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Daily Devotions

Daily Prayers for the OCC  2019   

 PRAYERS FOR LIGHT

 

Monday, January 7, 2019. Prayer 731. A Star At Its Rising

This is the season called Epiphany in the church. Epiphany means “to be revealed.”  We are seeing something new under the sun, the moon and all the stars at their rising each night.  In Matthew 2:1-2 we hear the story of the three wise men from the East who had come to Jerusalem to visit the child born a king.  “We have observed his star at its rising, and have come to worship him,” they announce.  The local king cannot find him because he sought power, control and malice.  Jesus’ rising star can only be seen in humble wonder.

Dear God, when I start to control the world with my wants, remind me your stars reveal a bigger plan. Amen.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019. Prayer 732. Stopping Stars

In Matthew 2:10 we hear of the wise men finding the baby Jesus, “When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.” They entered in, saw the child, his mother Mary, and they knelt down and worshipped him.  The star stopped over the place where the king of love was born.  It’s not easy to stop a star from its rising, turning, and falling.  Each point of light in the deep darkness of the universe tells a tale of miracles.  Under the new light of a new day, the world may be revealed as the miracle it truly is.

Dear God, often I complain of the problems I have in my ordinary day. Shed new light on me today! Amen.

 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Prayer 733. The Coming Light

The Prophet Isaiah in 60:1 boldly proclaims to the people, “Arise, shine; for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” You don’t want to miss God moments in your life.  Often the hardest thing you are experiencing is exactly where you may see and hear God’s presence in a way you cannot when busy with ordinary things.  Each life is a light.  When we come into the presence of a newborn, a new friend, a new co-worker, fellow student, artist, craftsman, caregiver, a bigger world is coming into light before our eyes.

Dear God, help me to appreciate everyone I encounter in life as potential bearers of your new light. Amen.

 

Thursday, January 10, 2019. Prayer 734. Thick Darkness

The Prophet Isaiah in 60:2 is honest about what kind of world God’s light is coming into as we are reminded, “For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples.” Shakespeare wrote of grief having many shadows.  There are many different kinds of darkness in the world today.  A nation under the grip of totalitarianism shows no light from space at night.  They have no power grid.  A people disallowed to read freely the books of the world suffer in the darkness without knowledge of a better way.  What’s next?

Dear God, we are very afraid of the dark. Let the light of your love rise upon us and appear to all. Amen.

 

Friday, January 11, 2019. Prayer 735. You Shall See

The Prophet is convinced that neither the darkness of space or human society can prevent God’s light from rising. The Prophet calls out to us to lift up our eyes and look around and see what is coming.  In Isaiah 60:5 we are told, “Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice.” Why this reversal of fortune?  Because “your sons and daughters with come to you from far away.”  Our life together will be restored.  Peace comes from hard work, unrelenting hope, and as a gift from God.  We shall see it!

Dear God, it seems as though the world is far from peace, yet your light shines. Let us see it together! Amen

 

PRAYING WITH DOVES

 

Monday, January 14, 2019. Prayer 736. Like A Dove

In the church on the Sunday following Epiphany we tell the story of Jesus being baptized. According to Luke 3:22, when Jesus was baptized and was praying, “The Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, like a dove.”  As a spirit animal, a dove signifies peace at the deepest level.  The dove is a spirit messenger that heralds a new beginning, a time to be settled and at peace.  It is important to note that the dove arrives while Jesus is praying.  His calling in life was to draw as near to God and to God’s people at the same time.

Dear God, deepen my prayer life with you so that the message of love actually appears in bodily form. Amen.

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Prayer 737. Returning Doves

In the Biblical story of Noah and the ark, God eventually makes the winds to blow and the rains to cease, and the waters subside. After several months on a mountaintop, waiting for dry land to reappear beneath them, Noah sends out a dove to check.  In Genesis 8:12 we hear that Noah sent out the dove three times.  She came back the first time with nothing.  She returned a second time with a freshly plucked olive leaf.  On the third time we are told, “she did not return to him anymore.”  Noah returned doves to the world to look for peace.

Dear God, thank you for the gift of doves and for all who do not return in the search to find deep peace. Amen.

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019. Prayer 738. Moan Like Doves

The prophets of old spoke God’s words looking for justice for the oppressed. In Isaiah 59:11 the prayers of the people are expressed this way, “We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.”  The coo of a mourning dove reveals a deep resonance to the vision of two doves together on the wire.  When love is on the line, it requires that we are all in.  A dove is God’s gift to us that cries out for love.  In human society, peace comes only through justice for all.

Dear God, we see the world’s deep conflicts, may we hear the soft moan of the doves’ cry for peace. Amen.

 

Thursday, January 17, 2019. Prayer 739. Wings Of A Dove

“My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” Psalm 55:6.  A New Mexico church takes its youth on trips to the border to experience what is happening there.  They found pots broken open to get the last drops of moisture.

Dear God, the raging tempest of the human heart has a thirst nothing can quench but your peace. Amen.

 

Friday, January 18, 2019. Prayer 740. Innocent As Doves

In Matthew 10:16 we hear Jesus instructing his disciples, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents, and innocent like doves.” Life in human society is inherently dangerous.  Many forces work against the safety and security of all people.  Jesus equips us with these words, “Beware the evil intentions of men, but, have no fear of them, for what is covered up in the dark will be revealed in the light—shout it from the rooftops.”  Jesus asks us to use our words like the doves do—speak peace to all.

Dear God, wherever our lives take us, let our words speak peace to all and have malice towards none. Amen.