Today is Friday, the 14th of October, 2022, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ be with you, today!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, you are help, comfort, and life to us in everything we have to endure. We gather before you as poor, weak people, but you can make us rich and give us new life so that our lives prove we hold to your will and to the justice you bring on earth. May we be one in spirit through all we experience in our hearts, to the glory of your name. May the praise and thanks of many people ring out into all the world because you are help and deliverance from all evil. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. (Psalms 85:8-9 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- for the promise of peace to us, God’s people, His faithful servants
- for God’s help, comfort, and life to us in all things
- that Jesus is with us always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)
- that God is in the midst of everything in my life, and uses everything to draw me closer to Him
- for prayer, the common thread that holds all of the spiritual armor together
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20 ESV)
therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
(Isaiah 28:16 ESV)
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
(Matthew 14:22-27 ESV)
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
(John 6:16-21 ESV)
O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing, stanzas 13-17 (Charles Wesley)
Look unto him, ye nations, own your God, ye fallen race! Look, and be saved though faith alone, be justified by grace! See all your sins on Jesus laid; the Lamb of God was slain, his soul was once an offering made for every soul of man. Harlots and publicans and thieves, in holy triumph join! Saved is the sinner that believes from crimes as great as mine. Murderers and all ye hellish crew, ye sons of lust and pride, believe the Savior died for you; for me the Savior died. With me, your chief, you then shall know, shall feel your sins forgiven; anticipate your heaven below, and own that love is heaven.
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:17-20 ESV)
There are things that should be normal for all Christians. One of them is the peace of Christ that can transcend and eliminate all fears. There are two instances recorded (may or may not be the same time) where Jesus walked on the water to His disciples, and bid them to not fear. Time and time again, they are told to not fear or “be not afraid.”
Jesus is with us through all things, through victories, through defeats, through our stumbling and bumbling, and, perhaps most importantly, when we are afraid. “When I am afraid, I will trust in You,” says the psalmist. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom, then, shall I fear?”
The Lord also works through all of these things, to draw us closer to Himself.
Another thing that should be normal for Christians is praying “at all times in the Spirit.” Unceasing prayer. It’s like breathing. It’s not only possible, it is demanded of us. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we have to be actively praying 24/7. That would be pretty much impossible, because we need to do other things. But prayer is listed as the final thing in this list of spiritual armor that Paul talks about.
After we “put on” all of this “armor,” we then must pray, for that is the “glue,” if you will, that holds the armor together. We could have everything else listed in that passage, but if we pray not, it will not hold steady; we will fall. I firmly believe this.
Praying at all times in the Spirit is not something that only “super-Christians” do. It should be something that we all do.
Father, I thank You for Your working in us, especially during times when we are afraid. You are ever more close to us, if we lean on You during our fears, during our darkest times. But help us to not forget You when things are great, that we may lean on You then, as well. Thank You for that example of Jesus coming to His disciples, walking on the water. Thank You for His comforting, His insistence that we have nothing to fear.
Help us to keep our spiritual armor on at all times, and help us to cement it in place with prayer. Help me to pray more, to pray better, to pray without ceasing. May my prayers be effective and faithful, as people depend upon me for intercession in their lives and issues.
All glory to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Eternal God, who are the light of the minds that know You, the joy of the hearts that love You, and the strength of the wills that serve You; grant us so to know You that we may truly love You, and so to love You that we may fully serve You, whom to serve is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Prayer to Know God, by St. Augustine)
Grace and peace, friends.