Recent Posts

Evening Prayer – June 12, 2021

Silence and Centering – Pause for 2 minutes of Silence  

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1

First Reading: Psalm 112

Praise, servants of the Lord,  praise the name of the Lord. Let the Lord’s name be blessed,  now and for ever. From the sun’s rising to its setting,  the Lord’s name is to be praised. The Lord is high over all peoples,  his glory is above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, who lives on high,  who bends down to watch over heaven and earth? He raises the weak from the ground,  the poor from the dunghill, raises them among the princes,  the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a household,  makes her the happy mother of children. Glory be to the Father and to the Son  and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,  is now, and ever shall be,  world without end. Amen.

Second Reading: Hebrews 11:4-7

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

Reflection:

If you ever doubt the value of faith, Hebrews 11 is a good chapter
to read. Today we look at just a small section of this grand
celebration of faith, yet it shows how, through the ages, faith
inspired God’s people to give their lives for the sake of God’s
purposes. If we want to please God – which means living lives that
embrace God’s values and ways – we need faith, the capacity to
trust and orient our lives around the mission of God. This faith doesn’t
need to be huge. All we need is to open ourselves to faith as God’s
gift. Then, as faith grows within us, it sustains us, and leads us in the
ways of goodness.

As we move closer to Sunday, and its celebration of the power of
small things, it’s important that we open ourselves to a growing
faith. It is this faith that will enable us to offer our abilities, our
resources and our time to God – however small our contribution
may be. It is this faith that empowers us to reach out to others in
Christ’s name, and it is this faith that will help us to find our place in
the Reign of God so that our small contributions have real impact
and meaning.

How can you open your heart to the gift of faith today? And how
can you allow faith to lead you to offer yourself for the sake of
God’s Reign?

DO: One of the best ways to grow, and to use, faith is to give of
ourselves – our time, talents and treasures. You may feel that what
you have to give is small, but there is a power in small things when
used for God’s Reign. Why not make today a giving day?

PRAY: Thank you, O God, for the faith that leads me to share my small
resources and abilities for the sake of your Reign on earth.

Prayers & Intercessions:

Christ our Lord is mindful of all who need him, and does great things for love of them. Let us not be afraid to ask him for all our needs.– Show us your loving kindness.Lord, we know that the good things we have received today have come as a gift from you:  may we receive them with thankfulness and learn how to give.– Show us your loving kindness.Saviour and light of all people, keep missionaries in your special care:  may the light of your Spirit burn strongly in them.– Show us your loving kindness.Grant that the world may be filled with the knowledge of your truth;  help us to carry out all you have called us to do.– Show us your loving kindness.You healed the sickness and pain of your brothers:  Bring healing and comfort to the spirit of man.– Show us your loving kindness.Give rest to the faithful departed;  and bring them to praise you in eternity.– Show us your loving kindness.


Our Father, who art in heaven,  hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread,  and forgive us our trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us,and lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil.


Lord God, strength of those who hope in you,  support us in our prayer:because we are weak and can do nothing without you,  give us always the help of your grace  so that, in fulfilling your commandments,  we may please you in all we desire and do.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,(one) God, for ever and ever.Amen.


The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.

Conclude with 5 Minutes of Silence

Oficina del día de reposo: 11 de Junio de 2021

Silencio y centrado: pausa durante 5 minutos de silencio

“Estad quietos y reconoced que yo soy Dios; – Salmo 46:10

Confesión:

Señor Jesús, te damos gracias por vaciar Tu vida por nuestros pecados, tal como lo planeó nuestro Padre. Sin tu muerte y resurrección, no tendríamos ningún rescate de la maldad de este mundo. Pero te confesamos, Señor, nuestra tendencia humana a volver a los viejos patrones de pensar y hacer mientras tratamos de recuperar el control de nuestras vidas. Ten piedad de nuestra necedad y perdónanos completamente por resistir la gracia de tu evangelio. Vuelve a alinear nuestro pensamiento con la verdad de Tu Palabra, para que podamos caminar una vez más en verdadera libertad. Te lo pedimos humildemente en el nombre de Cristo. Amén.

PRIMERA LECTURA: Salmo 92: 1-4

¡Cuán bueno, SEÑOR, es darte gracias

    y entonar, oh Altísimo, salmos a tu nombre;

2 proclamar tu gran amor por la mañana,

    y tu fidelidad por la noche,

3 al son del decacordio y de la lira;

    al son del arpa y del salterio!

