Verse for the week: Our Savior Christ Jesus…abolished death and brought life and immortality to light. II Timothy 1.10
Prayer for the week: “Almighty and everlasting God, comfort of the sad and strength to those who suffer: Let the prayers of your children who are in any trouble rise to you. To everyone in distress grant mercy, grant relief, grant refreshment; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Those in Affliction, LBW # 223, Minister’s Ed., p.114; Gelasian Sacramentary in Frederick B. Macnutt, The Prayer Manual, p.221).
Bible reading for the day: James 3.13-4.10
13Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
4.1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for coming down to us and giving us your wisdom: Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sinners like us. Thank you! Our own wisdom? Repent us of it… for it only gets us quarreling among ourselves and believing that we are our own stairway to heaven. Our own wisdom would have us befriending the adulterous ways of the world and thereby put us at enmity with you. Jesus is our bridegroom, not the world. So, protect me and your church from the devil’s deception, from taking pride in ourselves. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us through your word and do your will among us… that we may love the people in the world but not it’s ways… that we may be humble and grateful before you. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a relatively new hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU8MAQKSbEI
“Thy will be done…
What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.
How is this done?
God's will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will. (from The Small Catechism by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
benediction: The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
From this time on and forevermore. Ps 121.7-8
*There are many patterns for devotions. This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray. It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (
www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy
to remember: T:
thanksgiving Alexandria, MN
R: regret (repentance)
I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God.