… September 22

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Readings for the Week of Sept 22

Psalm 1 Psalm 54James 3:13-4:8Mark 9:30-37

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, at 6:45 AM, Wheatlanders gather for morning prayer. We pray from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. When we gather we hear Scripture, we pray Psalms and other portions of Scripture together, we recite the Apostles Creed, and we pray for one another, our church, and all those that God places on our heart.

After doing this for awhile, most of us have large portions of the prayers memorized. This is not because we tried. We simply prayed the words and they became a natural part of us. Many of the prayers, whether its the “Magnificat”, or the “Gloria in excelsis”, or one of the songs of Isaiah, are now committed to our memories not through an attempt to remember but because we are present to the words and the one to whom we are speaking.

Not everyone can make it to Morning Prayer. However, all of us can pray similarly. If you do I think you’ll find these prayers always close at hand. Let me encourage you to begin, and a good way to do that, is to pray the Lord’s Prayer every day. Don’t just pray it once but pray it as often as it comes to mind.

It might be helpful to you to find a brief Scripture, maybe a single verse or a passage from the Psalms, that serves as a good word for you to pray first thing in the morning. Before your feet hit the ground. Before you take on the day. Pray a simple phrase from the Bible. One of my favorites was introduced to me through the Celtic Daily Prayer and is found in Psalm 27:

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in his temple.

There are many ways to start your day by praying Scripture. Maybe you should choose a passage that you are already familiar with and that means something to you. Here are a couple of good examples:

To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God. ~ John 6

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. ~ Revelation 4:8

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his faithfulness endures from age to age. ~ Psalm 100

Or, another favorite from Isaiah:

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you. ~ Isaiah 60:1

Again, find one that works well for you. There are countless ways to greet the Lord with the words of Scripture. Find one, begin to use it, and thus you can set apart your day to the Lord. Allow God to stand as Lord over the hours of your day.

Speaking of prayer, here is the collect for this Saturday:

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul Hill