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.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, February 3, 2012

Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to you;
   for you are gracious,
   and a song of praise is fitting. (from Psalm 147:1)

Invitatory Psalm 118
O Lord, we give thanks to to you, for you are good;
 your steadfast love endures forever!
Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
What can mortals do to me?
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; 

he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul. 
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 
I fear no evil; for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Psalm 25
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who are they that fear the Lord? He will teach them the way that they should choose.
They will abide in prosperity, and their children shall possess the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.
O guard my life, and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Isaiah 40:25-31
25 So to whom will you compare me, and who is my equal? says the holy one. 26 Look up at the sky and consider: Who created these? The one who brings out their attendants one by one, summoning each of them by name. Because of God’s great strength and mighty power, not one is missing. 

27 Why do you say, Jacob, and declare, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD my God ignores my predicament ”? 28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? 

The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He doesn’t grow tired or weary. His understanding is beyond human reach, 29 giving power to the tired and reviving the exhausted. 30 Youths will become tired and weary, young men will certainly stumble; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O Lord, we often are distracted by what we see right in front of us, what problems we are dealing with right now. We are fearful, unsure, insecure. Turn us back toward you again. Remind us of what we already know. Remind us of the times you have helped us, the ways you have shown us. Remind us of all the others that we have seen who have been helped by you. Strengthen us now. Refresh us now. Keep us on the correct path as we walk with you and toward you. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you.
Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good.
See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.

Psalm 30
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, 
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, 
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, 
and give thanks to his holy name.

For his anger is but for a moment; 
his favor is for a lifetime. 
Weeping may linger for the night, 
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord, you had established me as a strong mountain; 
you hid your face; I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? 
Will the dust praise you? 
Will it tell of your faithfulness?

Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! 
O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned my mourning into dancing; 
you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. 
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalm 31

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; 
do not let me ever be put to shame; 
in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;

rescue me speedily. 
Be a rock of refuge for me, 
a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress;

for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me, 

for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; 

you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, 
but I trust in the Lord.
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, 

because you have seen my affliction; 
you have taken heed of my adversities,
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; 

you have set my feet in a broad place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; 
my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; 

my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.
I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, 

an object of dread to my acquaintances; 
those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; 

I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!

— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand; 
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant; 

save me in your steadfast love.
Do not let me be put to shame, 

O Lord, for I call on you; 
let the wicked be put to shame; 
let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be stilled that speak insolently

against the righteous with pride and contempt.
O how abundant is your goodness 

that you have laid up for those who fear you, 
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, 
in the sight of everyone!
In the shelter of your presence you hide them from human plots; 

you hold them safe under your shelter from contentious tongues.

Blessed be the Lord
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me 
when I was beset as a city under siege.
I had said in my alarm, “I am driven far from your sight.”
But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help.

Love the Lord, all you his saints.
The Lord preserves the faithful,
   but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
   all you who wait for the Lord.

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