Tuesday, March 31
Daily Reading – Psalm 34
Today’s Daily Reading features a greatly loved psalm, with two unusual features. It is “acrostic,” meaning that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (ie “A is for Apple”) to aid in memorization. Secondly, it is introduced as a Psalm of David, from when he feigned insanity while fleeing for his life – a Psalm written in deeply trying circumstances!
1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Daily Prayer – Tuesday, March 31
Father, we give you thanks, that in the midst of our darkness, you are light.
We give you thanks that in the midst of despair, you are our salvation.
We give you thanks that when our world is in the grip of fear,
we have a stronghold, a refuge, a place of safety in the arms of Your love.
We give you thanks for the confidence we can have in your goodness,
Revealed in so many ways;
Through the love and care of family and friends;
Through the sacrificial efforts of caregivers;
Through the tireless nurses and physicians and responders;
Through the round the clock concentration of researchers and scientists
Through the unheralded workers who continue to make our lives livable
Providing food on our table, heat in our homes, medicine for our illness.
For these and for so many others, we give you thanks.
May you provide all these good people
with the strength they need to do their work,
with rest when they lay their head on their pillow,
with refreshment as they realise the good they do.
May we in ways small and large support all who work on our behalf
And on behalf of all who are needy.
And help us to help each other, Lord;
Help us to realise the value of a phone call to an isolated and lonely soul
Help us to reach out in countless ways to all who need to be reminded
That they are not alone.
May we meet needs as they arise, solve problems as they are presented,
And rise above the many frustrations which result from our confinement.
We pray, Father, for countries in which this pandemic has taken fearful hold.
We pray for societies which have become overwhelmed with the burden of need.
We pray for families separated by distance and isolation.
We pray for families overwhelmed by the stress of constant demands.
We pray for families trying to provide for their children’s educational,
physical and social needs.
We pray for families struggling to keep a roof over their head, food on the table,
The wolf from the door.
We pray for those in hospital, who cannot be visited
We pray for the elderly in nursing homes, who miss their families,
And for those who in their isolation are disoriented and afraid.
We pray for those who are sick, but for whom there is no medicine, no bed.
We pray for those who grieve, but for whom there is no gathering of family
and friends to ease their grief, to share their tears,
to hold close in time of loss.
For these and for so many others,
Hear our silent prayers, O Lord
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
And so, “All shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.”
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.