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Daily Prayers for the OCC

Daily Prayers for the OCC April 2017

325 for our 325th Anniversary Year!


On April 13, 1692, ten residents of Wrentham, who had been worshipping together for nearly twenty-five years, officially organized the Church of Christ in Wrentham and ordained Samuel Man as the first minister. Three hundred and twenty-five years later our church continues to be a caring community of faith and prayer welcoming all to worship in the Spirit of love and togetherness.  To celebrate the gift of an everyday faith, we offer to you a daily devotional.  Our goal is to share 325 daily prayers marking our 325 years.  As of the 21st of June this year, we have prepared over 325 daily devotions! Enjoy!

 

Friday July 14, 2017. Prayer 342. When Lightning Strikes

When lightning strikes creation takes notice. Psalm 29 declares that God’s glory and strength are to be heard in the voice of the Lord who thunders from the heavens, “The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.”  God’s voice breaks the cedars of Lebanon.  Mighty trees fall on God’s command.  When lightning strikes and a utility pole is hit, the power surge knocks out the mighty grid of human communication.  It can take over 48 hours to put back together what lightning can do in .048 or less of a second.  Can we say in this enlightened age that God still speaks through thunder and lightning?  It’s hard to be filled with hubris when humbled into silence.

Dear God, show me the way to hear your voice in this world even though we so fill it up with our own talking. Amen.

 

Monday July 17, 2017. Prayer 343. Freedom in Constraints

It seems opposite to the logic of pure justice, but, the human condition expands the state of freedom while living within certain constraints. For example, a person may feel overwhelmed in mid-life with a mortgage, car payments, loans, and health care costs, and the requirements of a place of employment.  Yet this person is not trapped.  This person has achieved what so few in the long history of humankind have been able to reach: a sense of security in an insecure world.  Peace of mind comes not in escaping our constraints, but achieving happiness within their borders.  In Job 36:16 we see the argument laid out that God delivers the afflicted by their affliction, and, “also allures you out of distress into a broad place where there is no cramping, what is set on your table is full of fatness.”  Our adversity opens our ears to spirit wisdom.  God sets before us a day of responsibility, what shall we do with it?

Dear God, help me to fulfill my responsibilities today without making them to be obligations but opportunities! Amen.

 

Tuesday July 18, 2017. Prayer 344. Security

To be secure means that you are free from danger or harm. From the Latin, secure literally means, to be care free.  Yet security is anything but care free.  In fact, the Latin root presumes the opposite, that to be safe and sound, you must always be concerned about what may cause danger or harm.  Job lost his loved ones, his financial security, and his health and wanted to ask God, “Why?  What did I do wrong?”  One of his friends tried to comfort him by saying, “Actually, as a sinner, you deserved much worse.”  People don’t deserve worse than whatever affliction they may be suffering.  That sentiment presumes an elemental justice in which the universe makes people suffer in accordance to their character and how they lived their life, and experience proves that is not true.  Suffering comes to all regardless.  Jobs friend did express our prayer that is true, as he says in Job 18, if you prepare your heart and do not let injustice into your tent, “You will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.”  A care free life begins with freely caring for all around you.

Dear God, above all things, let me live my life justly towards others, towards myself, and towards you. Amen.

 

Wednesday July 19, 2017. Prayer 345. Set Free From Corruption

Talk to a parent who is preparing to send their student off to college in the fall. Their hope is that their child will maintain a grade point average to keep their scholarship, and that they protect their well-being.  The pressure to achieve high grades might encourage a young adult to find release in behaviors that have risks of negative consequences.  Each generation may think they are the first to see the wisdom in taking a break from the pressure to perform at a high level, yet this is the stuff of every generation’s yearning to be independent and responsible to themselves.  The Apostle Paul believed that the whole creation is bound to the powers of decay.  In Romans 8:19 he articulates every parents prayer, that “we all wait with eager longing” to see that “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”  We want to see our children shine.  Will they rise above their own basic fears and insecurities and achieve a sense of responsibility for their own well-being and of others?  We pray!

