Friday, January 18, 2013

Morning Prayer Guide -- Friday

Friday, January 18, 2013 – Confession of St. Peter
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: Acts 4:8-13, Psalm 23, 1 Peter 5:1-4, and Matthew 16:13-19

Jesus asked his disciples what people were saying about him.  St. Peter, always the one to speak up first, told him that some said he was Elijah, while others said he was John the Baptist or one of the other prophets.  Jesus accepted his answer.  Perhaps he allowed a few moments of silence to pass.  Then he asked, “And who do you say that I am?”

Here it was.  The big question.  Who did his disciples believe he was?  Were they all on the same page, or did he have yet more work to do?
Again Peter spoke up.  “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Jesus was pleased.  “No person has told you this, Simon Bar-Jonah.  God has revealed this to you.”

The next statement has a couple different interpretations, usually depending on whether one is Protestant or Roman Catholic.  We won’t get into all that.  The point is that Peter had recognized that Jesus was the Messiah, and had said so.
The commemoration of this day is important because it records one of the basic, bedrock foundations of our faith: That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, sent to us to show us the way to salvation.  Peter didn’t come across his confession by reading it in a book or listening to some preacher on the radio.  He came to it by listening to God.  We should do the same.

You may find the following prayer helpful:
Almighty Father, who inspired Saint Peter, first among the apostles, to confess Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God: Keep your Church steadfast upon the rock of this faith, so that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and follow the one Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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