Many people despair about today being Friday the 13th, a day and date long seen as ‘bad luck’. But among superstitions, this is not one that spooks me. Instead, Psalm 85 should be our focus.
The lectionary for today only listed a fragment of Psalm 85, so I included the entire Psalm, because it is worthwhile. As a song, as a poem or as a prayer the whole Psalm taken as one is better than the fragment.
The Psalm (below) thanks God for good fortune, and for forgiveness. Amos 3 bemoans our faith after we abandoned God. Amos actually refers to peoples before the time of Jesus, but we are also people in need of forgiveness, always.
And Paul, in Colossians 4, writing his letter by himself, exhorts us to always devote ourselves in prayer, keeping alert in thanksgiving. How many times per day do you meet and talk with God. Some say three times a day, some say five times a day, but Paul is talk about prayer that is ‘always’. Is once an hour often enough? Perhaps not, and Paul seems to be talking about prayer that becomes part of our daily, hourly consciousness—to live a life full of prayer.
Pray for peace
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.
1 Lord, you were favourable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin.
3 You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.
4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation towards us.
5 Will you be angry with us for ever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
so that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.*
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.
3Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt: 2You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3Do two walk together unless they have made an appointment? 4Does a lion roar in the forest, when it has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from its den, if it has caught nothing? 5Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing? 6Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster befall a city, unless the Lord has done it? 7Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. 8The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?
9Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod, and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt, and say, “Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria, and see what great tumults are within it, and what oppressions are in its midst.” 10They do not know how to do right, says the Lord, those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds. 11Therefore thus says the Lord God: An adversary shall surround the land, and strip you of your defense; and your strongholds shall be plundered. 12Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.
2Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, 4so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.
5Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.
7Tychicus will tell you all the news about me; he is a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord. 8I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts; 9he is coming with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here. 10Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him. 11And Jesus who is called Justus greets you. These are the only ones of the circumcision among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in everything that God wills. 13For I testify for him that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. 15Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea. 17And say to Archippus, “See that you complete the task that you have received in the Lord.” 18I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Kneeling to Pray 070612 (mennonitepreacher.wordpress.com)