Friday, February 22, 2013

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Friday, February 22, 2013
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 27, Genesis 14:17-24, and Philippians 3:17-20

Melchizedek is a mysterious fellow.  He suddenly appears in the Genesis narrative, unintroduced, but claiming to be a priest of God.  He’s identified as being the king of Salem, which later became known as Jerusalem.  The writer of Hebrews was fascinated by him as well, and drew some important parallels between Melchizedek and Christ.  Melchizedek was a real person, but he is a type of Christ.  This means that he is a symbol or shadow of Christ.  Suddenly the king of Salem (Salem means “peace”) appears on the scene, with bread and wine, and blesses Abram.  Abram then gives a tithe of the battle spoils to Melchizedek.  In much the same way, Jesus suddenly appeared, introduced only by John the Baptist, and when the time was right, he brought out bread and wine – the first Eucharist.

Abram didn’t take the things he had captured from his enemies, even though the king of Sodom invited him to keep whatever he wanted.  Abram only kept the food and clothing his servants needed, and the rest he returned to the rightful owner.  Abram wasn’t greedy.

We don’t need to be greedy, either.  God blessed Abram to the point of wealth, and still Abram was not greedy.  God told Abram that he was going to bless him so that he could be a blessing to others.  It is the same for us.

What lessons can you draw from this?  How can you be a blessing to others?  What do you find interesting about Melchizedek?  Spend some time praying about how you can be a blessing to others.  Write your own prayer.

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