Daily Devotional by Rev. Dr. Kandace Brooks
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Morning by Morning Daily Devotional Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Psalm 20

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
    and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

Psalm 20
Benediction, or blessing, is a powerful practice.  in the Jewish culture, it is a common practice for the parent to pray a blessing over the children on a regular basis, in some homes this becomes a daily ritual.  We do not do this enough (and no, the southern 'bless your heart!' does not count!).  What would it look like or feel like for you to engage the practice of praying blessings over people you love; or maybe over every person you encounter during a day?  Would it change your attitude toward them?  Would annoyances become opportunities for prayer and optimistic hope?
This week I am spending time with clergy colleagues from Florida and North Georgia.  While the year-long program is focused primarily on leadership, we begin each three-day session with a spiritual practice.  This session, we focused on the spiritual practice of forgiveness, and learned that one of the final steps in forgiving another is to pray a blessing over them.
Psalm 20 begins with a blessing that could be easily prayed over an individual.  Spend some time memorizing this text, or compose one similar to it - and then offer a silent blessing for individuals named and unnamed.

Friends - we have a member of our church who is struggling financially and would benefit from gas cards and grocery cards.  Can we reach out in love to this individual?  If you can help out - will you bring a gas or grocery gift card on Sunday and place it in the offering?  I know this gesture would not only be appreciated, but also provide real and needed assistance.

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