Invitatory: “he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and… he bore the sin of many,” Is 53.12
Morning prayer: O God, holy and eternal, you permit us to enter into the fellowship of that holy suffering by which your dear Son, our Savior, conquered sin, death and the power of the devil. Grant that we may celebrate his passion with true devotion, accept the cross as his disciples, and thus fulfill your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das Jahr der Kirche, 2nd edition (Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948), p. 249.]
Bible reading for the day: John 12.20-26
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, we can’t thank you enough: you sent your Son to descend… to fall to the earth… and die so that the fruit of faith might be borne even among sinners like us. Thank you! When people want an appointment with Jesus, repent me and my congregation of loving our lives so much that we run around like Phillip and Andrew passing the buck… waiting for the pastor or for someone else with more faith to honor the request. You have redeemed us from ourselves and made us your servants, AND you’ve given us the name of Jesus to deliver. So, do it now Lord… the hour has come for your Son to be glorified: use grains of wheat like us to pray with the hungry souls and to deliver Jesus right to their ears. I ask this in his name, amen.
“Thy kingdom come…”
What does this mean?
The kingdom of God comes indeed by itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.
How is this done?
God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life now and in eternity. (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 www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:
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.