Monday, December 31, 2012

Morning Prayer Guide - Monday

Monday, December 31, 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: Psalm 147:12-20, 1 Kings 3:5-14, and John 8:12-19

The Pharisees didn’t understand Jesus when he told them that he was the light of the world.  They told Jesus that just because he said so didn’t make it so, because he was talking about himself.  In other words, they were calling him a liar.  Jesus responded that the law says that two witnesses are proof, and both he and the Father were witnesses to Jesus’ ministry.  The Pharisees, either trying to be clever or being somewhat slow, asked Jesus where his father was.  Jesus told them that they didn’t know his Father, because they didn’t know Jesus.

People are still mixed up about who Jesus is.  We might say that being a disciple is all about trying to learn and understand who Jesus really is.  We spend an entire life working on that one puzzle, and although we can come a long way, we still have questions when we reach the end of our lives.  We don’t give up in frustration, though, but continue to press onward.  What makes us different from the Pharisees isn’t our level of confusion, but our level of pride.  The Pharisees were so certain they had all the answers that they wouldn’t listen to Jesus.  Their eyes and ears were closed to his ministry.  We, on the other hand, have accepted that we don’t know enough about God and we’re working on learning more.  Sometimes we can get to a point where we think we’ve arrived and we know all there is to know.  At that point we become just like the Pharisees.  But if we keep our eyes and ears open and our hearts learning, we will be able to follow Jesus.

Ask God to help you remain focused on him.  Ask him to help you keep an open heart and mind so that you can learn more about him.  Ask him to help you see when you become too much like the Pharisees.  Write your own prayer.

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