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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Daily Prayer, Saturday, February 25, 2012

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me.

Invitatory Psalm  67
LORD , hear my prayer! Let my cry reach you! 2 Don’t hide your face from me in my time of trouble! Listen to me! Answer me quickly as I cry out! 3 Because my days disappear like smoke, my bones are burned up as if in an oven; 4 my heart is smashed like dried-up grass. I even forget to eat my food 5 because of my intense groans. My bones are protruding from my skin. 6 I’m like some wild owl— like some screech owl in the desert. 7 I lie awake all night. I’m all alone like a bird on a roof. 8 All day long my enemies make fun of me; those who mock me curse using my name! 9 I’ve been eating ashes instead of bread. I’ve been mixing tears into my drinks 10 because of your anger and wrath, because you picked me up and threw me away. 11 My days are like a shadow soon gone. I’m dried up like dead grass. 12 But you, LORD , rule forever! Your fame lasts from one generation to the next! 13 You will stand up— you’ll have compassion on Zion because it is time to have mercy on her— the time set for that has now come! 14 Your servants cherish Zion’s stones; they show mercy even to her dirt. 15 The nations will honor the LORD ’s name; all the earth’s rulers will honor your glory 16 because the LORD will rebuild Zion; he will be seen there in his glory. 17 God will turn to the prayer of the impoverished; he won’t despise their prayers. 18 Let this be written down for the next generation so that people not yet created will praise the LORD : 19 The LORD looked down from his holy summit, surveyed the earth from heaven, 20 to hear the prisoners’ groans, to set free those condemned to death, 21 that the LORD ’s name may be declared in Zion and his praise declared in Jerusalem, 22 when all people are gathered together— all kingdoms—to serve the LORD . 23 God broke my strength in midstride, cutting my days short. 24 I said, “ My God, don’t take me away in the prime of life— your years go on from one generation to the next! 25 You laid the earth’s foundations long ago; the skies are your handiwork. 26 These things will pass away, but you will last. All of these things will wear out like clothing; you change them like clothes, and they pass on. 27 But you are the one! Your years never end! 28 Let your servants’ children live safe; let your servants’ descendants live secure in your presence. ”

[Common English Bible]
Psalm 141
I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;
   give ear to my voice when I call to you.
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
   and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not turn my heart to any evil,
   to busy myself with wicked deeds in company
   with those who work iniquity;
do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Let the righteous strike me;
let the faithful correct me.

Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head,
   for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.
When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,
   then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.
Like a rock that one breaks apart and shatters on the land,
   so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.

But my eyes are turned toward you, O God, my Lord;
   in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenseless.
Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me,
   and from the snares of evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I alone escape.

Psalm 146
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals,
   in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
   on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the Lord their God,
   who made heaven and earth, the sea,
       and all that is in them;
   who keeps faith forever;
   who executes justice for the oppressed;
   who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion,
   for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 25:1-10

  •  I offer my lifet to you, LORD .
  • 2 My God, I trust you.
  • Please don’t let me be put to shame!
  • Don’t let my enemies rejoice
  • over me!
  • 3 For that matter,
  • don’t let anyone who hopes in you
  • be put to shame;
  • instead, let those who are treacherous without excuse be put to shame.
  • 4 Make your ways known to me,
  • LORD ;
  • teach me your paths.
  • 5 Lead me in your truth—
  • teach it to me—
  • because you are the God
  • who saves me.
  • I put my hope in you all day long.
  • 6 LORD , remember your compassion
  • and faithful love—
  • they are forever!
  • 7 But don’t remember the sins
  • of my youth or my wrongdoing.
  • Remember me only
  • according to your faithful love
  • for the sake of your goodness, LORD .
  • 8 The LORD is good and does the right thing;
  • he teaches sinners which way
  • they should go.
  • 9 God guides the weak to justice,
  • teaching them his way.
  • 10 All the LORD ’s paths
  • are loving and faithful
  • for those who keep his covenant
  • and laws.
[Common English Bible]

t  Or soul ; also in 25:13, 20

Prayer for Today: Make your ways known to us. Teach us. Forgive us when we go astray. Lead us to the right path. Amen.

Psalm 140
Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers;
protect me from those who are violent,
   who plan evil things in their minds
   and stir up wars continually.
They make their tongue sharp as a snake’s,
   and under their lips is the venom of vipers. Selah

Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent who have planned my downfall.
The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
   and with cords they have spread a net,
   along the road they have set snares for me. Selah

I say to the Lord, “You are my God;
give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.”
O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer,
   you have covered my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
do not further their evil plot. Selah

I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy,
   and executes justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
the upright shall live in your presence.

Psalm 142
With my voice I cry to the Lord;
with my voice I make supplication to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit is faint, you know my way.
In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
Look on my right hand and see—
   there is no one who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for me.

I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.”
Give heed to my cry,
   for I am brought very low.
Save me from my persecutors,
   for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison,
   so that I may give thanks to your name.

The righteous will surround me,
   for you will deal bountifully with me.

Psalm 143
Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness; answer me in your righteousness.
Do not enter into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.
I remember the days of old, I think about all your deeds, I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me,
   or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
   for in you I put my trust.

Teach me the way I should go,
   for to you I lift up my soul.
Save me, O Lord, from my enemies;
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
   for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.

For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life.
In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,
   and destroy all my adversaries, for I am your servant.

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