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 9, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, March 9, 2012

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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.

Psalm 41
Happy are those who consider the poor;
the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
   they are called happy in the land.
You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.

The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
   in their illness you heal all their infirmities.
As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me;
   heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,
  and raise me up, that I may repay them.
By this I know that you are pleased with me;
   because my enemy has not triumphed over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
   and set me in your presence forever.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
   from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Psalm 42
As a deer longs for flowing streams, 
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
When shall I come and behold the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
   while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:
   how I went with the throng,
   and led them in procession to the house of God,
       with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
   a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, 
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me?
   Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?”
As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me,
   while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Psalm 43
Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully because of the oppression of the enemy?
O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Psalm 47
Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.
God is king over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Exodus 20:13-17

13 Do not kill. (k)
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
17 Do not desire your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
[Common English Bible]

k  Or murder

Prayer for Today: O Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Keep us grateful for what we have. Kindle within us the desire to share your love with others not to hoard the gifts you have given us. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:78-88
Let the arrogant be put to shame,
   because they have subverted me with guile;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
Let those who fear you turn to me,
   so that they may know your decrees.
May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
   so that I may not be put to shame.
My soul languishes for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
My eyes fail with watching for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
How long must your servant endure?
When will you judge those who persecute me?
The arrogant have dug pitfalls for me;
they flout your law.
All your commandments are enduring;
I am persecuted without cause; help me!
They have almost made an end of me on earth;
   but I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your steadfast love spare my life,
   so that I may keep the decrees of your mouth.

Psalm 74
O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke
   against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation,
   which you acquired long ago,
   which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.

Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.
Your foes have roared within your holy place;
they set up their emblems there.

At the upper entrance
   they hacked the wooden trellis with axes.
And then, with hatchets and hammers,
   they smashed all its carved work.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
   bringing it to the ground.

They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our emblems;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is no one among us who knows how long.

How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand;
why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

Yet God my King is from of old,
   working salvation in the earth.
You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You cut openings for springs and torrents;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the luminaries and the sun.
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
you made summer and winter.

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
   and an impious people reviles your name.
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
do not forget the life of your poor forever.
Have regard for your covenant,
     for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.
Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
    the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

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