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, March 23, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, March 23, 2012

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a right spirit within me.

Invitatory Psalm  51
Have mercy on me, O God,
  according to your steadfast love;
  according to your abundant mercy
      blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
  and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
  and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
  and done what is evil in your sight,
  so that you are justified in your sentence
  and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty,
  a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
  and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
  and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
  and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
  and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
  and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed,
  O God, O God of my salvation,
  and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
O Lord, open my lips,
  and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt offering,
  you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
then you will delight in right sacrifices,
  in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalms 131
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 132
O Lord, remember in David’s favor all the hardships he endured;
   how he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
   “I will not enter my house or get into my bed;
   I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
        until I find a place for the Lord,
             a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.
“Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.”

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
   you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
   and let your faithful shout for joy.
For your servant David’s sake
   do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
The Lord swore to David a sure oath
   from which he will not turn back:
   “One of the sons of your body 

I will set on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant and my decrees 
that I shall teach them, their sons also, forevermore, 
shall sit on your throne.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his habitation:
   “This is my resting place forever;
   here I will reside, for I have desired it.
   I will abundantly bless its provisions;
   I will satisfy its poor with bread.
   Its priests I will clothe with salvation,
       and its faithful will shout for joy.
   There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David;
   I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.
   His enemies I will clothe with disgrace,
      but on him, his crown will gleam.”

Psalm 133
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard,
   on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 51:1-7
Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love! Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion! 2 Wash me completely clean of my guilt; purify me from my sin! 3 Because I know my wrongdoings, my sin is always right in front of me. 4 I’ve sinned against you—you alone. I’ve committed evil in your sight. That’s why you are justified when you render your verdict, completely correct when you issue your judgment. 5 Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places; you teach me wisdom in the most secret space. 7 Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: Have mercy on me, according to your love, not on the way I deserve. Forgive me. Cleanse me so that I can respond to your love with love--love for you and for others rather than love only for myself. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:169-176
Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
My lips will pour forth praise,
  because you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your promise,
  for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me,
 for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
  and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
  and let your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek out your servant,
  for I do not forget your commandments.


Psalm 137
By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down
   and there we wept when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there we hung up our harps.
For there our captors asked us for songs,
   and our tormentors asked for mirth,
       saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
   if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

Psalm 138
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name
   for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
   for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
   for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
   but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
   you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord,
   you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
   and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
   even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light around me become night,”
   even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
   when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days
   that were formed for me,
   when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

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