Thursday, February 14, 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 91:1-2, 9-16; Exodus 5:10-23; and Acts 7:30-34
The Israelites, bound up in slavery in Egypt, were about to enter the wilderness. There was a time of pain before they could enter the promised land. There was a time of preparation. There was a time of putting aside their old baggage and coming to terms with God’s new way.
We’re entering a period of forty days in wilderness. We shouldn’t be afraid – the wilderness can be an inhospitable place, but it can also help us get rid of the bad things in our lives as we try to hold only the good.
Many people set out every spring to hike the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, GA to Mt. Katahdyn, ME – a distance of over 2,100 miles. They come with packs crammed full and hearts on fire. But those first couple weeks are hard, brutal even. The trail is strewn with cast off equipment, things that looked great in the store, things that had a lot of emotional attachment, but that ultimately were useless. We get attached to beliefs, to programs, to ways of doing things. But sometimes those things aren’t helpful at all, and must be discarded.
Pray about this. Ask God to help you discard the useless baggage you carry. Ask him to help you see what you need and what you don’t. Write your own prayer.