When I come into your presence, O Lord,
I know I am in the presence of my Creator.
You created me out of Love.
You even know the number of hairs on my head.
Your presence, O Lord, is the greatest of all.
Daily Prayer - 2014-12-19
When I come into your presence, O Lord,
Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.
Jesus, You are always there waiting for me.
Grant that I may be still more often.
That I may always desire to spend time in your presence.
To know Your peace, Your love.
In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Zechariah said to the angel, "How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years." The angel replied, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur." Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, "This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- The situation of Zechariah and Elizabeth as old and childless is presented in an historical context. There is an annunciation to Zechariah in the Temple of a child who will be called John. We are told about his manner of life and of his mission to prepare people for the Lord. John is to be a voice, but Zechariah because of his lack of faith was struck dumb. In due course his wife Elizabeth conceived. She spent months in retreat and thanked God for taking away her disgrace in being childless.
- Zechariah and Elizabeth are an old couple, as were Abraham and Sarah (Gen 18), when they were promised a child. Am I comfortable with a God of surprises? Each of us is a promised child of God with a mission to prepare the way. Do I fear this or, do I trust God to show me the way? Lord, help me appreciate that I am a promised child, a child of promise, so that I may carry out what you desire of me.
Words don't come easily to me, Lord.
Look into my heart
and see my longing for peace.
Watch over me, Lord.
I know that you are always by my side.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
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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