The Joy of the Lord

16 Mar

There is a phrase that runs around my head sometimes.  It is, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  I think that is the way I feel about this wonderful Celebration of Discipline class.   It is such a joy to talk with people about the desire to draw closer and closer to God.  It makes me feel solid, and joyful, and strong.   Strong enough to face whatever life throw my way.

We had a great conversation about meditation yesterday and I talked about how I love the concept of Holy Leisure.   It is a blessing to spend time with God in quiet and feel a sacred rhythm throughout my day.    It brings a sense of calm; even when I realized this morning that I forgot to blog yesterday’s scripture!

The scripture for yesterday and today are fairly long.  Yet they are familiar.  Our week will focus on prayer.  We begin with The Lord’s Prayer.

Daily Scripture Readings

Sunday,  The pattern of prayer                            Matthew 6:5-15

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10     Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11     Give us this day our daily bread.
12     And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13     And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus emphasizes that prayer is a conversation between you and God, and not something you use to show off.  I really don’t think this is one of the temptation of the people reading this blog.  However, I would encourage you (and me) to have a sense of mindfulness when we pray.  To keep clear in our minds that we are bowing before the Divine Presence, the Great Teacher, and have the joy and privilege of speaking directly and openly with God.

Our next reading is Psalm 101.  I always think of Godspell when I start reading the psalm.  I hope you can take time to enjoy the beauty and uplifting grandeur of the worship prayer.

Monday,  The prayer of worship                                    Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Are the things in your life that you can find to give thanks and blessing to God?

The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Thank you for sharing the journey with me; it adds to the blessings of my life.



One Response to “The Joy of the Lord”

  1. Lauri Capwell March 16, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    I feel such a sense of peace when I read your blog, Mary. Thank you for sharing with us.

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