Subject: Daily Prayers and Scriptures: Monday, March 23

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During this time in which the whole world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are posting Daily Bible Readings from the International Bible Lessons for Christian Teaching, Spring 2020, plus a meditation to help guide your prayers, for your inspiration and encouragement.
Psalm 50:1-15, NRSV
A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

1 The mighty one, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.

3 Our God comes and does not keep silence,
before him is a devouring fire,
and a mighty tempest all around him.
4 He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge. Selah

7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house,
or goats from your folds.
10 For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the air,
and all that moves in the field is mine.

12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and all that is in it is mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

A Profound Moment
From the Desk of Rev. Dr. Felica Wooten Williams, Pastor, March 17, 2020

KEY VERSE: Be still, and know that I am God!  I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10).

We are living in a profound moment in world history. We woke up one day and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was on the doorstep of humanity. Suddenly, our lives were disrupted and our daily routines remain challenged. This pandemic forced people to change habits for the common good. With COVID-19 came the threat of death, confusion, chaos, and fear. Some people are unknowingly carrying the virus. People are fighting for their lives right now in intensive care units around the world. Physicians and nurses are doing everything possible to preserve lives. Family members are being quarantined. Today, we mourn with those who have lost loved ones to this horrible disease. It is, indeed, a very difficult situation. In this extraordinary moment in time, burdens and cares can seem to get the best of us as the situation changes so fast that we don’t know what to do. 

So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? Be still.

Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10). This means stop doing whatever we are doing that fails to exalt God. Stop fighting. Stop striving with people and circumstances. It is time for a cease-fire. Stop the war within the Church. Stop racism. Stop the political war. God is saying “Stop it, people. You do not have the solution to this problem; and, in fact, you are getting in my way. Don’t forget that I am God and I reign over all people and nations. Stop trying to be god, that’s what Satan did that led to the fall of humankind.  I am God and I am in control.” I’m not suggesting that we do nothing or that we completely isolate ourselves; rather, I’m saying change our ways and do only that which exalts and glorifies God. Our job is to glorify God and humble ourselves before God. The Word of God says, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices (Psalm 37:7). We are accustomed to being on-the-go and making things happen our way. We get impatient when our plans get interrupted. Doubtlessly, being still makes us uncomfortable because American society teaches us to be “movers and shakers.” Instead, we should learn to lean and depend on God. Now is the time to develop a deeper personal relationship with God.

Let lips be stilled when we are tempted to fretfully speak in ways that do not honor God (see Psalm 31:18). Are you downplaying the threat and repeating conspiracy theories? Gossiping? Complaining? That’s cause for pause. Selah.

Be still, O inhabitants of the coast, O merchants of Sidon; your messengers crossed over the sea (Isaiah 23:2). What is God saying to us about our coasts and boundaries as we endure COVID-19? We are all in this together. Now is the time to do what we can to protect and help people regardless of nationality. Now is the time to return to family prayer and Bible Study around the dinner table. 

Be still because God is at work. God made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed (Psalm 107:29). This is God’s world and everything, including coronavirus, must obey His will. Recall that in Mark 4:39, Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He spoke and things changed. God did it before and He can do it again. Be still and trust God to stop COVID-19 by any means necessary. Meanwhile, pray this: “O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! (Psalm 83.1). 

Be still, because the LORD is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him (Habakkuk 2:20). Amen.
You can follow our daily readings, prayers, and meditations on our website at safe, healthy, and blessed during this time.
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