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Daily Prayer - 2017-01-10

Presence

I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
God is gazing on me with love and holding me in being.
I pause for a moment and think of this.

Freedom

Lord, I pray for your gift of freedom.
May your Holy Spirit
guide those in power to work for
equality for all your people.

Consciousness

At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Mark 1:21-28

When the sabbath came, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching - with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Synagogues were beginning to come into existence in the first century. They were local centres, used for civic gatherings as well as for study and worship. Many gospel scenes are located in them. Jesus could be sure to find an audience there. In today’s episode Mark’s stress is on the authority of Jesus which he exercises in two ways.
  • Firstly, he teaches with authority – his own authority. This was different from the scribes whose teaching was dependent on what others had said or written. Secondly, Jesus shows his authority over unclean spirits. He is able to confront, silence, and expel the spirit that has taken possession of the unfortunate man in the story. Such exorcisms point to the ultimate victory of the kingdom of God over evil and death.
  • In the ancient world many illnesses were attributed to possession by an evil spirit. But there is no need to get hung up on this issue while praying with today’s gospel!

Conversation

Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words.
You can see into my heart.
You know my desires and you know my needs.
I place myself into your hands.

Conclusion

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,
world without end.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.