4 Tú, SEÑOR, me llenas de alegría con tus maravillas;

    por eso alabaré jubiloso las obras de tus manos.

SEGUNDA LECTURA: Marcos 4: 1-20

De nuevo comenzó Jesús a enseñar a la orilla del lago. La multitud que se reunió para verlo era tan grande que él subió y se sentó en una barca que estaba en el lago, mientras toda la gente se quedaba en la playa. 2 Entonces se puso a enseñarles muchas cosas por medio de parábolas y, como parte de su instrucción, les dijo: 3 «¡Pongan atención! Un sembrador salió a sembrar. 4 Sucedió que al esparcir él la semilla, una parte cayó junto al camino, y llegaron los pájaros y se la comieron. 5 Otra parte cayó en terreno pedregoso, sin mucha tierra. Esa semilla brotó pronto porque la tierra no era profunda; 6 pero, cuando salió el sol, las plantas se marchitaron y, por no tener raíz, se secaron. 7 Otra parte de la semilla cayó entre espinos que, al crecer, la ahogaron, de modo que no dio fruto. 8 Pero las otras semillas cayeron en buen terreno. Brotaron, crecieron y produjeron una cosecha que rindió el treinta, el sesenta y hasta el ciento por uno.

9 »El que tenga oídos para oír, que oiga», añadió Jesús.

10 Cuando se quedó solo, los doce y los que estaban alrededor de él le hicieron preguntas sobre las parábolas. 11 «A ustedes se les ha revelado el secreto del reino de Dios —les contestó—; pero a los de afuera todo les llega por medio de parábolas, 12 para que

»“por mucho que vean, no perciban;

    y por mucho que oigan, no entiendan;

no sea que se conviertan y sean perdonados”.[a]

13 »¿No entienden esta parábola? —continuó Jesús—. ¿Cómo podrán, entonces, entender las demás? 14 El sembrador siembra la palabra. 15 Algunos son como lo sembrado junto al camino, donde se siembra la palabra. Tan pronto como la oyen, viene Satanás y les quita la palabra sembrada en ellos. 16 Otros son como lo sembrado en terreno pedregoso: cuando oyen la palabra, en seguida la reciben con alegría, 17 pero, como no tienen raíz, duran poco tiempo. Cuando surgen problemas o persecución a causa de la palabra, en seguida se apartan de ella. 18 Otros son como lo sembrado entre espinos: oyen la palabra, 19 pero las preocupaciones de esta vida, el engaño de las riquezas y muchos otros malos deseos entran hasta ahogar la palabra, de modo que esta no llega a dar fruto. 20 Pero otros son como lo sembrado en buen terreno: oyen la palabra, la aceptan y producen una cosecha que rinde el treinta, el sesenta y hasta el ciento por uno».

REFLEXIÓN:

ORACIONES:

En paz, oremos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

En acción de gracias al Altísimo, que plantó su santa palabra entre nosotros; y para el crecimiento saludable de la Iglesia, para que podamos capear los vientos tempestuosos de este mundo firmes en Cristo, llevando siempre los frutos del amor y cantando alabanzas a Su nombre, roguemos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

Por la predicación y enseñanza de la Santa Palabra de Dios, para que por su Espíritu brote y crezca cuando y donde quiera a Dios, roguemos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

Por esta y por todas las congregaciones, para que el reino de Dios se extienda y tengamos corazones agradecidos para maravillarnos de su obra, oremos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

Y para que Dios envíe obreros fieles a sus campos para esparcir su semilla aquí y en el exterior, para que a su debido tiempo se pueda segar una cosecha para su gloria, roguemos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

Por nuestros hogares y familias, para que el Señor haga fructíferos los esfuerzos de los padres en la enseñanza de sus hijos y los preserve en la fe salvadora de Jesús de acuerdo con las promesas que Él ha dicho y que seguramente cumplirá, roguemos al Señor: Señor ten piedad.

Para aquellos en posiciones de autoridad entre nosotros, [especialmente _____________,] que Dios los guíe por Su Espíritu a ser elevados en propósito, sabios en consejos, firmes en buena resolución e inquebrantables en el deber; y por nuestra nación y su gente, para que seamos gobernados tranquila y pacíficamente, oremos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

Por los que tienen toda necesidad, [especialmente ________________,] oremos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

Por todos los siervos de Dios que gimen bajo las cargas de esta tienda terrenal y anhelan ser revestidos de Su vida eterna, la cual absorberá todo dolor mortal [especialmente aquellos que lloran _______________]; que les daría valor para caminar por la fe y no por la vista, para llorar a los muertos con la esperanza de la resurrección, y para que su objetivo sea complacerlo mientras están aquí en el cuerpo, hasta que por fin estemos todos en casa con Cristo, oremos al Señor: Señor, ten piedad.

