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Daily Devotions

Daily Prayers for the OCC  2019 

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.

 

 

Friday, November 1, 2019. Prayer 893. Destined for Sainthood

Who is destined to be a saint? Even the worst of sinners can be turned into an occasion of God’s grace and turned around to the good.  We should never limit the sainthood of others by our view of what constitutes a saint.  In Ephesians 2:8 it reads, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.”  Faith compels us to choose the way of good works freely, as God “prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”  We can run from God but we cannot hide.  It’s always right to do good.

Dear God, when I am far off, let me remember you have already broken down the barrier between us. Amen.

 

 

PRAYERS WITHIN THE GARDEN GATE

Monday, November 4, 2019. Prayer 894. The Earth Is The Lord’s
At this time of the year, gardeners are completing their tasks to close everything up for the winter. Snow is in the forecast. It is a reflective time. The air is cold. Dark comes early. The soil is about to go to sleep. Psalm 24:1 begins, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that it holds, the world and its inhabitants.” These are bittersweet hours in the garden. There is still color. There are fallen leaves to gather. There are raised beds to put to bed. Your favorite summer pots that contained colorful summer afternoons are carefully placed upon the shelf.
Dear God, I feel a deep sadness in these days. I am glad the earth and everything in it belongs to you. Amen.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Prayer 895. Dirty Hands and Clean Hearts
Cleaning up the garden is good for the soul. The immediacy of the end of the growing season grants lessons that are as graspable as they are hard to hold onto. Something is slipping away. Yet it’s right there. In Psalm 24:3 we are given the question, “Who can stand in God’s holy place?” And the answer comes, “The one with clean hands and a pure heart.” A gardener has dirty hands from honest work. The heart is filled with love and longing. Have we fed the family? Have we set the table with flowers? Are the bees happy in their hives?

Dear God, I have done what I could with this summer. Grant my heart and hands to rest true in yours. Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Prayer 896. Carry A Blessing Away
The last bee of summer is sad to see. So busy, so quick, so important to everything else to be—a bee’s life produces more flowers and more food for everything else to be too! Psalm 24:5 says, the one whose life is full of honest work “Shall carry away a blessing from the Lord, a just reward from God, their deliverer.” Sweeter than honey is the fruit of a bee’s life. It’s sad to see the last bee of summer clinging to the late season daisy, past sundown, past the busy life. The bee carried blessings away. It delivered the others to a new life.
Dear God, I am just sad today. I saw the last bee of summer and wanted it to be carried away by life. Amen.

Thursday, November 7, 2019. Prayer 897.Such Is The Circle 
Returning to the garden, especially in November afternoons, is a daily lesson in the cycle of life. The closing of the shed door with all the tools inside mirrors the closing of the last buds and flowers that have made it through these early frosts. The end is here. The signs are all around us. The fragrance changes. The leaves and the rain make for a simmering tea. Psalm 24:6 says, “Such is the circle of those who turn to God.” The gardener carries the rewards from the garden as sure as the last tomato. The circle closes. The seeds are in.
Dear God, the weather changes my daily tasks in the garden, but my heart holds the seeds for now. Amen.

Friday, November 8, 2019. Prayer 898. O Gates, You Everlasting Doors
The last time I closed the garden gate on the final day we had at our grandmother’s house was as ordinary as the tens of thousands of times I had lifted the latch throughout the days of my childhood. But on that last time, that garden gate became the doorway to an everlasting passageway. Psalm 24:9 ends with this exclamation, “O gates, lift up your heads! You everlasting doors, so the King of Glory may come in!” Now when I see that garden gate it is because I am lifting it up to God in prayer. May Glory come in!
Dear God, thank you for all those summer seasons within that garden gate. Glorious were those days! Amen