Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Fruits We Have Borne

 Call to Prayer
 Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
How like a flock of birds set free
that in a net were caught,
our help is in the Name of the Lord,
who heav'n and earth hath wrought.
 —Psalm 124:6-7
Scripture of the Day
While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.
—Acts 7:59-60
Food for Thought
Notice that Stephen did not pray for pardon, but for others' forgiveness. Such selfless and courageous prayers have been prayed throughout history by the victims of hatred. Among them is this prayer, found tucked inside the clothing of a child who died at Ravensbrück concentration camp during World War Two:

Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But, do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us: instead, remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering—our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble. When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.

Today's Prayer
Give me grace, all-loving God, to see the humanity in those whose actions are inhumane; to forgive the unforgivable; and to turn the evil intentions of others into good for the sake of my neighbors and in the Name of him who prayed as he died, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do...

Your Own Prayers
 Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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