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, September 21, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, September 21, 2012

God! Hear my prayer;
listen to the words of my mouth!

Invitatory Psalm 118
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his steadfast love endures forever!
Let those who fear the Lord say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me
   and set me in a broad place.
With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
What can mortals do to me?
The Lord is on my side to help me;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
   than to put confidence in mortals.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
   than to put confidence in princes.
The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
There are glad songs of victory
  in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
   and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
   up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord,
   for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

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.”
My enemies wonder in malice when I will die,
   and my name perish.
And when they come to see me, they utter empty words,
   while their hearts gather mischief;
   when they go out, they tell it abroad.

All who hate me whisper together about me;
they imagine the worst for me.
They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,
  that I will not rise again from where I lie.
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,
  who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.

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;
   therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan
    and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

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, Proverbs 31:10-31

10 A competent wife, how does one find her?
Her value is far above pearls.
11 Her husband entrusts his heart to her,
and with her he will have all he needs.
12 She brings him good and not trouble
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks out wool and flax;
she works joyfully with her hands.
14 She is like a fleet of merchant ships,
bringing food from a distance.
15 She gets up while it is still night,
providing food for her household,
even some for her female servants.
16 She surveys a field and acquires it;
from her own resources, she plants a vineyard.
17 She works energetically;
her arms are powerful.
18 She realizes that her trading is successful;
she doesn’t put out her lamp at night.
19 She puts her hands to the spindle;
her palms grasp the whorl.
20 She reaches out to the needy;
she stretches out her hands to the poor.
21 She doesn’t fear for her household when it snows,
because they are all dressed in warm (q) clothes.
22 She makes bedspreads for herself;
fine linen and purple are her clothing.
23 Her husband is known in the city gates
when he sits with the elders of the land.
24 She makes garments and sells them;
she supplies sashes to traders.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
she is confident about the future.
26 Her mouth is full of wisdom;
kindly teaching is on her tongue.
27 She is vigilant over the activities of her household;
she doesn’t eat the food of laziness.
28 Her children bless her;
her husband praises her:
29 “ Many women act competently,
but you surpass them all! ”
30 Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Let her share in the results of her work;
let her deeds praise her in the city gates.
q  LXX; MT the path of the trail
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O God, help me to use my time wisely. Increase in me strength, wisdom, and kindness. Guide me into generosity and kindness toward all. 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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