Home > Reading > Daily Reading – November 21, 2023

Revelation 11 (Listen)

The Two Witnesses

11:1 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, 10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.

The Seventh Trumpet

15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,

  “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
    who is and who was,
  for you have taken your great power
    and begun to reign.
18   The nations raged,
    but your wrath came,
    and the time for the dead to be judged,
  and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
    and those who fear your name,
    both small and great,
  and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

Matthew 13:44–52 (Listen)

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

The Parable of the Net

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

New and Old Treasures

51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”


Morning Psalms

Psalm 123 (Listen)

Our Eyes Look to the Lord Our God

A Song of Ascents.

123:1   To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
  Behold, as the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
  as the eyes of a maidservant
    to the hand of her mistress,
  so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
    till he has mercy upon us.
  Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
  Our soul has had more than enough
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud.

Psalm 146 (Listen)

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

146:1   Praise the LORD!
  Praise the LORD, O my soul!
  I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
  Put not your trust in princes,
    in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
  When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
    on that very day his plans perish.
  Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the LORD his God,
  who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them,
  who keeps faith forever;
    who executes justice for the oppressed,
    who gives food to the hungry.
  The LORD sets the prisoners free;
    the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
  The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the LORD loves the righteous.
  The LORD watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
    but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10   The LORD will reign forever,
    your God, O Zion, to all generations.
  Praise the LORD!


Evening Psalms

Psalm 30 (Listen)

Joy Comes with the Morning

A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.

30:1   I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
  O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
  O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
  Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
  For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
  Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.
  As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
  By your favor, O LORD,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
  you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
  To you, O LORD, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
  “What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
  Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10   Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
    O LORD, be my helper!”
11   You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12   that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Psalm 86 (Listen)

Great Is Your Steadfast Love

A Prayer of David.

86:1   Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
  Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
  Be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all the day.
  Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
  Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace.
  In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.
  There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
  All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10   For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11   Teach me your way, O LORD,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12   I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13   For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14   O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
    a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
    and they do not set you before them.
15   But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16   Turn to me and be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant,
    and save the son of your maidservant.
17   Show me a sign of your favor,
    that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
    because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

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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