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, March 24, 2012

Daily Prayer, Saturday, March 24, 2012

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

Invitatory Psalm 102
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
  in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call.
For my days pass away like smoke,
  and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
  and will not despise their prayer.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
  so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height,
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
  to set free those who were doomed to die;
so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
  and his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples gather together, and kingdoms,
  to worship the Lord.
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
  and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.

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 51:8-12
8 Let me hear joy and celebration again; let the bones you crushed rejoice once more. 9 Hide your face from my sins; wipe away all my guilty deeds! 10 Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me! 11 Please don’t throw me out of your presence; please don’t take your holy spirit away from me. 12 Return the joy of your salvation to me and sustain me with a willing spirit. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O God, forgive for those times that I sinned, those times when I did what I shouldn't have, those times that I didn't do what I should have. Forgive me, and strengthen me to be able to do what you would have me do. Stay with me. I need your presence. 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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