Santo Padre, de Israel has tomado una ramita tierna, tu Mesías elegido, Jesús, y lo has plantado en el monte para nuestra salvación. Con Su muerte en un árbol, has revertido la maldición del pecado y has vuelto a dar vida a las almas secas y polvorientas. No dejes que despreciemos a Tu Cristo, Su humildad o Su sufrimiento, sino llévanos con todos Tus cristianos a la sombra de Su descanso eterno; por el mismo Jesucristo, tu Hijo, nuestro Señor, que vive y reina contigo y el Espíritu Santo, un solo Dios, ahora y por los siglos. Amén.

Sabbath – Daily Office – June 11, 2021

Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence    

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10

Confession: 

Lord Jesus, we thank You for emptying out Your life for our sins, just as our Father planned. Without Your death and resurrection, we would have no rescue from the evil of this world. But we confess to You, Lord, our human tendency to turn back to old patterns of thinking and doing as we try to take back control of our lives. Have mercy on our foolishness, and forgive us completely for resisting the grace of Your gospel. Align our thinking again with the truth of Your Word, so that we might walk once again in true freedom. We ask this humbly in Christ’s name.  Amen.

FIRST READING: Psalm 92:1-4

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

SECOND READING: Mark 4:1-20

Again, he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching, he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret[a] of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that

‘They may indeed look, but not perceive,
    and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”

13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.[b] 18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

REFLECTION:

PRAYERS:

In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

In thanksgiving to the Most High, who has planted His Holy Word among us; and for the Church’s healthy growth, that we may weather the storm-winds of this world steadfast in Christ, ever bearing the fruits of love and singing praises to His name, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the preaching and teaching of God’s Holy Word, that by His Spirit it may sprout and grow when and where it pleases God, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For this and every congregation, that God’s kingdom may be extended and we may have thankful hearts to marvel at His work, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

And that God would send faithful laborers into His fields to scatter His seed here and abroad, so in due time a harvest may be reaped for His glory, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For our homes and families, that the Lord would make the efforts of parents fruitful in the teaching of their children and preserve them in the saving faith of Jesus according to the promises He has spoken and will surely fulfill, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For those in positions of authority among us, [especially _____________,] that God would guide them by His Spirit to be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution and unwavering in duty; and for our nation and its people, that we may be governed quietly and peaceably, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For those in every need, [especially ________________,] let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all God’s servants who groan under the burdens of this earthly tent and long to be clothed with His eternal life, which will swallow up all mortal sorrow [especially those who mourn _______________]; that He would give them good courage to walk by faith and not sight, to mourn the dead in the hope of the resurrection, and to make it their aim to please Him while here in the body, until at last we are all at home with Christ, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

Holy Father, from Israel You have taken a tender sprig, your chosen Messiah, Jesus, and planted Him on the mountain for our salvation. By His death on a tree, you have reversed the curse of sin and brought life again to dry, dusty souls. Do not let us despise Your Christ, His humility or His suffering, but bring us with all Your Christians into the shade of His eternal rest; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Evening Prayer – June 10, 2021

Silence and Centering – Pause for 2 minutes of Silence  

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1

Confession: 

Dear Heavenly Father, we lower our heads before you and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if there was no God and we fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may witness to You in our world. Remind us to be who You would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Hold us to You and build our relationship with You and with those You have given us on earth.

FIRST READING: 1 Samuel 9:15-27

The day before Saul came, the Lord had told Samuel, 16 “I’ve seen how my people are suffering, and I’ve heard their call for help. About this time tomorrow I’ll send you a man from the tribe of Benjamin, who will rescue my people from the Philistines. I want you to pour olive oil[a] on his head to show that he will be their leader.”

17 Samuel looked at Saul, and the Lord told Samuel, “This is the man I told you about. He’s the one who will rule Israel.”

18 Saul went over to Samuel in the gateway and said, “A man who can see visions lives here in town. Could you tell me the way to his house?”

19 “I am the one who sees visions!” Samuel answered. “Go on up to the place of worship. You will eat with me today, and in the morning I’ll answer your questions. 20 Don’t worry about your donkeys that ran off three days ago. They’ve already been found. Everything of value in Israel now belongs to you and your family.”[b]

21 “Why are you telling me this?” Saul asked. “I’m from Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my clan is the least important in the tribe.”

