kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Invitatory: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  Zech 4.6

Morning prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the almighty God, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts through your blessed word, that he may rule and guide us according to your will; strengthen us in every trial and need; and lead us, past all error, into your truth; that we may stand fast in faith, increase in love and all good works, and by the sure hope of your grace, which you have obtained for us by your death, be saved eternally; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.  Amen.  (Viet Dietrich in Otto Dietz, Die Evangelien-Kooekten des Viet Dietrich, p. 57)

Bible reading for the day:  Acts 2.1-13 (note: you can read Peter’s entire Pentecost sermon and the results of it in Acts 2.  This reading is just the beginning.)
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for pouring out for us not cheap wine but the best wine of all: the blood of Jesus filled with his Holy Spirit.  Repent me and your church of being drunk with ourselves, our churchy words, and being theologically tongue tied.  With your word, blow out my corroded pipes, deliver us from our ecclesiastical state rooms and teach me and my congregation afresh to speak Jesus in the vernacular…so that our neighbors may know what he means for them.  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  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:
T: thanksgiving
                                                          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. 

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