Daily Readings and Prayer

Daily reading and prayer – Thursday May 28

Psalms 105 is a Passover psalm, recounting how God established his covenant with Abraham, and how God delivered the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt (oddly called “The Land of Ham” in this Psalm). As you read this Psalm, “Remember the wonders he has done” in your own life.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
“To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.”
When they were but few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in it,
they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:
“Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.”
He called down famine on the land
and destroyed all their supplies of food;
and he sent a man before them—
Joseph, sold as a slave.
They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons,
till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the Lord proved him true.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of peoples set him free.
He made him master of his household,
ruler over all he possessed,
to instruct his princes as he pleased
and teach his elders wisdom.
Then Israel entered Egypt;
Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
The Lord made his people very fruitful;
he made them too numerous for their foes,
whose hearts he turned to hate his people,
to conspire against his servants.
He sent Moses his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They performed his signs among them,
his wonders in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness and made the land dark—
for had they not rebelled against his words?
He turned their waters into blood,
causing their fish to die.
Their land teemed with frogs,
which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.
He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
and gnats throughout their country.
He turned their rain into hail,
with lightning throughout their land;
he struck down their vines and fig trees
and shattered the trees of their country.
He spoke, and the locusts came,
grasshoppers without number;
they ate up every green thing in their land,
ate up the produce of their soil.
Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land,
the firstfruits of all their manhood.
He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold,
and from among their tribes no one faltered.
Egypt was glad when they left,
because dread of Israel had fallen on them.
He spread out a cloud as a covering,
and a fire to give light at night.
They asked, and he brought them quail;
he fed them well with the bread of heaven.
He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed like a river in the desert.
For he remembered his holy promise
given to his servant Abraham.
He brought out his people with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
he gave them the lands of the nations,
and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
that they might keep his precepts
and observe his laws.
Praise the Lord.

Prayer:

Another prayer in song: “Great is thy faithfulness”

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been thou forever wilt be.

Refrain:
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
all I have needed thy hand hath provided–
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. [Refrain]

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! [Refrain]

Daily Reading and Prayer – Wednesday May 27

I considered trimming this Psalm due to length, but I could not bear to cut a single verse – it is so magnificent. Plus, it mentions my favourite animal – the hyrax! I was so excited to see one on my first trip to Israel. Now, after so many trips, I know just where to find them, and they always make me think of this Psalm. God’s creation is so rich and varied! Even the funny little hyrax has a home. As do we!

Psalm 104
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
Then people go out to their work,
to their labor until evening.
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works —
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord.

Prayer

Loving Father and Creator of all we come to you today deeply grateful for your creation. As we look around us we are amazed at the greatness and majesty of all that you have made. Nature around us speaks of your greatness – the vast expanse of the sky, the mountains, trees, lakes and streams speak of your great design. You have given us such beauty in the colors of the rainbow, the beauty of flowers and fields. Words cannot adequately express the magnificence of all you have created. We join in praise with the writer of the psalms when he says, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” May we show our love and reverence to you, our Lord, by caring for all that you have created. We humbly give you praise and thanks. Amen

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Daily Reading and Prayer – Tuesday, May 26

Psalm 103 is a companion piece to Psalm 102 – the other side of the coin. The Psalmist realizes that whatever his own circumstances, the love of the Lord continues unabated, from generation to generation, and his compassion will never leave us.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.

Prayer

Today’s prayer is again in the form of a hymn. Psalm 103 is the text behind the magnificent “Praise My Soul, The King of Heaven”

Daily Reading and Prayer – Monday, May 25

Psalm 102
The introduction to this Psalm says, “A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.” I hope you have never felt quite this low; nevertheless this Psalm teaches us that even when we are at our lowest point, we can still pray the honest prayers of our heart, and end on a note of hopefulness.

Psalm 102
Hear my prayer, Lord;
let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.
In my distress I groan aloud
and am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
For I eat ashes as my food
and mingle my drink with tears
because of your great wrath,
for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;
your renown endures through all generations.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favor to her;
the appointed time has come.
For her stones are dear to your servants;
her very dust moves them to pity.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
For the Lord will rebuild Zion
and appear in his glory.
He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
“The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high,
from heaven he viewed the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners
and release those condemned to death.”
So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion
and his praise in Jerusalem
when the peoples and the kingdoms
assemble to worship the Lord.
In the course of my life he broke my strength;
he cut short my days.
So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
and they will be discarded.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.
The children of your servants will live in your presence;
their descendants will be established before you.”

