gospel of Christ;
At home or in foreign places.
[God’s laws against lust, greed, pride, etc., are for my own good.]
Oh God, hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that you will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and always,
When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish:
and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
The righteous is delivered out of trouble,
and the wicked cometh in his stead.
ow while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.
Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
As indicated in the final verse, Athens was still the center of philosophy in 50 A.D.; men gathered outside on a hill called the Areopagus to discuss ideas. It was the most concentrated center of philosophical discussion in the history of the entire world. So Paul has made it into the big time. His walking into the Areopagus of Athens was like a baseball player walking into Yankee Stadium.
Although Epicureanism has come to be associated with overindulgence, in fact, the opposite is true. The Epicureans believed in stringent moderation as one key to perfecting human life. They believed that human beings had souls, which survived their deaths. Although they believed that gods existed, they thought that these gods were not interested in life on earth and certainly would never intervene in earthly affairs.
The Stoics, remarkably, came very close to agreeing with the fundamental truth of John 1:1 -- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God.” Although they did not call him “God,” they believed that the Word, or logos, was not simply a force, but a reasoning person; and they had true morals based on the laws of the Word. They were ethical, tried to live good lives, and believed in the human soul. But they lacked an essential ingredient: a living relationship with the Word and worship of him as God, which the Jews were given in the Old Testament. They had no life in the spirit, as we call it.
And so, as close as they had come to truth by using their sheer intellect, the Greeks worshipped statues, to which they had ascribed a vast, rich mythology. But intellect cannot find God; as they are to discover, only the spirit can find God.
There are a considerable number of people in the Western world, and probably all over the earth, who unwittingly practice a modified (and watered down) version of these ancient philosophies.