kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rise, let's go...

Verse for the week: “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

Prayer for the week:  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:  John 14.25-30 (note: Today’s reading picks up where yesterday’s left off. It is Maundy Thursday evening. They will all betray him. Jesus has just told them that “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” And now he says…)
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, alleluia for your Son’s reunion with you: it verifies that Satan has no claim on him… and therefore no claim on us. Thank you!  Deliver me and my congregation from our own troubled, fearful hearts… teach us to see them as sign that Satan is trying to jump your claim. By your Holy Spirit, give us ears that hear and remember all that you have said and done… that we may rise and head right into it. In your name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord:  

“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  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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