Prayer

Today we bring our discouraged, weary, deeply hurting friends to you, Lord. For you tell us that when one part of the Body hurts, the whole Body hurts. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. We fulfill the law of Christ by bearing one another’s burdens.

Lord, sometimes it feels like life is just too much: the hard events, the difficult people, the aches and pains of body; cars and plumbing that break down, friends who bury their wives way too early, children who seem allergic to the gospel, mounting bills and decreasing resources, and a world—even family members who say, “Where is your God in all this? What have you done wrong? Why are you holding on?”

Lord Jesus, you know what this is like—you better than anyone else. For you took the ultimate combination of assaults and insults on the cross, for me and my friends. Your cry, “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?”, assures us we will never be forsaken—never, even when life mocks our creed and confession. It’s your thirst on the cross that assures us that out thirst is fleeting, though at times it feels fatal.

Lord Jesus, as we pant for relief, you are running to us with the living water of the gospel; as we starve for hope, you are preparing the fresh bread of mercy and grace. Come quickly, Lord. Show us how to love our friends well when our words are simply not enough. So we pray, in your faithful and tender name.
Amen.

Scotty Smith

Daily Reading and Prayer – Sunday, May 24

Today’s Reading and Prayer are taken from Zion’s Sunday worship service.

Romans 12:4-13

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to preach, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we come to you in the greatness of your love and lift up our hearts in prayer and praise. We thank you that the way to your presence is always open through Jesus Christ and that you invite us to draw near in full assurance of faith. Help us to pray simply and sincerely, unselfishly and gratefully, remembering the needs of others as well as our own, and giving thanks always for everything in the name of Jesus Christ our ascended Lord.

God our Father, we pray for your blessing to rest upon this congregation. We are grateful for its worship and fellowship; for the care and teaching of children and young people; for its nurture and love. Help us to be the kind of church needed today – a community of faith which, while separated from its building, is engaged in its world. May we not lose sight of the many and varied needs of our community. Hold up before us the vision of your kingdom, a kingdom of justice and mercy, truth and compassion. Help us to grasp the meaning of the Gospel which you have entrusted to us, and give us grace to live by it. We pray the same for all the churches of Charlottetown and the Island.

We pray for those who are less fortunate than ourselves; those who live in developing countries and countries where there is very little stability, with limited ability and resources to deal with this pandemic, and very little care for those who are ill. Teach us to be ever mindful of those who are weary with the relentless struggle to keep alive; for those who can never look forward to a good meal and a comfortable bed, and those who barely have the necessities of life, much less its extras.

We pray for our children as they grow up in our family circle, and are away from their schools. Give us understanding of their needs and show us how best we can help them as they face their problems and prepare for life in the world. Help us to establish a relationship of trust between them and ourselves and to make our church and our homes a place where at all times they may find love and security.

We pray for the aged, particularly those in seniors’ homes or nursing care. We pray that in this time of isolation from their families, you will be present to them in ways powerful, tangible and real. May their loneliness be eased, and their comfort be found in you. And for their families, provide the assurance that even when we are alone, still you are with us, you hold us close, you will never let us go.

We pray for people who are frightened because they are ill or fear they may become so. Reassure them that because of the knowledge that you give to us, many diseases can now be cured. Help them to have confidence in those with medical knowledge to diagnose illness and care for the sick, and find solutions to our current crisis. Give them courage, hope and peace, and the knowledge that you are present in their weakness, pain and suffering. We pray especially for those who have no one to help them, that in their loneliness they may know that you are with them.

Heavenly Father, we pray for those whose hearts have been saddened by the death of someone close and dear to them. Help us all to experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit within us, and the fellowship of the church family around us until we are reunited once more in your heavenly kingdom. Even in isolation, may they also experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit within them and the love and fellowship of the Church Family around them.

Jesus Christ, you are the light of the World, a light which no darkness can quench. Ascended to heaven, you intercede on our behalf. We could have no greater advocate, and in our gratitude we worship your holy name. Hear now our silent prayers, O Lord…

Father, accept these prayers we have prayed with the help of the Holy Spirit, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Daily Reading and Prayer – Saturday May 23

In Psalm 101, the writer is declaring his intention to lead a blameless life. How does your concept of a blameless life compare? What pledge could you make to God, about how you will live your life from this point forward?

Psalm 101
I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.

I will be careful to lead a blameless life — when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

We lift your name high today, like a blanket of praise,
Thank you that you cover and embrace a fallen world.
Thank you for this grace, that flows endlessly to us each day.
Lord, we celebrate your love,
As we lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross.
Thank you that we can breathe in resurrection life,
Thank you that we are fully redeemed and restored.

