FOR TODAY Read this Prayer for Self-dedication from The Book of Common Prayer, page 832. Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, and always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Throughout our lives, we find that we are dedicated to many things, people, groups, or causes. In this Collect, we ask God to help us be utterly, completely, ‘justly’ dedicated to God and to God’s glory along with the welfare of God’s people. As mentioned earlier this week, when considering our corporate worship, we do not always make a direct connection between God’s glory and the welfare of others. In Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy, he says that we are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, state, or nation. It takes a prayer, such as our Collect, to recognize that we need God to help guide our minds, fill our imaginations, and even control our wills. Because, as Stevenson writes: “Fear and anger can make us vindictive and abusive, unjust and unfair, until we all suffer from the absence of mercy…I believe it is necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and—perhaps we all need some measure of unmerited grace.”
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION The Prayer for Self-dedication names that we need help in order to be utterly dedicated to God and the welfare of God’s people. In what ways do you imagine our revival helping you to better connect to this prayer? In what specific ways might you pray for the revival to help you go deeper in honoring God’s dream for this world?
Focusing on the word "just" may strike many as an odd theme in our journey to revival; but, this week and subsequent ones will move us more directly towards the theme of our revival: Just Mercy, Just Jesus. We have heard the prophets of old and of our current time speak of a longing for a "just" society. In that sense, we long for what is right and good and lawful. At other times, we use the word "just" to reduce something to the basics, to what is essential, or to be dismissive. As we move through this week, a key aspect of being prepared and moved by a revival is getting in touch of the essentials in our relationship with God and with others. Find all previous daily devotionals here