Home > Reading > Daily Reading – November 20, 2023

Nehemiah 6 (Listen)

Conspiracy Against Nehemiah

6:1 Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king. And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.” Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.

10 Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night.” 11 But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.” 12 And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. 14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.

The Wall Is Finished

15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17 Moreover, in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18 For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah: and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as his wife. 19 Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.

Revelation 10 (Listen)

The Angel and the Little Scroll

10:1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

Matthew 13:36–43 (Listen)

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.


Morning Psalms

Psalm 135 (Listen)

Your Name, O Lord, Endures Forever

135:1   Praise the LORD!
  Praise the name of the LORD,
    give praise, O servants of the LORD,
  who stand in the house of the LORD,
    in the courts of the house of our God!
  Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
    sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
  For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
    Israel as his own possession.
  For I know that the LORD is great,
    and that our Lord is above all gods.
  Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps.
  He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
    who makes lightnings for the rain
    and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
  He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    both of man and of beast;
  who in your midst, O Egypt,
    sent signs and wonders
    against Pharaoh and all his servants;
10   who struck down many nations
    and killed mighty kings,
11   Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    and Og, king of Bashan,
    and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
12   and gave their land as a heritage,
    a heritage to his people Israel.
13   Your name, O LORD, endures forever,
    your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
14   For the LORD will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants.
15   The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
16   They have mouths, but do not speak;
    they have eyes, but do not see;
17   they have ears, but do not hear,
    nor is there any breath in their mouths.
18   Those who make them become like them,
    so do all who trust in them.
19   O house of Israel, bless the LORD!
    O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
20   O house of Levi, bless the LORD!
    You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
21   Blessed be the LORD from Zion,
    he who dwells in Jerusalem!
  Praise the LORD!

Psalm 145 (Listen)

Great Is the Lord

A Song of Praise. Of David.

145:1   I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name forever and ever.
  Every day I will bless you
    and praise your name forever and ever.
  Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.
  One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
  On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
  They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
  They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
  The LORD is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
  The LORD is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.
10   All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
    and all your saints shall bless you!
11   They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
    and tell of your power,
12   to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13   Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
  [The LORD is faithful in all his words
    and kind in all his works.]
14   The LORD upholds all who are falling
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
15   The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
16   You open your hand;
    you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17   The LORD is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works.
18   The LORD is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19   He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.
20   The LORD preserves all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
21   My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
    and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.


Evening Psalms

Psalm 97 (Listen)

The Lord Reigns

97:1   The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
    let the many coastlands be glad!
  Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
  Fire goes before him
    and burns up his adversaries all around.
  His lightnings light up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
  The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
  The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all the peoples see his glory.
  All worshipers of images are put to shame,
    who make their boast in worthless idols;
    worship him, all you gods!
  Zion hears and is glad,
    and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
    because of your judgments, O LORD.
  For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.
10   O you who love the LORD, hate evil!
    He preserves the lives of his saints;
    he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11   Light is sown for the righteous,
    and joy for the upright in heart.
12   Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
    and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 112 (Listen)

The Righteous Will Never Be Moved

112:1   Praise the LORD!
  Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
    who greatly delights in his commandments!
  His offspring will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
  Wealth and riches are in his house,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
  Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
  It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
    who conducts his affairs with justice.
  For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
  He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
  His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
  He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.
10   The wicked man sees it and is angry;
    he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
    the desire of the wicked will perish!

“Edmund, King of East Anglia, Martyr, 870”

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.

Learn More