Lord, today we drink in once again the hope of eternal life And the promise of heaven.

Thank you for your presence.

Amen.

from Living Prayers

Daily Reading and Prayers – Friday May 22

Short and so very, very sweet! Psalm 100 has been the foundation of many a hymn and chorus, including the majestic “Old 100th”, “All People That On Earth Do Dwell,” a hymn for which it seems church organs were invented! Play it loud!

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Prayer

The prayer this morning is the Old 100th! Click below for a stirring rendition, and be sure to sing along!

Daily Reading and Prayers – Thursday May 21

Going through the Psalms every day, I cannot help but notice how the Psalmist portrays “justice” as a central aspect of God’s character, along with holiness and righteousness, which go together with justice. Have you often thought of God in this way? In what situations have you longed for God to bring justice to the world?

Psalm 99:1-9

The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake.

Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name — he is holy.

The King is mighty, he loves justice — you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them. He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.

Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Gracious God, you desire unity for your people in the world, and unity between heaven and earth. We thank you for drawing us together as a community of faith, united in your love even in times when it is hard to gather. Equip us to witness to your promise of resurrection and new life as we serve you in the world. Hear us as we pray for your world.

God, we worry about the way things are going. Daily life has been uprooted by the pandemic, and also by war and environmental devastation. Send your Spirit of healing and reconciliation to lead people to peace with justice. Heal the earth and bring hope for renewed relationships. Help us learn from this anxious time how you invite us to live in balance with each other and with your whole creation.

God, we feel sadness for those whose lives are marked by isolation and fear, by grief or despair, effects deepened by the times of physical distancing. Send your Spirit of healing and reconciliation to draw the lonely into friendships, and as society begins to reopen, create a true sense of belonging for each one. Heal any burden of grief and bring hope through your eternal friendship.

God, we are hopeful for the church because it belongs to you. Send your Spirit to guide our witness in the world. Teach us how to share our experience of your love and invite others to join the journey toward healing and reconciliation.

Amen.

Daily Reading and Prayer – Wednesday May 20

Psalm 98 is pure joy! The Psalmist cannot contain his praise. The seas, the rivers, the mountains – everyone and everything rejoice!

Psalm 98
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn — shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Prayer

God of songs and marvels, old and new,
your powerful love for this world
continues to astound us.
In these last days of the Easter season,
we gather to recall the love
that brought Jesus into this world
and into our lives:
as saviour, friend and brother.
We thank you for welcoming us into your household
and for trusting us with your marvelous work
to draw all people into the spacious home
of your love.

Jesus, friend and brother,
you taught us to abide in your generous love,
for it completes our lives and gives us joy;
you ask us to love others as you have loved us,
for it brings your creation to fruition.
We sometimes struggle
to love the people in our lives
as you have loved us.
Forgive us, we pray,
and teach us your love again.
Amen.

Rebecca Gaudino

Daily Reading and Prayer – Tuesday May 19

Psalm 97 takes us to places increasingly unfamiliar to our modern sensibilities. First, it attempts to paint a picture of the awesome majesty and power of God – a sense of wonder we have largely lost. Secondly, look how central the justice of God is in the Psalms – we rely upon the courts for justice, but the Psalmist wisely sees true justice as emanating from the very nature of God. Finally, look where the Psalmist finds joy: “Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.”

Psalm 97:1-12

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory. All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols — worship him, all you gods!

Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments, Lord. For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.

Prayer

We offer our prayers on behalf
of our neighbors whose needs are known to us.
We pray both for the sisters and brother we know
and for those who are strangers to us.
Open our minds to understand the scriptures, O God,
so that when sin cripples our hope,
we may discover the freedom of your forgiveness;
when suffering and death overtake our lives,
we may know the joy of the risen Christ;
and when we feel abandoned, alone or vulnerable
we may comprehend the power of the promised Spirit,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Reading and Prayer – Monday May 18

Psalm 96
1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Prayer

Father, you are the one true God
whom to know is life eternal, whom to serve is joy and peace.
You have created all that is.
The whole universe testifies to the majesty and power of you, its Maker.
We praise you, God of all creation!

We praise you, Lord God,
for you have come to us in Jesus Christ, your Son,
bringing salvation through a new covenant entered by faith.
We praise you, God of our salvation!

We praise you, Lord God, for you continue to come to us
by the Holy Spirit, your presence in the world,
and our comfort and source of faith.
We praise you, God of our renewal!