22 Samuel took Saul and his servant into the dining room at the place of worship. About thirty people were there for the dinner, but Samuel gave Saul and his servant the places of honor. 23-24 Then Samuel told the cook, “I gave you the best piece of meat and told you to set it aside. Bring it here now.”

The cook brought the meat over and set it down in front of Saul. “This is for you,” Samuel told him. “Go ahead and eat it. I had this piece saved especially for you, and I invited these guests to eat with you.”

After Saul and Samuel had finished eating, 25 they went down from the place of worship and back into town. A bed was set up for Saul on the flat roof[c] of Samuel’s house, 26 and Saul slept there.

About sunrise the next morning,[d] Samuel called up to Saul on the roof, “Time to get up! I’ll help you get started on your way.”

Saul got up. He and Samuel left together 27 and had almost reached the edge of town when Samuel stopped and said, “Have your servant go on. Stay here with me for a few minutes, and I’ll tell you what God has told me.”

SECOND READING: Hebrews 2:5-9

 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    a son of man that you care for him?
You made them a little[a] lower than the angels;
    you crowned them with glory and honor
    and put everything under their feet.”[b][c]

In putting everything under them,[d] God left nothing that is not subject to them.[e] Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.[f] But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

REFLECTION:

On Sunday you may hear readings that celebrate the power of small things in God’s Reign: seeds that grow into large trees; youngest sons from insignificant tribes who become kings and commanders.

Today, the writer to the Hebrews makes a remarkable assertion that connects with the principle of valuing the small – human beings, though “mere mortals”, are cared for and watched over by God, and are given glory and honor. This is a quote from the wonderful Psalm 8, and it includes the idea that human beings have been given authority over all things – which in God’s Reign always means service and sacrifice. The important message here is that each one of us, as small and insignificant as we may be, is important to God and has a part to play in God’s work of saving the cosmos.

Alongside this image of human mortality and glory, the writer paints a picture of Jesus. Here we see how Jesus humbled himself and became “lower than the angels”, even embracing death for our sakes. Yet, as the Scriptures remind us here, and in so many places, God has glorified the crucified One.

This is something we still struggle to get our minds around – that even God, in seeking to liberate creation from evil and death, did not use violence or conquest, but used smallness, weakness, peace-making and love. Thank God for this, because it means that anyone can play a part in God’s work of grace and love – even the smallest and weakest of us. What small part can you play today in bringing God’s love and grace into the world?

DO: A good response to the message of today’s reading is thanksgiving. Give thanks for God’s love and grace and for the way God uses even your small contributions of service and love to make a big impact on the world.

PRAY: Thank you, O God, for your love for me, and for the way you shine your love through me to others.

PRAY: 

As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

Gracious Father, we pray for your Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!

God, I thank you for all that you helped me accomplish during this day. Thank you for giving me the strength and energy, as well as the focus and ability to do all the things that got done today. Thank you for blessing me with people in my life today who were funny or encouraging or helpful. Thank you for your favor and care for me throughout the day. And now, I thank you for sweet rest throughout the night. Amen.

Conclude with 5 Minutes of Silence

Evening Prayer – June 9, 2021

Silence and Centering – Pause for 2 minutes of Silence  

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1

Confession: 

There are many ways to be unfaithful to what we have become through baptism,
to our commitment and our obedience to God.
We offer God now our prayers of repentance.
We confess to you, living God,
our failure to live as brothers and sisters, and as your children.

We confess to you, loving God,
that we have not loved you as you have loved us.
We confess to you, gracious God,
that we have doubted your word and failed to obey its teaching.

We confess to you, merciful God,
our desire to own you and contain you within our doctrines and theologies.
We confess to you, almighty God,
that we do not acknowledge you as Lord of all the earth.

Forgive us and redeem us for we have not allowed your presence to shine among us.
There are many ways in which we have failed
in our commitment and obedience to our fellow men and women.

We turn towards our neighbors and our friends
and offer them our prayers of repentance.

FIRST READING: PSALM 74

God, why have you rejected us for so long?
    Why are you angry with us, the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the people you bought long ago.
    You saved us, and we are your very own.
    After all, you live on Mount Zion.
Make your way through these old ruins;
    the enemy wrecked everything in the Temple.

Those who were against you shouted in your meeting place
    and raised their flags there.
They came with axes raised
    as if to cut down a forest of trees.
They smashed the carved panels
    with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your Temple to the ground;
    they have made the place where you live unclean.
They thought, “We will completely crush them!”
    They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.
We do not see any signs.
    There are no more prophets,
    and no one knows how long this will last.
10 God, how much longer will the enemy make fun of you?
    Will they insult you forever?
11 Why do you hold back your power?
    Bring your power out in the open and destroy them!

