Verse for the week: As you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. Matt 25.40
Prayer for the week: “Merciful God, kindle in our hearts the fire of your love, that we may serve you and our neighbor, according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 199).
Bible reading for the day: Isaiah 55.6-11 (note: The setting for this section of Isaiah is post-Exile; the Lord is restoring his people after nearly 50 years of disciplinary “timeout” in Babylon. He declares to us not our words but his thoughts and his reliable word.)
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the
snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method*): Gracious and almighty Father, in Christ crucified and raised for our forgiveness you bring me and my congregation back home to you; thank you! Deliver us constantly from our own thoughts, our own ways… for these only leave us exiled from you. Pour out your word over us and for us… that your purpose may be accomplished among us; in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2bhHosLHmI
“Hallowed be thy name…”
What does this mean?
God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we ask in this petition that it may be kept holy among us.
When does this happen?
God’s name is hallowed whenever his Word is taught in its truth and purity and we as children of God live in harmony with it. Grant this to us, dear Father in heaven! But whoever teaches and lives in ways other than what God's Word teaches dishonors the name of God among us. Prevent us from doing this, heavenly Father! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Benediction: Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21)
*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 (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:
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.