kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Work in Progress

Verse for the week: Prepare the way of the Lord...behold, the Lord comes with might.”  Isaiah 40:3,10

Prayer for the 2nd week of Advent: “Lord, accept our prayer and supplication, and grant that we may heed the call of John to prepare the way for your Son, and receive him into our hearts, that we may become your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K. B. Ritter, Gebete fur das Jahr der Kirche, 2nd ed.  Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948)

Bible reading for the day:  Philippians 1.3-11
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for the good work you have begun in me and your whole church in Jesus Christ.  There’s plenty of work left to do on us, you know Lord.  So, bind us to Christ, defend and confirm the gospel among us…that our love may be not just a “feeling” but a reality that overflows more and more with knowledge and full insight.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.
How is this done?
God's will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.                               

              Psalm 147.10-11

*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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