12 God, you have been our king for a long time.
    You bring salvation to the earth.
13 You split open the sea by your power
    and broke the heads of the sea monster.
14 You smashed the heads of the monster Leviathan
    and gave it to the desert creatures as food.
15 You opened up the springs and streams
    and made the flowing rivers run dry.
16 Both the day and the night are yours;
    you made the sun and the moon.
17 You set all the limits on the earth;
    you created summer and winter.

18 Lord, remember how the enemy insulted you.
    Remember how those foolish people made fun of you.
19 Do not give us, your doves, to those wild animals.
    Never forget your poor people.
20 Remember the agreement you made with us,
    because violence fills every dark corner of this land.
21 Do not let your suffering people be disgraced.
    Let the poor and helpless praise you.

22 God, arise and defend yourself.
    Remember the insults that come from those foolish people all day long.
23 Don’t forget what your enemies said;
    don’t forget their roar as they rise against you always.

SECOND READING: Luke 11:14-28

One time Jesus was sending out a demon who could not talk. When the demon came out, the man who had been unable to speak, then spoke. The people were amazed. 15 But some of them said, “Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons, to force demons out of people.”

16 Other people, wanting to test Jesus, asked him to give them a sign from heaven. 17 But knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom that is divided against itself will be destroyed. And a family that is divided against itself will not continue. 18 So if Satan is divided against himself, his kingdom will not continue. You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons. 19 But if I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons, what power do your people use to force demons out? So they will be your judges. 20 But if I use the power of God to force out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

21 “When a strong person with many weapons guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger comes and defeats him, the stronger one will take away the weapons the first man trusted and will give away the possessions.

23 “Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not work with me is working against me.

The Empty Person

24 “When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest. But when it finds no place, it says, ‘I will go back to the house I left.’ 25 And when it comes back, it finds that house swept clean and made neat. 26 Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than it is, and they go in and live there. So the person has even more trouble than before.”

People Who Are Truly Blessed

27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out to Jesus, “Blessed is the mother who gave birth to you and nursed you.”

28 But Jesus said, “No, blessed are those who hear the teaching of God and obey it.”

REFLECTION:

God’s people would never have believed that their nation would be conquered, their temple destroyed and their people carried into exile – until it actually happened. They had been warned by the prophets, who had seen this disaster coming, so many times, but they had ignored God’s messengers and trusted in their own wisdom and strength, and that of their allies. But now, this psalm reflects their grief at their shattered country and their shattered lives.

The song of lament in today’s reading shows that at least some of God’s people had not lost their devotion to God, although, clearly, the dark times they were living in made it hard to stay trusting and faithful. Yet, in their quest to keep their allegiance to God strong, the people turned to an ancient practice – lament – to pour out their grief to God and remind themselves that their lives were still in God’s hands.

The act of lament always includes four elements: A complaint against God, a remembrance of God’s past acts of salvation, a plea for God to act now, and a commitment to faith and praise in the midst of the struggle. You will see all of these elements in this psalm. It’s this combination of grief and faith, of pleading and praising, that makes lament such a powerful, healing act. In our world of injustice, racial and religious hatred, poverty, dread diseases and natural disasters, we need this ancient practice just as much as the psalmist. When we have learned to lament well, it helps us to keep our faith strong even in the darkest moments of our lives. What are you grieving today? How can you embrace lament as a healing practice?

DO: Take some time today to think about the realities in your life and in the world that most upset or anger or grieve you. Then turn to God in lament, expressing your honest feelings, pleading for God to act, but also making a commitment to praise. Then, reflect on how you feel after these moments of lament.

PRAY: Hear my cry, O God, and make your presence known to me even in the midst of suffering and injustice.

PRAY: Today, help me to live, O God, with hospitality, service and patient, joyful endurance.

As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

Gracious Father, we pray for your Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!

God, I thank you for all that you helped me accomplish during this day. Thank you for giving me the strength and energy, as well as the focus and ability to do all the things that got done today. Thank you for blessing me with people in my life today who were funny or encouraging or helpful. Thank you for your favor and care for me throughout the day. And now, I thank you for sweet rest throughout the night. Amen.

