Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement
 

The Daily Readings for September 8, 2017

We've included both the Morning and Evening Psalms for the Daily Office; they are listed after the other readings. If you'd like to filter for a particular day's readings, you can do it at The Daily Readings Anytime.

1 Kings 18:20-40

So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel. Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." The people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, "I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets number four hundred fifty. Let two bulls be given to us; let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; the god who answers by fire is indeed God." All the people answered, "Well spoken!" Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; then call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it." So they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no voice, and no answer. They limped about the altar that they had made. At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is meditating, or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened." Then they cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances until the blood gushed out over them. As midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no answer, and no response. Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come closer to me" and all the people came closer to him. First he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down; Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, "Israel shall be your name" with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. Then he made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain two measures of seed. Next he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, "Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood." Then he said, "Do it a second time" and they did it a second time. Again he said, "Do it a third time" and they did it a third time, so that the water ran all around the altar, and filled the trench also with water. At the time of the offering of the oblation, the prophet Elijah came near and said, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back." Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, "The LORD indeed is God; the LORD indeed is God." Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape." Then they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon, and killed them there.

Philippians 3:1-16

Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a safeguard. Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh-- even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.

Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'" Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 40 Expectans, expectavi

  I waited patiently upon the LORD; *
he stooped to me and heard my cry.
  He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay; *
he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.
  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; *
many shall see, and stand in awe, and put their trust in the LORD.
  Happy are they who trust in the LORD! *
they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.
  Great things are they that you have done, O LORD my God! how great your wonders and your plans for us! *
there is none who can be compared with you.
  Oh, that I could make them known and tell them! *
but they are more than I can count.
  In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure *
(you have given me ears to hear you);
  Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required, *
and so I said, "Behold, I come.
  In the roll of the book it is written concerning me: *
'I love to do your will, O my God; your law is deep in my heart.'"
10   I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation; *
behold, I did not restrain my lips; and that, O LORD, you know.
11   Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance; *
I have not concealed your love and faithfulness from the great congregation.
12   You are the LORD; do not withhold your compassion from me; *
let your love and your faithfulness keep me safe for ever,
13   For innumerable troubles have crowded upon me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see; *
they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.
14   Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; *
O LORD, make haste to help me.
15   Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed who seek after my life to destroy it; *
let them draw back and be disgraced who take pleasure in my misfortune.
16   Let those who say "Aha!" and gloat over me be confounded, *
because they are ashamed.
17   Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad; *
let those who love your salvation continually say, "Great is the LORD!"
18   Though I am poor and afflicted, *
the Lord will have regard for me.
19   You are my helper and my deliverer; *
do not tarry, O my God.

Psalm 54 Deus, in nomine

  Save me, O God, by your Name; *
in your might, defend my cause.
  Hear my prayer, O God; *
give ear to the words of my mouth.
  For the arrogant have risen up against me, and the ruthless have sought my life, *
those who have no regard for God.
  Behold, God is my helper; *
it is the Lord who sustains my life.
  Render evil to those who spy on me; *
in your faithfulness, destroy them.
  I will offer you a freewill sacrifice *
and praise your Name, O LORD, for it is good.
  For you have rescued me from every trouble, *
and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 51 Miserere mei, Deus

  Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
  Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.
  For I know my transgressions, *
and my sin is ever before me.
  Against you only have I sinned *
and done what is evil in your sight.
  And so you are justified when you speak *
and upright in your judgment.
  Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
a sinner from my mother's womb.
  For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
  Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
  Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the body you have broken may rejoice.
10   Hide your face from my sins *
and blot out all my iniquities.
11   Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
12   Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
13   Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
14   I shall teach your ways to the wicked, *
and sinners shall return to you.
15   Deliver me from death, O God, *
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation.
16   Open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
17   Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, *
but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.
18   The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
19   Be favorable and gracious to Zion, *
and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
20   Then you will be pleased with the appointed sacrifices, with burnt-offerings and oblations; *
then shall they offer young bullocks upon your altar.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, 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. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

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