Invitatory: Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Is 55.1
Morning prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you walked the way of the cross as the obedient servant of God. Open our ears and teach us by your Spirit, that we may not rebel but walk in the obedience of disciples who have learned from you, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen. [John W. Doberstein, Minister’s Prayer Book, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1986 p.82]
Bible reading for the day: Romans 4.13-25
For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for making a sinner like me righteous on account of Jesus, delivered up for my trespasses and raised to put me and my fellow sinners in a right relationship with you. Thank you! Kill off the old sinner in me that wants to insist on my own native rightness… to insist that I somehow deserve or earn your grace. Deserving has nothing to do with it Lord; so again today rest me and my congregation not on our own rightness, but on your grace… that we may know full freedom, may give glory to you, and give true help to our neighbor. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
“I believe in the Holy Spirit…
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers. At the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Benediction: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. Amen. II Thess 2.16-17
*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 (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.