Daily Devotion for June 28, 2020
NOTICE: Daily Prayer may be completely down for several days, starting July 1.
Our server host has been sold and we are, against our wishes, being “migrated” to a new server. There is no telling what effect this will have on Daily Prayer, or for how long. You might not be able to find the site for a day, or a week. The only thing you can do is check back every day.
If the site goes down, we will put updates on our Facebook page.
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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to St. John’s Anglican Episcopal Church in Detroit.
comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever,
'twixt that darkness and that light.
By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv'ries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.
To Proclaim the Gospel
Almighty God, who called your Church to bear witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself: help us to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may be drawn to you; through him who was lifted up on the cross, and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Prayer of Contrition
Have mercy upon me, O God, after Your great goodness: according to the multitude of Your mercies do away my offences. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin, for I acknowledge my faults, and my sin is ever before me. By the merits of my Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray,
Prayer for Sunday
Heavenly Lord, I thank you for this day, when your holy priesthood gathers around the world to celebrate your victory over death, in the resurrection of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Help me always to keep in mind that the Sabbath was made for men, and that your commandment to keep one day holy, not to work and not to suffer others to work, was made for our benefit. Help me understand, Holy God, the benefit to me, both in this world and the next, of taking a day every week to dedicate to you; keep me from the temptation of adding to my worldly wealth on this day, for all wisdom is yours, and you have commanded us to make this a day of rest and worship.
Make me always aware that your commandment extends to making others work; and let me do what is within my power to follow your commandment with my full heart, as your Spirit may guide me.
Now all glory to you, mighty God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,
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.
Service and Suffering
The place of suffering in service and of passion in mission is hardly ever taught today. But the greatest single secret of evangelistic or missionary effectiveness is the willingness to suffer and die.
It may be a death to popularity (by faithfully preaching the unpopular biblical gospel), or to pride (by the use of modest methods in reliance on the Holy Spirit), or to racial and national prejudice (by identification with another culture), or to material comfort (by adopting a simpler lifestyle). But the servant must suffer if he is to bring light to the nations, and the seed must die if it is to multiply.
~ John Stott (from The Cross of Christ)
Matthew 5:22-24 (ESV)
say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Notes on the Scripture
Christ repeatedly tells us that mercy will come to the merciful, and that God will “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Forgiving people who do us wrong, however, is one of the hardest things we can do. Anger and hatred are powerful and intransigent. If we have been wronged, even if we can calm our anger, thinking back to the incident may make us angry all over again. We don’t want to see them forgiven; we want to be vindicated. We want to see them judged and punished.
We may know, in our mind, that Christ told us to “cast out the beam in our own eye” rather than to criticize our neighbor for the splinter in his eye; for it is easier to see faults in others than in ourselves. We cannot see the sins of others clearly enough to judge them, anyway, for we see through eyes blinded by our own sinfulness.
We may also remember the exhortation, “Judge not, lest ye be judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” It is enlightening to read Habukkak 1 in conjunction with Christ’s teaching on judgment.
Habukkak decried the wrongdoers in Jerusalem and asked God for justice; and God gave justice—He sent the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and enslave the entire population. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). To demand justice against others, then, is to ask to be judged oneself. We are not so foolish; we ask to be forgiven. For ourselves, we want mercy, not justice. But our trespasses will be forgiven as we forgive others; we pray this every day.
Although knowledge of this fundamental truth is critical, in practical terms our emotions can remain obdurate. How can we overcome these powerful emotional forces within us? For always, anger and hatred damage us; sometimes, much more than they damage their object. It is often said, that hatred is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. The first step to forgiveness, as with all things, is that we must try.
If we cannot bear to forgive someone in our hearts, the secret is the power of prayer. We *can* force ourselves to pray for the person we hate — even if we must start by only saying the words, without truly meaning them.
God loves all his people, and we can pray that the object of our anger is God’s beautiful child, someone God loves as much as us, someone God hopes to redeem. If our enemy has taken money from us, we can pray that God will grant him riches — even if we’re just saying the words, “going through the motions.” If she has stolen our husband, we can pray that God give her sexual satisfaction and a happy home life; if he is arrogant, we can pray that God give him honor and glory among men. It will hurt even to pray such a thing in silence, but it will begin to erode our own feeling of injury.
We can then pray that we forgive the person and try to say, in our prayers, all the things that might underlie the person’s wrongdoing. We say all the things that caused the person to act as he did. Behind the terrible thing that he or she did to us, there is always pain, and loneliness, and insecurity, and fear.
Anyone who can manage to do this, day after day, night after night, will find the Holy Spirit working a powerful miracle in their heart. It is guaranteed. Seeking to forgive brings the very power of God into a person’s life.
And, amazingly, it does one no actual harm. People do not toss and turn at night nursing forgiven wrongs!