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Daily Devotions

Daily Prayers for the OCC  2020 

We invite you to take a moment when you rise, or to pause in the middle of the day, or as you enter prayer at the close of the day to let these meditations attend to your soul.

 

 

Monday, February 10, 2020. Prayer 967. In The Beginning Is Love
God loves the world. God’s been in love with the world since before the creating of everything. Genesis 1:1 begins the love story in this way: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.” The characteristics of love include seeing and wanting to be seen, that requires light. Other characteristics involve a relationship between two different creations. In this case heaven and earth have a very close yet separate identity. Then comes the best part: words. First word? “Good.”
Dear God, help me to hear that creation calls me good that I may be good to all you have made in return. Amen.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Prayer 968. The Greatest Commandment Is Love
We love God. That is the heart and soul of any divine oriented religion. Out in the wilderness wandering toward a new home, Moses taught the people several steps, regular routines, in order to learn, hold onto, and grow in faith. The disciplined life begins with our attitude toward God, the One who heard our cries for mercy, and then delivered us into freedom. How did we turn out? In Deuteronomy 6:5 Moses teaches us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” When we do this, God’s strength restores our strength.
Dear God, in my loving you, may your insight be in my mind, your strength restore my soul, my life renewed. Amen.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Prayer 969. The Answer to “Why Me?” Is Love
Job never curses God. The story says he was a Godly person in all things. Then he loses his loved ones, his holdings, and his health. Job’s story is the story of what happens when really bad things happen to really good people. Job suffers and asks “Why? Why me?” But the key for us to receive the same answer in our suffering is to do what he did. He went right to the top to ask his questions and he never cursed God. God granted him by faith to be confident in this affirmation: “I know that my Redeemer lives and I will see him stand on earth at the last.” Job 19:25. That’s love.
Dear God, I would never stop loving my loved ones in hard times. When I say, “Why me?” I mean “Love me.” Amen.

Thursday, February 13, 2020. Prayer 970. The Law of The Lord Is Love
Psalm 19:1 begins, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims God’s handiwork.” Day and Night creation speaks to us continually the wisdom of the universe, and yet, they are completely silent in terms of human speech. God’s law written in word form breaks into creation and acts within us these outcomes: the soul is revived, the mind is made wise, the heart rejoices, we live as enlightened, the right way to go becomes perfectly clear. God’s words are a love song to the world. To repeat them over and over again makes our lives come out gold. It’s perfectly clear.
Dear God, may my speech be love speech, may my heart be filled with divine meditation, accept my love for you. Amen.

Friday, February 14, 2020. Prayer 971. What Makes A Way Possible Is Love
The prophet Isaiah proclaims that God will make a way for us to get through our most difficult times. God says to us, “look, I am doing a new thing for you. Can you see it happening already? I will make a way for you through the wilderness and give you water to drink in the desert. You will not be overwhelmed. You shall not be consumed.” We forget this kind of love at our own peril. Bad conditions paralyze us. Faith frees us. What makes a way forward possible in an impossible situation is that God is not far from us, but goes with us into the desert, the storm, the sea, the chaos.
Dear God, am I precious to you? Do you love me? Will you be with me forever? Turn my questions into confidence. Amen.

 

 

Monday, February 17, 2020. Prayer 972. In The Future Is Love
We believe in the future. When a person loses hope and says, “I have nothing to live for, as my future is so bleak it’s as if I could not even conceive of moving on with life” they are in great danger. Faith dwells in hope. Hope dwells in love. When a faith person sees a place without love, the love of love makes them want to create more love, to bring a new love to bear on the situation. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:15, “Do good to everyone. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks at all times.” Love returns love to the world. Division, hatred, cynicism, does not repair or renew.
Dear God, the human world stubbornly refuses to see your future world. Let us love one another deeply and well. Amen.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020. Prayer 973. What Makes Everything New Is Love
The key to a vibrant church is great worship. This is worship that demands our attention, demands our strength, and requires are whole heart and soul. There never is a good time for worship because we are always so busy. A secular culture demands all our time to make knew our hopes, dreams, goals, and practices for a favorable victory, accomplishment, or successful outcome. Church demands that heaven and earth come together in worship. Hence, if I am otherwise occupied on earth, I’m finding it difficult to be occupied with God. Then everything becomes “old hat.”
Dear God, I’m doing all the right things but it’s getting to be an old routine. Let me see you making me all new. Amen.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Prayer 974. Our Great Commission Is Love
Jesus commissioned his friends to bring the message of God’s love to the whole world. In Matthew 28:19 he tells his disciples that while he will always be found in heavenly places, those heavenly places are accessible in the most earthly of places. “Go make students of everyone who cares to listen. Mark them by water as a sign of their rising new with the full nature of God who creates, saves, and inspires. Teach them all we learned together about love. And here is the best part, when you do all these things you will see me. I will be with you always and ever to the ends of the ages.”
Dear God, send me out to see the world as you do and to love the world as you have shown us with all my days. Amen.

Thursday, February 20, 2020. Prayer 975.On The Mountaintop With Moses
The Lord says to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and the commandments which I have written for their instruction.” Exodus 24:12. Moses climbed the mountain not for his own spiritual advancement, but on behalf of the people who needed to be reassured that God would be with them and communicate. Moses came back down with God’s Words written in stone. The people had grown impatient and started making their own versions of God in gold. Moses was trying to make God real to them despite their fears.
Dear God, reading the Bible feels like climbing a mountain to me, help me to see your words in my daily life. Amen.

Friday, February 21, 2020. Prayer 976. On The Mountaintop With Elijah
The prophet Elijah was hiding in a cave on the top of Mount Horeb because the queen Jezebel was seeking to take his life. Under the Lord’s direction Elijah had just defeated Jezebel’s version of which god to worship. Cowering in the cave of despair, God’s says to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11 “Go out and stand on the mountain.” God was about to pass by. Then came great winds that split rocks, an earthquake that shook the mountain, and then swept up an all-consuming forest fire. God was not in any of those happenings. God spoke to Elijah through a small voice in the sheer silence.
Dear God, I find it hard to stand out against the noise of this world to hear you. Still my fear and draw near to me. Amen.

Monday, February 24, 2020. Prayer 977.
On The Mountaintop With Jesus

Jesus continually returned his students to the top of the mountain to pray. In silence, they could better draw near to the still small voice of the Lord speaking directly to their spirits. That quiet affirmation of God’s presence centered their minds on the next actions they would take in following Gods will. On one occasion, as reported in Matthew 17:2 Jesus “was transfigured before them” as they stood on the mountaintop. Suddenly in a bright cloud appears Moses and Elijah. On the mountaintop of prayer comes God’s presence in words, in sheer silence, and in the radiance of a companion.
Dear God, grant me to see the radiance of your face in your beautiful words you gave us on the mountaintop. Amen.

February 25, 2020. Prayer 978.
On The Mountaintop With Peter
We all want God to stay near us. The problem is, no one can put God in a box, a tent, or a building. This is exactly what the disciple Peter tried to do when he saw Moses and Elijah standing with Jesus on the mountaintop shining radiantly with the full glory of God. In Matthew 17:4 Peter says to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here for you.” Instead a voice from above breaks through the bright clouds and encourages Peter to listen to Jesus’ words. Just like with Moses and Elijah, God sends them back down to serve the needs of the people.
Dear God, forgive my impatience to keep you in a box, while I’m busy with other things. Let my light shine! Amen.