Conclude with 5 Minutes of Silence

Evening Prayer – June 8, 2021

Silence and Centering – Pause for 2 minutes of Silence  

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1

Confession: 

Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy, forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

FIRST READING: Psalm 108


God, my heart is steady.
    I will sing and praise you with all my being.
Wake up, harp and lyre!
    I will wake up the dawn.
Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing songs of praise about you to all the nations.
Your great love reaches to the skies,
    your truth to the heavens.
God, you are supreme above the skies.
    Let your glory be over all the earth.

Answer us and save us by your power
    so the people you love will be rescued.
God has said from his Temple,
    “When I win, I will divide Shechem
    and measure off the Valley of Succoth.
Gilead and Manasseh are mine.
    Ephraim is like my helmet.
    Judah holds my royal scepter.
Moab is like my washbowl.
    I throw my sandals at Edom.
    I shout at Philistia.”

10 Who will bring me to the strong, walled city?
    Who will lead me to Edom?
11 God, surely you have rejected us;
    you do not go out with our armies.
12 Help us fight the enemy.
    Human help is useless,
13 but we can win with God’s help.
    He will defeat our enemies.

SECOND READING: 1 Samuel 16:14-23

14 But the Lord’s Spirit had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

15 Saul’s servants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is troubling you. 16 Give us the command to look for someone who can play the harp. When the evil spirit from God troubles you, he will play, and you will feel better.”

17 So Saul said to his servants, “Find someone who can play well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants said, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem play the harp. He is brave and courageous. He is a good speaker and handsome, and the Lord is with him.”

19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse loaded a donkey with bread, a leather bag full of wine, and a young goat, and he sent them with his son David to Saul.

21 When David came to Saul, he began to serve him. Saul liked David and made him the officer who carried his armor. 22 Saul sent a message to Jesse, saying, “Let David stay and serve me because I like him.”

23 When the evil spirit from God troubled Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then the evil spirit would leave him, and Saul would feel better.

REFLECTION:

In the reading today we begin to see the effects of Israel’s determination to have a human king. Saul, who was the first king chosen to rule Israel, has become increasingly tormented. When you read the details of his story you see him becoming more and more power hungry, paranoid and arrogant. It’s like the fact that the people chose him over God has gone to his head and, as power often does, corrupted him. It may be disturbing to read that the “tormenting spirit” was “from God”, but this simply reflects the beliefs of the writer who lived at a time when everything, both good and evil, was believed to originate in God.

It’s important to keep this cultural framework in mind and resist the temptation to read this passage literally as God sending evil on someone. What is fascinating about this story, though, is how the praise of David casts the darkness out of Saul’s soul. David, the psalm-singing shepherd, was a musician and songwriter who wrote and played worship music. Many of his songs can still be found in the book of Psalms. It was almost certainly this music that David played, and the worship it expressed restored Saul’s clarity of mind and brought him back into connection with God. It makes sense that Saul, who had begun to feel and act god-like, would find peace of mind when he was reminded that there was a God who was much greater than he.

Perhaps in those moments, away from the responsibility of being king, he could submit himself to God again, and give his allegiance to God’s Reign. Perhaps it was this humility and submission that brought him peace and healing. Is there any area of your life where you are becoming stressed because you take too much control or responsibility, or where you are struggling to keep faith? Could it perhaps bring you peace to take a little more time to worship and re-affirm your allegiance to God’s Reign today?

DO: The practice of praise is the best way to remember that there is a God, but we are not that God. When we immerse ourselves in the presence of God and in a vision of God’s greatness and love, we usually find relief from any confusion or darkness in us. Try it today.

PRAY: I praise you, O God, for your truth and light and for the clarity and freedom they give me.

PRAY: Today, help me to live, O God, with hospitality, service and patient, joyful endurance.

As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

Gracious Father, we pray for your Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!

God, I thank you for all that you helped me accomplish during this day. Thank you for giving me the strength and energy, as well as the focus and ability to do all the things that got done today. Thank you for blessing me with people in my life today who were funny or encouraging or helpful. Thank you for your favor and care for me throughout the day. And now, I thank you for sweet rest throughout the night. Amen.

Conclude with 5 Minutes of Silence

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Weekend Worship – June 5-6th

Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence  

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1

Confession: 

Lord Jesus, we thank You for emptying out Your life for our sins, just as our Father planned. Without Your death and resurrection, we would have no rescue from the evil of this world. But we confess to You, Lord, our human tendency to turn back to old patterns of thinking and doing as we try to take back control of our lives. Have mercy on our foolishness, and forgive us completely for resisting the grace of Your gospel. Align our thinking again with the truth of Your Word, so that we might walk once again in true freedom. We ask this humbly in Christ’s name.  Amen. 

