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Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Lent

There is a beautiful hymn in the With One Voice hymnal, entitled “You Who Dwell in the Shelter of the Lord,”—which is also known as “On Eagles Wings,” (WOV 779). I am convinced that the writer of this beautiful hymn had the 91st psalm open as he wrote it. In fact, as I began to read through this psalm, I automatically began singing the hymn. It is one of my favorite hymns, for it reminds us in such beautiful words and music that our God is in fact our refuge and our strength, and our fortress. This psalm reminds us that we can trust in our God’s eternal protection of us. Today, we are almost at the midpoint of our Lenten journey to the cross. The season of Lent is a time for us to answer our Lord’s invitation to return to Him and to put our trust and our faith in Him. This psalm serves as a powerful statement that we can put our belief and trust in our God.
All of us go through times in our lives when we do not feel the presence of our God, times when we doubt that our God is with us in the midst of our troubles. It is at those times that we can call upon a psalm like this one to remind ourselves that in the midst of everything bad that is going on in our lives, our God is with us, and His love covers us. 
My final thought and prayer for you is that you would remember this: God is not near because I feel His presence; God is not far away from me because I do not feel His presence; God is here with me because He promises to be here with me.

Prayer: O God, our loving Father, help us to remember that You are here with us because You promise to be here with us. Help us to trust that under Your wings we will find our refuge, and that Your faithfulness is our shield and our buckler. Give us the faith to trust, totally and completely, in Your eternal love for us. In the name of Jesus, Your Son, our Savior, we offer our prayer. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Philip H. Harkey, STS

“Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 604”

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After several challenging years in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

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