See also Biblical Verses and Daily Devotions for Religion and Philosophy June 2018 (PDF opens in a separate window).
Religion is a fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a group of people. These set of beliefs concern the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, and involve devotional and ritual observances. They also often contain a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Christianity is more than a religion; it is a relationship with Jesus Christ. John 15:9 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now continue in my love.” John 15:15, “I have called you friends.”
John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.” John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends”
Jesus summarized the true meaning of religion in Matthew 22:37-40, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Some common religious views and faith:
- Bahá’í Faith
In the history of Christian theology, philosophy has sometimes been seen as a natural complement to theological reflection, whereas at other times practitioners of the two disciplines have regarded each other as mortal enemies.
Some early Christian thinkers such as Tertullian were of the view that any intrusion of secular philosophical reason into theological reflection was out of order. Early Christian thinkers, such as St. Augustine of Hippo, argued that philosophical reflection complemented theology, but only when these philosophical reflections were firmly grounded in a prior intellectual commitment to the underlying truth of the Christian faith. Thus, the legitimacy of philosophy was derived from the legitimacy of the underlying faith commitments.
The rules for good thinking, how to reason clearly so as to communicate to others good reasons
for believing, studying of the principles all good thinkers, at all times, follow.
- Epistemology: The study of knowledge: What is knowledge? What is truth? How do we get knowledge? What are the different types of knowledge?
- Metaphysics: What is existence? Which things actually do exist? Which are the main worldviews – “Philosophy of life”? What is God? Matter? Soul? Cause? Purpose? Substance? Time? Consciousness? Space? History? Etc.
- Philosophical Anthropology: What are Human persons? What is Human intelligence? Freedom? Language? Thought? Emotion? Immorality?
- Ethics: What makes for a truly good life? Which obligations and rights do individuals have? What are the virtues of good living?
- Asthetics: What is beauty? What is creativity? Art? What are the standards of taste?
Seeking God in Prayer
Sometimes it is hard to define the meaning of the above topics but we can seek God in prayer who is the source of everything which enable us to find the truth. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [John 8:32] It is the Truth about self, Truth about God, Truth about life.
God desires that we establish a relationship with Him, He always speaks to us even though we don’t know it, He has given us our conscience as a voice that tells us what is good and what is bad. He guides us with the Holy Spirit and He teaches us the way to go, He has sent His Son to redeem us and to establish the true way to Him.
Through prayer we can cultivate our faith, we can come closer to God, we can receive the knowledge and wisdom to know Him more intimately and ultimately we can love Him by accepting His commandments and by loving one another. Prayer then is an expression of our faith, since by the virtue of piety we are moved to seek God, to please Him and to trust Him in all our needs. Prayer is an act of trust, because we don’t see God and yet we come to Him, it is like negotiating with someone who will give us a very great deal. Everything that comes from God is good, so we have nothing to lose when we come respectfully in prayer before Him, but we have so much to win.
Every prayer is listened to, although some prayers are not answered the way we expect. Perhaps we are not praying in accordance with the will of God, perhaps we are unknowingly giving instructions to God. Let us be very humble when we pray.
Therese of Lisieux says: “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart, it is simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy”.
Let Us Pray
The ‘Jesus Prayer’ is very simple:
“Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
The Lord’s Prayer:
Origin: The gospel of Matthew, chapter 6
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses*,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, [and] the power,
and the glory, for ever and ever.
Prayer for the Salvation of the World:
Father, hear our prayers for the salvation of the world.
Grant Mercy to all souls that turned away from You.
Open their hearts and minds with Your light.
Gather Your children from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
Have mercy O God on those who do not know You.
Bring them out of darkness into Your light.
You are our saving God Who leads us in our salvation. Protect us from evil.
Bless and praise You O Lord, hear our prayers and answer us.
You, our Savior, are the hope of all the ends of the Earth and the distant seas.
May Your way be known upon Earth; among all nations Your salvation.
We put the world in Your hands; fill us with Your love.
Grant us peace through Christ, our Lord.
Prayer for Human Dignity:
Lord and giver of all life, help us to value each person, created in love by you.
In your mercy, guide and assist our efforts to promote the dignity and value of all human life, born and unborn.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
For Joy in God’s Creation:
O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works;
that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness;
for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
For Peace Among the Nations:
Almighty God our heavenly Father,
guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth,
and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness,
that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Let us read a few verses from John 16:
8-11 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15 “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Foretold
16 “A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”
17-18 Some of His disciples then said to one another, “What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is talking about.”
19 Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, “Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me’?
20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.
21 “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.
22 “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
23 “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
24 “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.
26-27 “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
28 “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.”
29-30 His disciples said, “Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. “Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.”
31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?
32 “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”