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Daily Prayer - 2022-08-04

Presence

I bring myself into your presence, O God.
May I always take time to notice and enjoy
the beauty you have created
for my pleasure.

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

When I return to my everyday tasks,
remind me, Lord,
that you are always there beside me.
I need never despair.

The Word of God

Matthew 16:13-23

 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • This is such a rich text, perhaps a bit too familiar, that I need to read it prayerfully more than once and stay with the word or words that touch me today. Everything, in the text as in my whole life, revolves around the answer to the question, ‘Who do you say I am?’ I ask the Father to inspire in me the right answer, as he did with Peter.
  • Jesus once again surprises his disciples, and us. The moment he proclaims himself the Messiah, he insists he is not the Messiah people were expecting but one who will bring about salvation through suffering: a huge contradiction for Peter as it is for us. I ask to be a true follower of Jesus, able to walk behind him on his way to the Cross, and the Resurrection.

Conversation

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.

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

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