Selected by readers, cjs, and Michele Bartlett
cjs: “There are specific words that I have used in my private prayer life, and I’ve shared with others:
Live for Him today!
May we be unfailingly kind…
May we be models of integrity…
Make us ready, Lord, for the challenges we will face…
Come, Lord Jesus
—These are true today, tomorrow, and every day!”

Michele Bartlett: Even more so now than April when this was published, it seems like there is so much evil and havoc. But I am not called to put my focus there, but instead, to decide what to do with the time I have left, at 66. But I also love the context of the paragraph in with the LOTR quote is embedded…  

Frodo goes on to say that he wishes the Ring had never come to him. How often do we wish certain things had never come to us? Gandolf says, “Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you [Frodo] were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”  As we are deciding what to do with the time that is given us, may we remember that nothing that is happening to us is outside the ultimate will of our good God. And that is an encouraging thought.

Originally published, April 23, 2020, based on readings from Ecclesiastes 10 & Titus 2.

Scripture Focus: Titus 2.11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Reflection: This Present Age—Readers’ Choice
By John Tillman

Frodo: I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.

We often wish we were some “when” and perhaps some “where” else, but God calls us instead, to live for him today, “In this present age.” (Titus 2.13) 

There was never an age of this earth in which evil did not wreak havoc, governments did not mishandle justice, and in which the church, in one capacity or another did not fail to fully live out the gospel. Our faith must not be in those things. We join in a prayer today based on what Paul declared the Holy Spirit would teach. 

Teach Us, Holy Spirit
Teach us, Holy Spirit, that in this age and in this space, you have placed us and called us.
May we be made eager to do good for the sake of the gospel.
May we all, men and women, live as examples: temperate, worthy of respect, and self-controlled.
May we be sound in our faith and in our love for others, and carry out the work of the gospel.
May we live reverently and truthfully, quenching any spark of slander and never sharing or spreading anything that is not factual.
May we be unfailingly kind and submissive to one another.
May no one be able to malign the word of God because of us.
Teach us by your Holy Spirit to show integrity and seriousness, taking care that no one can mistake or condemn what we say.
May even those who oppose us have nothing bad to say about us.
May we be models of integrity to our employers and fellow-laborers, trustworthy, and immune to corruption.
Teach us to say “no” to desires that are of this world, even ones that seem “good” to human wisdom. Teach us to say “yes” to desires that lead us closer to you, even when they seem “foolish” to human wisdom.
It is no more difficult to live in this age you have placed us in, Lord, than any other age of the church, and probably it is easier. You have placed us here and called us now, to live for you in this place, in this culture, in this time.
Make us ready, Lord, for the challenges that we will face as we await the blessed hope of Jesus Christ, who will redeem us from all wickedness and set right all that is wrong.
Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Let the name of the Lord be blessed, from this time forth forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down let the Name of the Lord be praised. — Psalm 113.2-3

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Jeremiah 30-31 (Listen – 11:21)
Mark 16 (Listen – 2:34)

Read more about The Necessity of The Spirit
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit and told the disciples that it is to our benefit that he leave and the Spirit come.

#ReadersChoice is time for you to share favorite Park Forum posts from the year.
What post helped you endure suffering?