22 May 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Friday 22 May 2015
The psalmist asks for God’s mercy for sins to be forgiven, transgressions washed away: blotted out. The psalmist admits that the sin was against God alone and God’s judgement is justified. Since God desires truth, the psalmist asks to be taught wisdom in his secret heart. The psalmist wants to experience joy and gladness again since his whole being is crushed in recognition of his sin. “Create in me a new heart, O God and put a right spirit within me” (v.10).
Deuteronomy 4: 25 – 42
Moses continues his address to the people beyond the Jordan.
When their children’s children become complacent, make idols and worship them, they will be scattered, exiled and serve other human-made gods. From there they will seek God and find mercy. God will neither abandon nor destroy them.
Moses challenges them. Was there ever any god who chose a people, spoke to them directly, or took them out of another nation by great deeds? This was done so that they acknowledge the Lord is God: there is no other god. They are to keep the statutes and the commandments.
Moses sets aside three cities where people who are guilty of manslaughter (accidental) may go: Bezer, Ramoth and Golan.
Acts 1: 1 – 14
After the resurrection, Jesus requires the disciples to stay in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come to them. They ask him about the timing of the restoration of Israel and he answers that it is not ours to know the timing of God. But, when the Holy Spirit comes they will be witnesses for Christ throughout the world. He then ascends into heaven. The disciples are stunned when two men in white robes ask, why are they standing staring – Jesus has been taken to heaven and will return in the same way.
They with the women including Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers returned to the upper room and all devote themselves to prayer and preparation.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Silverton NSW 2015 L Osburn
Holy, gracious and merciful God you chose us to be your people and will never abandon us. Be with us when we recognise our sins often from complacency. Watch us when we feel the pain of separation from you. Help us to remember all you have done for us and come to you prayerfully and full of thanks so that we may again experience the wisdom, joy and gladness that comes from the gift of your Holy Spirit in our hearts through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
Friday 22 May April 2015
Psalms 52 and 53
In the first psalm a person who trusts riches, seeks refuge in wealth and who is mischievous and plots destruction is warned that God will respond. In comparison those who trust in God are like a green olive tree, trusting in the steadfast love of God and praising God.
The second psalm is about those who do not believe and who do evil. God’s response to them will be terrifying. The psalmist prays for the people to be delivered and for their fortunes to be restored.
Judges 14: 10 – 15: 8
Samson has his wedding in Timnah. Thirty local men join in as is customary. Samson puts a riddle to them promising thirty linen and thirty festal garments. He gives them 7 days.
They cannot answer the riddle and threaten Samson’s wife to burn her and her father’s house. She goes to Samson and does not tell him of the threat but gets the answer to the riddle and tells the men. Samson is angry at the deception. He goes to another town and robs them to pay his debt. Meanwhile, his wife’s father gives her to Samson’s friend thinking that Samson had rejected her.
After a while, at the time of the harvest Samson returns to visit his wife and bring her a kid. He finds she has been given to another. The father-in-law offers Samson a younger daughter. Samson comments that this time when he does mischief to the Philistines he will be blameless. He uses foxes to torch the wheat fields, vineyards and olive groves.
The Philistines find out Samson’s cause and burn his wife to death and the father-in-laws’ house. Samson, discovering what they have done wreaks devastating slaughter.
1 Corinthians 14: 1 – 12
Paul encourages people to strengthen and build their spiritual gifts, not for their own benefit but for the purpose of strengthening the church. He gives the example of speaking in tongues – it is speaking with God in a holy way but unless it is interpreted and builds the church, it is like a musical instrument that makes no sound and is a bit foreign or alien to others. True prophecy builds the church. Paul encourages people to build their capacity.
Collect for Evening Prayer
Lake Mulwala NSW 2015 L Osburn
Holy Lord you know us and all our motivations and passions. Be with us now as we reflect on our day. Help us identify the times we behaved ethically, faithfully and used our skills and abilities to encourage others. Help us refocus so that we may be instruments with a purpose for you and so that our lives add to the rich symphony or your love which all can hear through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
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