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.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Daily Prayer, Thursday, March 1, 2012

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Invitatory Psalm 38
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
  or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
  and your hand has come down on me.
There is no soundness in my flesh
  because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
My wounds grow foul and fester
  because of my foolishness;
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all day long I go around mourning.
For my loins are filled with burning,
  and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am utterly spent and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
as for the light of my eyes

—it also has gone from me.
Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me;
make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

Psalm 19
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
   and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out
   like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
   and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever;

the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned;
   in keeping them there is great reward.

But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

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

Psalm 20
The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! 

The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary, 

and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings, 

and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah
May he grant you your heart’s desire, 

and fulfill all your plans.
May we shout for joy over your victory, 

and in the name of our God set up our banners. 
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; 

he will answer him from his holy heaven 
with mighty victories by his right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, 

but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.
Give victory to the king, O Lord; 

answer us when we call.

Psalm 21
In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord,
   and in your help how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
   and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
you set a crown of fine gold on his head.
He asked you for life;
you gave it to him— length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your help;
splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
You bestow on him blessings forever;
you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord,
   and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 22:23-31
23 All of you who revere the LORD — praise him! All of you who are Jacob’s descendants— honor him! All of you who are all Israel’s offspring— stand in awe of him! 24 Because he didn’t despise or detest the suffering of the one who suffered— he didn’t hide his face from me. No, he listened when I cried out to him for help. 25 I offer praise in the great congregation because of you; I will fulfill my promises in the presence of those who honor God. 26 Let all those who are suffering eat and be full! Let all who seek the LORD praise him! I pray your hearts live forever! 27 Every part of the earth will remember and come back to the LORD; every family among all the nations will worship you. 28 Because the right to rule belongs to the LORD, he rules all nations. 29 Indeed, all the earth’s powerful will worship him; (n) all who are descending to the dust will kneel before him; my being also lives for him. (o) 30 Future descendants will serve him; generations to come will be told about my Lord. 31 They will proclaim God’s righteousness to those not yet born, telling them what God has done. _________________________________________________ n Correction; MT All the earth’s powerful have eaten and will worship . o Correction with LXX; Heb uncertain [Common English Bible]

Prayer for TodayIn reverent praise and awe, we praise our Lord God with hearts
and minds filled with joyful trust, because you have never left
us bereft of comfort and help when we needed it. We praise you
for the many signs in the past of God’s presence with your people;
we thank you God, for all the daily signs we see that God always
comes to people looking for God; and we ask your blessings on
future generations who will also learn of your listening ear; your
strong arm that protects vulnerable people; and your loving heart
that inspires trust. We offer our praises to God, because of God’s
faithfulness in listening and acting. May God always be praised! Amen.

If used in shared worship, please provide an acknowledgement as follows:
© 2012 Joan Stott –  "The Timeless Psalms" RCL Psalm Year B, used with permission. 
Midday Psalm 119:25-32
My soul clings to the dust;
revive me according to your word.
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
   and I will meditate on your wondrous works.

My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Put false ways far from me;
   and graciously teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your ordinances before me.
I cling to your decrees, O Lord;
   let me not be put to shame.
I run the way of your commandments,
   for you enlarge my understanding.

Psalm 28
To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
   for if you are silent to me,
   I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my supplication,
   as I cry to you for help,
   as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.
Do not drag me away with the wicked,
   with those who are workers of evil,
   who speak peace with their neighbors,
   while mischief is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their work,
   and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
   or the work of his hands,
he will break them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord,
   for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
   in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
   and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
be their shepherd, and carry them forever.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
   and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
   shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
   and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
   and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
   and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
   saying that he has done it.

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