The First 15

Friday January 15, 2021

by David Alexander

Opening Prayer

In the busyness of our everyday lives, we often fail to prepare our hearts and minds for reading God’s word and experience God in this time. Take a moment to allow this prayer to lead you into your time with God today. 

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God. 

Holy and loving God, in this new season I invite you to shape my soul with your words and inspire my life with your works. Teach me to walk in the way of peace and grace. AMEN. 

*This prayer adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network.

Scripture Reading

Luke 19:41-44

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”


Jesus enters Jerusalem knowing the imminence of his death as well as the future destruction that would come because those he came to save did not know, “what would bring you peace.” Yet this knowledge does not lead him to anger. Instead, it leads to tears. 

Mourning is one way we let go of our desire to control the world, those around us, and the circumstances of our lives. In surrendering to that conflict, we invite compassion to take the place of control. We release our resentment. Instead of seeing ourselves as adversaries, we reclaim our commission to be ambassadors of Christ. 

Month and month of the day by day experience of a previously unimaginable life has left us all frustrated with the world. Anger often masks our need to mourn. 

What do you need to mourn this day? 

Where might you be misunderstanding, “what would bring you peace?”

When you are finished with your time of reflection and before you close in prayer, spend a few moments committing the word of Ephesians 4:32 to memory. 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Closing Prayer

Loving God, thank you for your gift of grace made available to me through the work of Jesus Christ. I pray for the power of your grace to be unleashed in my life that it may soften my heart. May the grace received in my life be expressed through my life in everything I do and say this day. AMEN.

The First 15

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