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Daily Prayer - 2014-08-23

Presence

Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
for this time as I put aside the cares of this world.
Fill my mind with your peace, Your Love.

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

As I spend this time with you, Lord,
I am aware of how blessed I truly am.
I think of the love and laughter in my life,
And I feel grateful.

The Word of God

Matthew 23:1-12

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father - the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Were all the Scribes and Pharisees the same? Were there actually people who practiced what they preached? Was it their collective identity that Jesus was referring to? It is clear that the genuine witness of our lives must be rooted in our hearts, hearts that give priority to God beyond anything else. The Reign of God is not based on social structures, status or public perception, though it can inform and help shape them.
  • Is there any area of your life where conformity, public perception, social pressure or organisational systems make it difficult for you to express the truth of God? In what ways do your actions reflect the teaching of Jesus? Where is it possible for you to work with others to stand against or change oppressive systems?

Conversation

How has God's Word moved me?
Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and share my feelings with him.

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

Prayer for peace:

Following days of rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Pope Francis called on Christians around the world to fast and pray for peace in Eastern Europe this coming Ash Wednesday.
“I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace, I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace protect the world from the folly of war.” Pope Francis, 25/02/2022

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

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