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Daily Prayer - 2013-08-23

Presence

Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.

Freedom

What most often stops me achieving freedom is my tendency
to be caught up in fears and expectations
about what I 'ought' or 'should' be.
My usual automatic responses tie me down
and inhibit me from exploring new areas of growth.
I ask and pray for a greater sense of inner freedom and
that I might reach the fresh and challenging possibilities
that God wishes me to realise.

 

Consciousness

I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart.
He is my strength in times of weakness.
He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God

Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • There were more than six hundred commandments in the Jewish Law and it was often asked which of these had priority over the others. In answering the question Jesus gives not one but two commandments:- love your God with your whole heart and soul; and love your neighbour as yourself. Both answers are taken from the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18 respectively).
  • We know that Jesus gives his own interpretation to these two commandments. In his view, the two commandments are inseparable. We cannot love God and then refuse to love our neighbour. Jesus extends the meaning of ‘neighbour’ to include every single person and not just the people of one’s own race, religion or family.
  • God’s standard of love is the love of Jesus who died for us. “God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  • While Jesus praises the lawyer, the man has to make the crucial step of committing himself to follow Jesus.

Conversation

Jesus often asked questions of those who came to him.
Let me sense him close to me now,
Listening to my prayer and asking
‘How can I help you?’
‘What can I give you?’

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

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