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Daily Devotions

Daily Prayers for the OCC  2018

Monday April 9, 2018. Prayer 536. Room to Cry

The Spirit life begins in prayer. In order to pray you need to make some room.  In Psalm 4:1 our prayer to God begins like this, “Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress.  Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.”  God hears our prayers.  The answers are found by giving ourselves room for God in our time of distress.  If we are quick to rush into other projects to distract our minds from what we truly need to ask of God, we will have a more difficult time receiving an answer.

Dear God, it seems like such a long time to be in distress, thank you for giving me the room to pray. Amen.


Tuesday April 10, 2018. Prayer 537. Anger Not Sin

Psalm 4:4 says, “Be angry, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent.” It is not a sin to be angry.  But to willfully inflict a sin upon another is an angry act.  The Spirit life involves anger—righteous anger.  Be angry that it has been too long to resolve the issues of racism and poverty in our society and in our neighborhood.  Ponder it at your evening prayers.  Let it keep you up at night.  Let silence be what comes from you, not a small or narrow vision that is from human judgement rather than divine mercy.  What does God say?

Dear God, at times my anger gets the better of me and I say something hurtful. Speak for me.  Amen.

Wednesday April 11, 2018. Prayer 538. Right Sacrifices

There is a lot of selling and buying in the American economy. It is service and product oriented.  How much is a person willing to give up to get something?  How much is a company or seller willing to give up to serve the customer or receiver a better quality product or service?  Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware.  The world works against right sacrifices in the goal for time and profit values.  Psalm 4:5 says, “Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.”  I would rather buy a camel from God than an automobile from a dealership.

Dear God, let me be shrewd in my purchases, and much more than that, generous in my giving. Amen.

Thursday April 12, 2018. Prayer 539. Anything Good?

The world is filled with bad news. What’s “new” in the news today is actually quite old and time-worn human history.  We see corporations trading private information for cash.  We see cover-ups and deflective actions to throw off the hunt for the truth.  We see the absolute inhumanity of children gassed in the clash of rebels and tyrants.  We fear the escalation of global conflict.  We see markets rising and falling.  We fear the future.  Psalm 4:6 speaks our prayer, “There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good!’”

Dear God, let us behold the eyes of our deliverer while on earth. We need to see some good!  Amen.


Friday April 13, 2018. Prayer 540. Sleep In Peace

If the state of the world leaves us up at night worried about the future, how can we ever find rest for our souls? Psalm 4:8 gives us this prayer to pray at these times of our tossing and turning, “I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me to lie down in safety.”  If we only seek our own security our world grows small fast.  If we face our fears and head out to seek peace and pursue it, peace comes.  Remember the peace-makers?  They are called the children of God.  Good sleep is a gift of God.

Dear God, make me to lie down and rest secure in having done right. Grant me to sleep in peace.  Amen.

Monday April 16, 2018. Prayer 541. I Shall Not Want

The 23rd Psalm begins, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”  A shepherd’s role is to the flock.  The flock needs to be fed and given water.  The flock needs to be protected from danger.  The flock may need to be found if wander off.  The shepherd keeps the flock together despite the numerous forces that would work against their well-being.  Health care is one of the most controversial and difficult matters of society.  Imagine God being the provider of all health care?  No one would want for care.

Dear God, may all those in need of good quality health care receive the mercy of love and life. Amen.


Tuesday April 17, 2018. Prayer 542. He Makes Me Lie Down

Our society is badly in need of rest. Good, enduring, quality, gentle rest would help restore souls.  Have you noticed at the supermarket everyone is rushing around.  Everyone is in such a rush to get chores done to get to the next stop.  Psalm 23:2 instructs our scurrying hearts, “The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures.”  Our secular culture demands that we produce more goods and services as quickly as we can.  This is not necessarily a faith value.  We do well to let faith inform our schedule-making as much as productivity.

Dear God, so much works against my getting good rest. Let me gently rest in you today.  Amen.


Wednesday April 18, 2018. Prayer 543. Beside Still Waters

The littlest one among us knows how hard it is to be asked to sit still. This is especially true if there are a lot of others around and so much to say and do with each other.  That’s exactly the way to restoration sings David in the 23rd Psalm.  King David led the people and had more on his list to do than one person could accomplish in a day.  He remembered his days as a young shepherd.  The sheep did not drink at rushing streams.  To give them water, they needed to be led to where the waters were still.  That was the only way to restore them.

Dear God, in my rush to do a million things, lead me to the one thing that allows me to be renewed. Amen.


Thursday April 19, 2018. Prayer 544. Souls Restored

If there is one thing we could most certainly agree upon across all cultures in our contemporary society is that our souls need rest and renewal. Life demands long work schedules that bleed into our family and down time.  Family care-giving requires all our best strength and energy to do it well.  Our communities need us as well and we struggle to donate more of our time.  God restores souls.  Church is different than all the ten thousand tasks we have in a day.  Church gives back.  Church feeds and waters us well.  Faith gives, not takes.

Dear God, just when I am tempted to think a church commitment takes from me, restore my soul. Amen.