kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, January 25, 2016

To destroy and to build... to uproot and to plant

Verse for the week: “Make me understand the way of your commandments, that I may meditate on your marvelous works.”           Psalm 119.27

Prayer for this week: “Almighty God, you set your Son over the works of your hands, so that even the rebellious spirits must obey him.  Give power to your word that your kingdom may grow and increase and all creation be delivered into the glorious liberty of your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (K.B. Ritter, Gebete für das jahr der Kirche, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.86 )

Bible reading for the day:  Jeremiah 1.4-10
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for your Word and for appointing delivery boys to bring it.  Repent me and your whole church of shying away from our calling to speak what you command.  Give us trust in what you have said and done, in your work rather than our own… so that your Word may have free course to accomplish that for which you send him: to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow sin… and to build and plant faith among us.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hallowed be thy name…
What does this mean?
God's name is indeed holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy also among us.
How is this done?
God's name is hallowed when his Word is taught in its truth and purity and we, as God's children, lead holy lives in harmony with it. Grant this to us, dear Father in heaven! But whoever teaches and lives in ways other than what God's Word teaches dishonors the name of God among us. Prevent us from doing this, heavenly Father! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

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 (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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