Daily Devotions - Friday, 29 May 2020

DAILY DEVOTIONS

Friday, 29 May 2020

(The video version is available by clicking HERE )

Call to Prayer

Rejoice always, said St Paul, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances.   (1 Thessalonians 5 : 17)   

 

Welcome to Daily Devotions from Cramond Kirk on Friday, 29 May.

Many years ago when I worked in Glasgow an American colleague and friend joined me at a meeting of Presbytery.

As the Presbytery Moderator constituted the meeting in prayer, it was as though God was being given a ‘to do’ list for the coming weeks.

God do this, God do that, God grant the next thing – until my friend could stand it no more.

“Oh Russell”, he exclaimed, “is it possible to feel sorry for God!”

God already knows what we need – so rather than telling God what we want perhaps the purpose of our prayers is to try and discern something of God’s presence and purpose in our lives and in our world and let God’s will be done.

And as this wonderful story of two men going to pray suggests, a little humility before God would be a good starting point.

Luke 18 : 9 – 14

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Prayer  

Guiding,

forgiving,

healing,

the same yesterday, today and tomorrow,

glory be to You O God.

 

As we turn to You

in these daily devotions,

our prayers united

with the prayers of Your people the world  over,

forgive our mistakes

and lift from us all that weighs heavily

on our conscience.

 

Let us not think ourselves better than anyone else

but acknowledge our need.

 

And by Your grace

lift our hearts and our hopes

and renew in us a sense

of the mystery of Your love,

welcoming,

restoring,

renewing,

through our Saviour Christ.

 

As spring gives way to summer,

we thank You for trees in leaf,

gardens in flower,

the growth of tomato plants and fruit bushes,

the limitless unfolding of Your gift of life.

 

Yet we are painfully aware

of the contradictions of death and disease

as lands go barren

and creatures perish

and communities and people are troubled and broken.

 

And so we pray for healing,

the healing of warring nations,

the healing of divided communities,

the healing of broken families,

the healing of wounded spirits,

the healing of sick bodies,

the healing of land and sea and air.

 

Into Your strong hands

we commit this day and all its activities

and the people we love and care about,

trusting in Your unfailing goodness

through our Saviour Christ

who taught us to pray

 

Our Father

Which art in heaven

Hallowed be Thy name

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom

The power and the glory

For ever

Amen

 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

Amen