We praise you, Lord God,
for you continue to come to us through the Scriptures,
The Old and New Testaments witness to your mighty acts.
Through them, you reveal your holy love, and lead us to Jesus Christ.
We praise you, God of revelation!

This day and all days, from homes and hospitals,
apartments and care centres, with the one church universal,
we praise and worship you as one God, eternal Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
three in one, one in three, equal in power and glory;
the Father to whom we come,
the Son through whom we come, the Spirit by whom we come.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be!
Amen!

Daily Reading and Prayer – Sunday May 17

Psalm 95:1-7 – a wonderful Psalm of praise to prepare us for Sunday worship!

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Prayer

“Heavenly Father, I come before Your presence praising You, thanking You, Lord, for all Your blessings. You are Almighty, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.
I see Your glory all around me, in the sun, the moon, the ocean, on all the earth.
I pray I never take Your love and blessings for granted, that each day as I bow down and worship You, I will never forget the privilege of coming to You in prayer. You are my shelter in times of need; You are my strength, my rock.
Thank you that You are always there, forgiving me, loving me. I pray that I can be a faithful servant and listen for Your Holy Spirit to guide me, that I will hear Your voice. You are my God; I love You with all my heart. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

by Barbara Budlong

Daily Reading and Prayer – Saturday May 16

As our lobster fishermen take to the waters, Psalm 93 seems particularly appropriate!

Psalm 93:1-5

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea— the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days.

Prayer

A traditional prayer for fishermen, often used at the “Blessing of the Fleet”:

Let us pray.
Lord, be well disposed to our prayers, and by your holy hand bless + this fishing-boat and the fishermen, as you were pleased to let your blessing hover over Noah’s ark in the Deluge. Reach out your hand to them, Lord, as you did to blessed Peter as he walked upon the sea. Send your holy angel from on high to watch over it and all on board, to ward off any threat of disaster, and to guide its course through calm waters to the desired port. Then after a time, when they have had good success in their labors, may you in your loving providence bring them back with glad hearts to their own shores and homes.

God, who divided the waters from the dry land and created every living thing they contain; who willed that man should have dominion over the fishes of the sea; who walked on the crest of the waves and stilled the winds and the sea; who miraculously filled the nets of the apostles with fishes; grant, we pray, that your servants may have you as their captain, and so be delivered from all perils, haul into their boats a good catch of fish, and come finally to the port of everlasting blessedness laden with the merits of good works; through Christ our Lord.

We beg you, Lord and Savior, be pleased to bless the labors of your servants, as you once blessed your apostles when you said: “Cast your net to the right of the boat, and you will find something.” Thus gladdened by your bountiful blessing, may we praise you, our Redeemer, now and forevermore.

All: Amen.

Daily Reading and Prayer – May 15

Psalm 92 is entitled “A Song for the Sabbath”
We are a day or two early, but I’ll be messaging my friends in Israel this morning, wishing them Shabbat Shalom, a peaceful Sabbath, which for them begins at sunset tonight. Restrictions in Israel, which were very tight, are in the process of being eased. For many, this Sabbath will be the first in two months when they can gather in small family groups to celebrate around the table. And this Psalm will be sung by many.
For myself this morning, I cling to the promise of remaining “fresh and green” in old age!

Psalm 92 – a selection:

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.

How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand, that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, Lord, are forever exalted.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him. ”

A Prayer for the Sabbath

O Lord, Your spirit in me brings stillness to my turmoil. Your life in me brings clarity to my confusion. Your strength in me brings wisdom to my worry. Your peace in me brings contentment to my striving. Your love in me brings gentleness to my anger. Your hope in me brings patience to my panic. Your word in me brings hope to my suffering. Your spirit in me brings faith to my frustration. In you I find strength for my journey.

Lord, the Sabbath is special.
It’s your day.
A day to spend in peace, but not alone.
Give us your peace that surpasses understanding. Grant us peace to seek you.
Grant us peace with our family and our friends.
Help us to worship you in a worthy way.
Help us to keep you in view,
to meditate on your word,
to hear your voice.
Lead us through the week
assured that you are with us,
and to know that with you
Each day is special.
Amen!

Daily Reading and Prayer – Thursday May 14

Psalm 91 is a beautiful prayer in its own right. Many hymns are based upon it; don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming one as you read.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. ”


Prayer

Something quite different today. My sister-in-law Susan sent this to me; she writes, “I have friends doing mission work in Russia. One of their teams is with the Buyrat people of Tibet who made this video.”

And here it is: Psalm 91 joyfully sung as a prayer to God in Buryat. God’s love stretches to the furthest corners of the earth!

https://youtu.be/inMRlLH7990