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 service, we offer to you a daily devotional. Our goal is to share 325 daily prayers marking our 325 years. As of Mid-April of this year, we have prepared over 275 daily devotions. May you find renewal in the Spring-time faith of our Lord!
Friday April 21, 2017. Prayer 282. Cherish
The Middle English word “Cherish” takes its roots from “dear” and “caring.” To treat another with affection is the Christian way. The Apostle Paul tells the early church in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 that, “being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves because you had become very dear to us. There is nothing like coming home to a caring community when you’ve had a bad outing somewhere.
Dear God, may my home always be a safe and caring place that others may find tender love and affection. Amen.
Monday April 24, 2017. Prayer 283. Doubtful
In the Gospel of John we are told that after Jesus was risen he appeared to the disciples, but Thomas was not among them and he was full of doubt when they later said to him that they had seen Jesus. His reply in John 20:25 is, “Unless I see his hands the mark of his nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Thomas is certain of his uncertainty. He feels the report is dubious. His rational mind causes him to hesitate to hand his heart over to belief. What makes all the difference? Thomas needs to see the marks of Jesus’ suffering. When we suffer for others, we literally become real to them. Faith and doubt are not opposites, but rather complements to understanding. The opposite of faith is to deny the truth of another’s suffering.
Dear God, turn my doubts into moments of deeper trust in the truth of what really is going on in the world. Amen.
Tuesday April 25, 2017. Prayer 284. On the Right Side
In the days after Jesus was risen, he revealed himself to the disciples by the sea as they were returning from fishing. Just as the day was breaking Jesus stood on the shore and asked them, “Did you catch any fish?” They replied, “No” as their nets were empty. Jesus says in John 21:6 “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” They cast their nets and could not haul it in from the large quantity of fish they caught. Living by faith asks us to do difficult things for God and others, but faith asks of us simple and direct actions like “Go out and try again” or “This time, try to do the right thing.”
Dear God, though I am tempted to give up, encourage my heart to try to do the right thing in all situations. Amen.
Wednesday April 26, 2017. Prayer 285. Have Breakfast
John 21:12 reports to us that the risen Jesus standing on the shore calls out to the disciples in the fishing boat, “Come and have breakfast.” They found that he had lovingly prepared a charcoal fire for them. They shared bread and fish on the beach. Just like old times. A meal with friends creates intimate conversation about how it is going, about fears and concerns, and about sharing loving words of encouragement for the days ahead. When church friends have a meal together they share insight about where God is directing and re-directing our lives to be. Eating with loved ones feeds our bodies and our souls.
Dear God, I am thankful for times to share a meal with loved ones. Help me to feed my friends with love. Amen.
Thursday April 27, 2017. Prayer 286. Another Will Carry You
In John 21:18, Jesus gives Peter some strong advice about life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” This faith wisdom applies to ministers, missionaries, evangelists and service workers called to a life of putting other’s needs above their own. Jesus instruction also follows everyone’s life. We all seek for and cling to our independence. In faith terms we are not independent yet always dependent on God. God will yank us by the belt and carry us into places we would rather run from. Never underestimate that the hardest moments of losing your independence may be also the most powerful and important moments of your life.
Dear God, when I feel that I am losing control over my life, reassure me that you are pulling me in that direction. Amen.
Friday April 28, 2017. Prayer 287. Follow Me
Throughout the Gospel of John we hear Jesus saying to his disciples, “Follow me.” To follow a person might mean walking behind them, or to repeat their actions as in following in their footsteps. To follow a person’s lifetime means that your life is lived after their time is passed. When we follow Jesus we are striving to live our lives with the purpose of feeding others the good food of faith. Are our words spoken to bring peace, comfort and joy? Are our actions spent preparing, receiving and serving others? The many Christian communities that have come into existence since Jesus day can become quite particular about defining what it means to follow Jesus. Jesus keeps it very simple as he said to Peter in John 21:17, “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” Tending to others is following the way of Jesus.
Dear God, continue to call me to acts of love and service. Let me know how to follow you in caring for others. Amen.