kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Spirit and the Church

Invitatory:  “I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”  Zechariah 12.10

Morning Prayer:  God, our heavenly Father, through your Son you have promised us the Holy Spirit.  Send down upon us that Spirit, that he may teach us to show forth your praise, not only here on earth in weakness, since we know your power and glory only from afar, but also in power and glory on that day when, united with the choir of angels, we shall see you face to face; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  Amen. (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirche,2nd ed. Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948, p.150)

Bible reading for the day:  I John 5.1-5
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for sending your child, your Son, and giving me and your church victory over the world and its ways through our faith in him.  My faith doesn’t need commandments Lord, but my sinful self sure does.  So, each day until I’m dead hold onto me with that cruciform love that will not let me go and teach me to fear, love, and trust you above all else…’cause only then the burden is light, I overcome the world’s evil, and I know how to love your children.  I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved hymn that connects with today’s conversation:

The First Commandment: I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20.3
What does this mean?
We are to fear, love, and trust God above all things  (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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