FIRST READING: Genesis 3:8-15


3:8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

3:9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

3:11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

3:12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.”

3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”

3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

SECOND READING: Mark 3:20-35

3:20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.

3:21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.”

3:22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

3:23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?

3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

3:26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come.

3:27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

3:28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter;

3:29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”–

3:30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

3:31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.

3:32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.”

3:33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

3:34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!

3:35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

WORSHIP

REFLECTION:

PRAY:

In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

In thanksgiving for the promised Offspring, Jesus Christ, who by His death has crushed Satan’s head forever, that as God promised deliverance from sin and its curse to Adam and Eve and received their meager confessions for the sake of His grace, so He would show us the comfort of sins forgiven and lead us in constant hope of His new creation, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For courage, that as we believe, so we also would speak of the confidence of Christ’s resurrection; that we would be emboldened to confess this Christian faith from a lively conscience; and that, for Christ’s sake, grace may extend to more and more people for the glory of God, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all who feel the sword of division brought about by the confession of Christ’s truth, especially within their own families, that, seeing as Christ also was rejected on earth by friends and relatives, they would be assured that their stand is necessary, be guarded from seeking a false or easier peace, and be turned in every earthly disappointment toward God’s eternal and undivided Church Triumphant, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For our nation with its government, that as no kingdom or house divided can ever stand, God would frustrate the destructive work of Satan, unite our leaders and our people for the common good, and lead us to place our true hope in His eternal kingdom, which is not of this world, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all who suffer in this earthly tent, that fixing their eyes beyond the transient to things unseen, they would not lose heart; and that God, in His eternal wisdom, would prepare them through this slight momentary affliction for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, when at last we are raised with Christ and brought into His presence, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all who commune, that as Satan once overcame our first parents through the eating of the tree’s fruit, so Christ would overcome the devil among us here by the fruit of His cross, His body and blood given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

What was lost in Paradise has been regained by the conquering wounds of Your Son, crucified and raised again. In Him, we are restored as Your children and made bold to ask for every need. Hear us for His sake and in His name, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Conclude with 3 Minutes of Silence

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Evening Prayer – June 4th

Silence and Centering – Pause for 2 minutes of Silence  

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1

Confession: 

O God of shalom,
we have built up walls to protect ourselves from our enemies,
but those walls also shut us off from receiving your love.
Break down those walls.
Help us to see that the way to your heart
is through the reconciliation of our own hearts with our enemies.
Bless them and us, that we may come to grow in love
for each other and for you, through Jesus Christ.

FIRST READING: Psalm 130

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
    I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
    Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
    who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
    that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
    yes, I am counting on him.
    I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
    more than sentries long for the dawn,
    yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
    for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
    His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
    from every kind of sin.

SECOND READING: 1 Peter 4:7-19

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

14 If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of Godrests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also,

“If the righteous are barely saved,
    what will happen to godless sinners?”

19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

REFLECTION:

It certainly seems like Peter thought the world would end soon. Christians have always believed in, and hoped for, the Reign of God to be established in fullness on the earth. We can’t predict when this will happen, and we can’t make it happen, but we can work to ensure that God’s Reign is established as fully as possible in our own hearts and lives.

This is what Peter is writing about, and we must make sure that we don’t get distracted by what may look like a prediction of a future end time. How should the people of God’s Realm live? Peter gives a few clear guidelines and characteristics. We should be loving and hospitable. We should use our gifts and resources to serve God and one another. We should endure trouble and persecution with steadfastness and faithfulness.

Remember that Peter was writing to a persecuted church, and so there were lots of ways that their allegiance to God’s Reign was being tested. We may not have our lives threatened on a daily basis, but we also face constant challenges to our allegiance to God’s Reign. That’s why Peter’s words are both comforting and challenging. When we suffer, we are partners with Christ -as long as we’re suffering for Christ and not as a result of our own pride, selfishness or foolishness. But, if we remain faithful to God through our difficulties and trials, Peter assures us that God will never fail us. We always have the sustaining love and the restoring grace of God to carry us through whatever we may face. Where do you need the promise of God’s faithfulness today? Can you embrace it wholeheartedly?

DO: A great way to claim God’s promise of God’s presence and strength is to pray. When we pray for ourselves to stay strong and faithful, just the very act of speaking out our prayers empowers us. When we pray for others, we often grow in compassion for them, and our own struggles shrink in comparison. Then, we are able to be faithful to God’s Reign, and serve others in love more easily and effectively. Try it today.

