Verse for the week: “This is my comfort in my trouble, that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119.50
Prayer for this week: “O God, you have called and gathered a people from the ends of the earth to serve you. Grant the increase of your government among us and give us your Holy Spirit, that your name may be glorified to all who sit in darkness and the shadow of death; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (K.B. Ritter, Gebete für das jahr der Kirche, 2nd ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.87 )
Bible reading for the day: I Corinthians 9.15-23
15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for the only ground of my boasting: Jesus Christ. Repent me and your church of worrying over our rights. Free us from such self pre-occupation…free us for the necessity you have laid upon us: to give and live the gospel of Jesus Christ to all those around us so that some might be saved. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
“I believe in Jesus Christ…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkMapZB8qMk
Benediction: The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. Phil 4.7
*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: 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.