Thoughts & Prayers for the week of August 25-29

Thought & Prayer for Monday, August 25, 2008

The lectionary texts include Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c; Romans 12:9-21 and Matthew 16:21-28. Alternate scriptures include Jeremiah 15:15-21 and Psalm 26:1-8.

From Exodus 3:1-2 – Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.

I have known folks who have experienced God in dramatic, crystal clear ways like Moses. But I suspect most of you are like me. I am often left wondering if I am actually hearing God or simply projecting my own thoughts. I pray today for the wisdom to know the difference.

Prayer:

Gracious God, listening for your still small voice requires intentionality. Give us both patience and wisdom as we seek to discern your will in all we do. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Tuesday, August 26, 2008

From Exodus 3:4-5 – When the LORD saw that [Moses] had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then [God] said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

I think we stand on holy ground throughout the day. Each time we are with someone else, a fellow child of God, we are on holy ground. Whether you are with a family member or a person seeking services from you, honor the time and God’s presence there.

Prayer:

Loving God, help us recognize your presence in those around us. Help us walk faithfully on the holy ground surrounding your children. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.

When we fail to eat sufficient food, our bodies tell us in sometimes dramatic ways. This scripture reminds me that we also need spiritual sustenance. Eat your fruits and vegetables, and feast on God’s word.

Prayer adapted from another of my favorite hymns:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning and throughout the day, may our songs rise to thee. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Thursday, August 28, 2008

From Romans 12:9-10 – Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

What a wonderful pair of verses. As I am writing this, the Olympics are winding down in Beijing, and with such wonderful examples of sportsmanship and determination, it is easy to imagine how peaceful our world would be if all of us competed to outdo one another in showing honor.

Prayer:

God of peace, each of us is unique as a fingerprint, yet you made each of us. Help us respect that tie that binds us. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Friday, August 29, 2008

From Romans 12:13-15, 18 – Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12 is such a rich chapter and Paul’s rules for living together don’t disappoint. Be a genuine presence to all, including strangers. And do the best you can to live in peace with everyone.

Prayer:

God of understanding, living together as neighbors can be hard work. Stand beside us in our efforts to be the people you would have us be. AMEN.

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