PRAY: Today, help me to live, O God, with hospitality, service and patient, joyful endurance.

As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

Gracious Father, we pray for your Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!

God, I thank you for all that you helped me accomplish during this day. Thank you for giving me the strength and energy, as well as the focus and ability to do all the things that got done today. Thank you for blessing me with people in my life today who were funny or encouraging or helpful. Thank you for your favor and care for me throughout the day. And now, I thank you for sweet rest throughout the night. Amen.

Conclude with 5 Minutes of Silence

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Daily Office – June 2, 2021

Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence  

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1

Confession: Holy and merciful God, in your presence we confess our sinfulness, our shortcomings, and our offenses against you. You alone know how often we have sinned in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, in forgetting your love. Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have done to displease you. Forgive our sins, and help us to live in your light, and walk in your ways, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

FIRST READING: Numbers 6:22-27

22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you should bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 “May the Lord bless you and keep you.
25 May the Lord show you his kindness
    and have mercy on you.
26 May the Lord watch over you
    and give you peace.”’

27 “So Aaron and his sons will bless the Israelites with my name, and I will bless them.”

SECOND READING: Mark 4:21-25

21 Then Jesus said to them, “Do you hide a lamp under a bowl or under a bed? No! You put the lamp on a lampstand. 22 Everything that is hidden will be made clear and every secret thing will be made known. 23 Let those with ears use them and listen!

24 “Think carefully about what you hear. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you, but God will give you even more. 25 Those who have understanding will be given more. But those who do not have understanding, even what they have will be taken away from them.”

REFLECTION:

After all the reflections on the Trinity of this week, you may be feeling a little confused and overwhelmed. This is a good thing because we need to remember that God is always way beyond our ability to understand. As soon as we think we have God ‘nailed down’ we have stopped worshipping God! In the light of this, Jesus’ words in today’s reading are rather comforting. On the one hand Jesus encourages us to let our light shine. This means that we can let our knowledge of God and our love for God shine through our lives. But Jesus also encourages us to continue listening and seeking deeper understanding.

This is encouraging because it teaches us that we always have more to learn, and that an attitude of humility will always lead us into a deeper understanding of God and God’s ways. It’s also encouraging because it shows us that we don’t have to know it all in order to let our lights shine. God is always going to be a mystery to us – that’s as it should be. So, as we let our lights shine we don’t have to convince or persuade others, and we don’t have to know all the answers.

Rather, we can simply allow others to see the mysterious, glorious, Triune God at work in our lives. How can you let your light shine, while also opening yourself to new understandings of God today?

DO: One great way to dive into the mystery of God, to learn more about God, and to allow God’s light to shine through us, is to practice praise as a habit in our daily lives. Praise reveals God to us, leading us deeper in our understanding of God, and also allows God to reveal God’s Self through us to others.

PRAY: I praise you, O God for your glory and mystery.

Conclude with 3 Minutes of Silence

Evening Prayer – June 2, 2021

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Ephesians 6:10-14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We need to remember that we are in a spiritual world and there is a war going on. We have an enemy of our very soul. But unlike a regular war, in this war, we have an incredible advantage. Though there are powers against us, Paul tells us that we have the mighty power of God to help us every step of the way. Though we are in a fight, God has given us all the armor we need to be victorious. In actuality, it is not our war, it is God’s, and as we trust in Him, put on His armor, use His might and not ours, He assures us that when it is all over, we will be standing firm. Today, put all your trust in Him. Put on His armor and live today by faith, for this is true; the victory is ours.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, I cannot win this spiritual battle in my own power. I ask for Your guidance to guide me and Your might to be my strength. Today I put on Your armor of righteousness, truth, the word, faith, the message of Your grace and gospel, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Lead me in spiritual victory today, I pray. AMEN

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

Evening Prayer:  

God, I thank you for all that you helped me accomplish during this day. Thank you for giving me the strength and energy, as well as the focus and ability to do all the things that got done today. Thank you for blessing me with people in my life today who were funny or encouraging or helpful. Thank you for your favor and care for me throughout the day. And now, I thank you for sweet rest throughout the night. Amen.

Heavenly Father, you are always with me. As I lie down in bed to sleep, I am reminded that you sustain me. I am not conscious of the processes continuing in my body while I sleep, but you know every cell in my body. As I sleep, help me to leave behind the troubles of today and forgive those who have sinned against me. When I wake, let me be reminded that my sins have been forgiven and your mercies are new every morning. Watch over me. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.