Good morning. Today is Monday (sigh), January 28, 2013.
Today is National Kazoo Day. I assume they speak of the small musical instrument, from which a sound is produced by humming. Not the little green guy from The Flintstones. When I was in college, our trombone choir did a version of “Stars & Stripes Forever,” in which we all came out with little trombone kazoos and hummed the piccolo part at the end. It was great fun.
Yesterday was a good day. The worship celebration seemed really strong yesterday, full of God’s Spirit. Christi and I finished watching season 2 of The Walking Dead yesterday afternoon. Now we have to wait for them to air a marathon of the first half of season 3 before it starts back up again. Yeah. We’re hooked. Soap opera drama with zombies. Who could ask for more, right?
(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 814, Charlemagne died. The Germans considered him to be the first and greatest German Emperor, while the French thought him to be French, saying he was King of the Franks, and calling his capital “Aix-la-Chapelle.” They also considered him their first and greatest emperor. We who speak English call him by his French name. His empire included “all of modern France, Belgium and Holland, virtually all of Germany and Austria, half of Italy, part of Hungary and a few north-eastern provinces of Spain.” He died, at the age of 71, probably from influenza. Even though he was a loyal supporter of the Church and “spreader of the faith,” he was not canonized for over 350 years. The process was “obstructed for 351 years by reports that his sexual conquests were no less extensive than his territorial ones.” Unfortunately, he was “canonized” during a time of schism by Paschal III, “an anti-pope set up by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in competition with the legitimate popes of the Catholic Church in Rome.”
Today’s birthday is Sarah McLachlan, born on this date in 1968. Sarah is a Canadian singer/songwriter known for melodic songs with deep meaning.
Father, I pray that you show me something this morning as I look into your word. Teach me more about prayer as I go through this day.
Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “Making Prayer A Habit.” The scripture reading is Daniel 6:3-6a, 7b, 9-11.
3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
4 Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.
5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”
6 Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him…
7 “the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.”
9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.
10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.
The attack from Daniel’s enemies came at his “point of reliability–his prayer practice.” His prayer life can be described briefly. “It is private (in his house), yet public (with windows open). He prays several times a day.” Even when under attack, he continued his habit, “as he had done previously.”
I am challenged to pray the aforementioned “simple prayer” three times today (the book suggests on my knees…I don’t know if I will be in circumstances that will lend themselves to that posture). There is something to be said, though for planning prayer times. There is nothing wrong with structured prayer, but we should be careful that we don’t leave out the possibility of spontaneous prayer.
Father, as I go through this day, may I find time to plan specific prayer times. I generally have at least two prayer times during my day that are planned. Give me the presence of mind and your Spirit to plan a third time today. I pray for your Spirit to inhabit mine as I go through my usual prayer on the drive to work. Give me the reminder and available time to have a brief prayer time during my work day. I also ask you to remind me to pray for my Facebook friend prayer list that you give me each day. You have shown me how important prayer is to the life of a saint. Now enhance that, enlarge that in my life. While I never want to consider myself a “prayer warrior” (that designation just sounds a little self-important), I do want to be faithful in praying the prayers you have given me. More than anything, I want to be praying your heart for people. So, with that, I pray to you, Father, show me your heart!
I lift up my family for this day. May Christi and I have good, productive work days, and may you protect us from anxiety and stress. Give us your Spirit as we work today. I pray that you bring “people of peace” into our circle of influence, that we might help someone find your peace today. Draw us all closer to your heart today, including Stephanie.
I hope to be faithful in planned prayer today, as well as spontaneous prayer, remembering to lift up “simple prayers” throughout the day.
Grace and peace, friends.