February 18 Devotional

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.

Opening Prayer: O God. We give ourselves over to your care, trusting only in your infinite mercy and love. We will continue to give thanks to you, O Lord, for all that we have and all that we are. We will rest assured in the knowledge that when we cry to you in sadness or in joy you will hear our cry and make reply. Amen. (A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God by Rueben P. Job, Norman Shawchuck, and John Mogabgab)

Scripture Reading for the Day: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

Reading for Reflection: 

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is
nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgment not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
(Ash Wednesday by T. S. Eliot)

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Hymn of the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Steve and Ruth Porter center their ministry around Steve’s dentistry at the Miango Dental Clinic in Nigeria. Their goal is to provide high quality dentistry, a winsome witness, sound teaching, and a compassionate outreach to those in need. They minister to local pastors, teachers, and other church employees, offering their services for the cost of the materials they use. Pray today for the Porters as they resume their ministries after an extended medical leave. 

Choices Resource Center is a Christian, life-affirming pregnancy resource center offering services to help people facing decisions regarding pregnancy, parenting, purity, and post abortion healing. Pray today for each young woman who will visit this center this week.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, thank you that you would rather tear me to pieces than allow me to continue being something other than that which I was created to be. Now that is true love! Help me, during this day and during this season, to return to you with all my heart. Amen.