I am an emeritus professor from Cornell University and was a Commissioned Lay Preacher in the Presbyterian Church (USA). For many years I have followed the Daily Lectionary as printed in the Mission Yearbook of my church. For each day of a two-year cycle, the lectionary lists four psalms and three other scriptural passages--usually one from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. My practice is to copy down a verse or two from one of the psalms and from each of the other three passages. After I have written out all four selections, I reflect upon them, rearrange their order, and incorporate them into a meditation. Sometimes I retain much of the original wording; sometimes all that remains of a selection is an idea that was stimulated when I read the original words. All selections are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. For the Daily Lectionary, see the link below.

To Deserted Places, to Pray--May 5, 2017

Lord Jesus, surrounded by the clamoring crowds,
you withdrew to deserted places and prayed.
We can be sure the Father answered you
and increased your strength of soul.
Teach us to set aside prayer times
and faithfully to observe them,
and may grace, mercy, and peace
be with us from you and the Father.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 96; 148; 49; 138
Dan. 6:1-15
2 John 1-13
Luke 5:12-26  

Selected Verses
Ps. 138:3
On the day I called, you answered me,
          you increased my strength of soul.

Dan. 6:13
Then [the conspirators] responded to the king, "Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day."

2 John 3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

Luke 5:15-16  
But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases.  But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.


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