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 8, 2012

Daily Prayer, Thursday, March 8, 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 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.

My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
  and my neighbors stand far off.
Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
  and meditate treachery all day long.
But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
  like the mute, who cannot speak.
Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
  and in whose mouth is no retort.

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
  those who boast against me when my foot slips.”
For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.
Those who are my foes without cause are mighty,
  and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries
  because I follow after good.
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 39
I said, “I will guard my ways
   that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
   as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was silent and still;
I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
Lord, let me know my end,
  and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.

You have made my days a few handbreadths,
   and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. Selah
Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
they heap up, and do not know who will gather.

“And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
I am silent;
I do not open my mouth,
   for it is you who have done it.

Remove your stroke from me;
I am worn down by the blows of your hand.
“You chastise mortals in punishment for sin,
   consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
surely everyone is a mere breath. Selah

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry;
do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest, an alien, like all my forebears.
Turn your gaze away from me,
  that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more.”

Psalm 40
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
   out of the miry bog,
   and set my feet upon a rock,
   making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Happy are those who make the Lord their trust,
   who do not turn to the proud,
   to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
   your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
   they would be more than can be counted.
Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
   but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

Then I said, “Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”
I have told the glad news of deliverance
   in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love
   and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
   keep me safe forever.
For evils have encompassed me without number;
my iniquities have overtaken me, until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
   say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
As for me, I am poor and needy,
   but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Exodus 20:7-12
7 Do not use the LORD your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the LORD won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way. 8 Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. 9 Six days you may work and do all your tasks, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. 11 Because the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the LORD your God is giving you. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for today: O Lord our God, influence our acts and attitudes to reflect the importance you have for us. Calm us down so we can take time to remember what you have already done for us and remind us that we are in charge. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:68-77
You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
The arrogant smear me with lies,
   but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.
Their hearts are fat and gross,
   but I delight in your law.
It is good for me that I was humbled,
   so that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
   than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding
   that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
   because I have hoped in your word.

I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right,
   and that in faithfulness you have humbled me.
Let your steadfast love become my comfort
   according to your promise to your servant.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
   for your law is my delight.

Psalm 69
Save me, O God,
   for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
   and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.
O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame
   because of me, O Lord God of hosts;
do not let those who seek you be dishonored
   because of me, O God of Israel.
At an acceptable time, O God,
   in the abundance of your steadfast love,
   answer me. With your faithful help
rescue me from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies a
   nd from the deep waters.
Do not let the flood sweep over me,
   or the deep swallow me up,
   or the Pit close its mouth over me.

Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Do not hide your face from your servant,
   for I am in distress—make haste to answer me.
Draw near to me, redeem me,
   set me free because of my enemies.
O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than
   an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.

Let the oppressed see it and be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
For the Lord hears the needy,
   and does not despise his own that are in bonds.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
   the seas and everything that moves in them.
For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah;
and his servants shall live there and possess it;
the children of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall live in it.

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