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Daily Prayer - 2018-10-12

Presence

I pause for a moment, aware that God is here.
I think of how everything around me,
the air I breathe, my whole body,
is tingling with the the presence of God.

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

Knowing that God loves me unconditionally,
I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings.
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Lluc 11,27-28

But some of them said, 'He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.' Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? - for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
'When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but not finding any, it says, "I will return to my house from which I came." When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.'

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • We are less inclined to use the language of demonic possession, but this does not stop us from understanding much of what Jesus teaches here. He announces that God is in charge, God has bound up the strong man, so all the factions and parties vying for power are meaningless: 'the Kingdom of God has come to you'.
  • The drama of the unclean spirit wandering around is a powerful story of what psychology calls the 'return of the repressed'. If you try to repress a painful memory or emotion, you will fail, because it will only erupt with even greater and more destructive force. For religious people, anxious to distance themselves from their own sinfulness, and from sin in general, this can result in judgemental hypocrisy - as Jesus knew all too well.
  • How about me? Am I truly committed to building up God’s Kingdom? Do the 'demons' of self-satisfaction and false holiness have any kind of purchase in my house?

Conversation

I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?

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.