Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Isaiah 38:10-20, Judges 15:9-20, and Matthew 17:14-21
Jesus’ disciples can’t figure out why they cannot cast out the demon in the boy. One can see the exasperation in Jesus’ response. Then he goes on to tell them that they need faith. Just a little bit will go a long, long way, he says.
Using Monday’s definition of faith, this begins to make more sense. For one thing, he was telling the disciples that they couldn’t coast along on his coattails anymore; they would have to begin to cultivate a lifestyle of prayer. Some say the age of miracles is over, but the obvious answer is that the power has been given, we just need to be spending more time searching for God. “This kind only goes out by prayer and fasting,” Jesus said. Prayer is like practicing an instrument: It takes long hours of dedicated, hard work. It takes repeating the same thing over and over again until it becomes a part of you.
For another thing, Jesus drew a comparison between the faith needed to “move a mountain” and a mustard seed – at that time, one of the smallest known seeds. A little goes a long, long way. That’s not an excuse to be lazy, by the way. God doesn’t want us going for the bare minimum, just to slip by.
God wants us to be in a relationship with him, and he wants us to listen to him and obey him. When we do, great things happen. It doesn’t take much.
Ask God to help you to listen and obey him. Write your own prayer.