It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Daily Prayer, Monday, August 29, 2011

Praise the Lord! We sing to you a new song. Praise the Lord! (from Psalm 149)

Invitatory Psalm  95
O come, let us sing to the Lord:
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
We come into your presence with thanksgiving;
we make a joyful noise to you with songs of praise.
You, Lord, are a great God,

In your hands are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you have made it,
and the dry land, which your hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us we kneel before our Maker!
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture,
and the sheep of your hand.

Psalms 57, 61, 64

Psalm 57 1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. 2 I cry to God Most High, you who fulfill your purpose for me. 3 You will send from heaven and save me, you will put to shame those who trample on me. You will send forth your steadfast love and faithfulness. 4 I lie down among lions that greedily devour human prey; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongues sharp swords. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth. 6 They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my path, but they have fallen into it themselves. 7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody. 8 Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. 9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. 11Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 61 1Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; 3for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. 4Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. 5For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. …. 8So I will always sing praises to your name, as I pay my vows day after day. Psalm 64 1Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from the dread enemy. 2Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the scheming of evildoers, 3who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, 4shooting from ambush at the blameless; they shoot suddenly and without fear.
5They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, “Who can see us? 6Who can search out our crimes? We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.” For the human heart and mind are deep.
7But you will overcome them....9Then everyone ... will tell what God has brought about. They will ponder what you have done. 10Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord who is their refuge. Let all the upright in heart glory.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Matthew 18:15-20
15 “ If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. 17 But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them. ” [Common English Bible]

Today's Prayer: O Lord, remind me that I am to follow your will. O Lord, remind me that I am not the sole source of what that will is for others, that my task in life is not to criticize others. When I sincerely believe that someone is straying, encourage me to help them back on the path, but remind me that passive-aggressiveness is not helpful to the one who receives it or the one who gives it. Help me always to seek your will and exhibit it. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:89-96

Psalms 87, 88, 91

Psalm 88
1O Lord, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence,  2let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry. 3For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. 4I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, 5like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.

6You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep. 7Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah 8You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; 9my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call on you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you.

10Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you? 11Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? 12Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

13But I, O Lord, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 14O Lord, why do you cast me off? Why do you hide your face from me? 15Wretched and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.

Psalm 91

1You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, 2will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust. 3 You will deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;4 you will cover me with your pinions, and under your wings I will find refuge; your faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”

5You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, 6or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.….
9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,
10no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. 11For God will command the angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. 13You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

God says, 14 “Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. 15When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. 16With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.”

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