Daily Devotion from Bill 5/25/2020

Daily Devotion from Bill 5/25/2020

 

A DIARY OF DAILY PRAYER

25 May 2020

 

Opening Sentences (responsive)

Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good.

God’s steadfast love endures forever.

The Lord will make a feast for all people and destroy the power of death forever.

Glory and power and wisdom and honor be to our God. 

 

Silence

 

Prayer for Illumination

God of gods, Light of lights…we give you thanks and praise for your wisdom and steadfast love.  Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day.  Bless and keep us both day and night, O Lord.  Hold us in your gentle hand and lead us in your everlasting way.   Amen.

 

Scripture Reading                                                                            Philippians 4:6-7

 

SOME THINGS TO PONDER AS YOU READ THE PASSAGE: 

 

Character of the letter.

The letter emphasizes virtues like affection, loyalty, sharing, harmony, and reciprocity.

For this reason Philippians is known as a letter of friendship – a “love letter,” if you will.

 

READ TEXT:                                                                               Philippians 4:6-7

NRSV

6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

The Message

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Reflections

 

Fret and worry weigh us down.  Why do we fret and worry?

Because we think what is is all there is.

Because we are afraid of losing what is, what we have.

 

Think what is lost by being imprisoned by visible in-hand reality.

We are imprisoned by the notion that everything that is is a given…and that it is perpetually given.

 

Faith knows otherwise.

Faith knows other kinds of provision.

Faith knows something of emancipation.

Faith knows another kind of nourishment.[i]

Without imagination of faith, we are imprisoned by fret and worry.

 

What does Paul recommend?

Don’t worry, pray.

Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Offer these prayers often enough and before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down

 

Prayers

Eternal God, we thank you for being with us today, and for every sign of your truth and love in Jesus Christ.  Especially we thank you for all works of Christian compassion…the good earth that is our home…examples of wisdom and righteousness…energy and strength to share your love…each new insight into your grace…

 

Gracious God, we remember in our own hearts the needs of others, that we may reach up to claim your love for them, and reach out to give your love in the name of Christ.  Especially we pray for your church across this state and nation…those people being subjected to outside influences that cause them to doubt their better judgment and make shortsighted decisions.

 

Giver of futures beyond our present tense, free us this day from excessive commitment to the way things are now.[ii]  Open us to a future you are making possible in us and through us.  Through Jesus our Christ.  Amen.

 

 

Blessing (responsive)

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping;

That awake we may watch with Christ and asleep rest in his peace.

May Almighty God bless, preserve, and keep us, day and night and forevermore.

Amen.

[i] Brueggemann, Walter.  2017.  Gift and Task.  Louisville: WJK Press, 66.

[ii] Brueggemann, 66.

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