Dear God, watch over the children, our young adults, grant them your favor, protect them from all harm and from themselves. Amen.

 

Thursday July 20, 2017. Prayer 346. To A Thirsty Soul

Proverbs 25:25 reads, “Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” On a hot and humid summer day, it is great to receive a glass of cool water to refresh the body and spirit for continued work.  We all thirst in our soul for a better world.  Our Christian faith sets us apart from the world and says, “It already is God’s world and evil has already been overcome.”  Yet we are quick to place ourselves as the top editor of our own news feeds about the state of affairs of a world in constant conflict.  To a thirsty soul, the good news of faith does come as if from a faraway place.  Peace is literally “foreign” to our ears.  You can never speak the words “peace be with you” too much.

Dear God, while I work towards peace in my own day today, let there be peace on earth, and may we all hear good news today. Amen.

 

Friday July 21, 2017. Prayer 347. A Bargaining Unit of One

Job is a bargaining unit of one. In his day, he did not have constitutional law that protected his right to complain to the highest authority about his working conditions, a living wage, and his deplorable health care.  His friends try to tell him that God is just and that Job deserved worse for his sins.  Job doesn’t take that as a satisfactory answer.  All he wants is a hearing.  He pledges to be silent if God would listen to his cause and grant him understanding of just how he had gone astray.  Job 6:27 reads, “Would you even cast lots over the parentless, and bargain over your friend?”  The strength of Job and the inspiration we take from him is that we must never give in to easy answers and pat explanations of why someone ought to suffer more because, “that’s just the way it is.”  A wise member of a bargaining unit says, “It’s not a crisis of money, it’s a crisis of priority.”  What is a living wage?  Why is it so important?  Job draws a line at undue suffering and hardship for a just person.

Dear God, assist me in understanding my role in my own bargaining agreement with you, and bless those who stand up for the right and ask for good things, to receive them sevenfold, in your mercy, we pray. Amen.

 

Monday July 24, 2017. Prayer 348. Abide In Well-being

How shall our soul abide in well-being? Psalm 25 asks the Lord to teach us the way.  In Psalm 25:16 we pray, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted, the troubles of my heart are enlarged, bring me out of my distress.”  There is much that causes us distress in all the seasons of our life.  If we are blessed with longevity, we never reach a stage where everything is all set forever.  Well-being has much to do with remaining a “life-long-learner” we like to say.  We have more to learn about ourselves at 90 than we did at 19 months.  A toddler is told when it’s time to eat, sleep, and play.  And yet, within those constraints, a little one thrives, grows, and finds delight!  Why is it not the same at 90?  Our sense of entitlement to our own freedom can in fact lead us away from faith wisdom that truly makes us well.  When we refer to God, instead of ourselves, as our ultimate authority, then well-being abides in our soul.

Dear God, you made me to be thinking and feeling being. Use my smarts and my heart to abide in well-being.  Amen.

 

Tuesday July 25, 2017. Prayer 349. Let Me First Say Farewell

Parting is such sweet sorrow. That’s what Juliet says to Romeo on the balcony of goodnight.  It’s hard to intentionally be apart, yet the hope is meeting again in a good tomorrow.  Faith can be hard at times because it does not always allow room for sentimentalities.  A would be follower of Jesus says, “I will follow you Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”  Jesus replies in Luke 9:62, “Don’t look back.”  That is because the love and commitment to friends and family will keep you home instead of letting you go on your spiritual journey.  This does not mean faith asks you to be estranged from your loved ones. It means that you will draw closer to the real relationship between you and your loved ones because you have set good priorities and boundaries in your life about service and prayer.  That will make you a far better son, daughter, brother, sister, friend: never controlling or controlled by fear of offense—always doing the right thing by them, you and God.  Faith is hard.  It compels us to say farewell to roles we have become used to in life.

Dear God, let me grow into my role as a faith person, a care-giver, a family member, and child of God, under your tender care and guiding wisdom. Amen.