kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, May 2, 2016

Disrupting Satan's economy

Verse for the week: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession of faith.  Hebrews 4.14

Morning prayer: “Eternal God, you commit to us the swift and solemn trust of life; since we know not what the day may bring forth, but only that the hour for serving you is always present, may we wake to the instant claims of your holy will, not waiting for tomorrow, but yielding today.  Consecrate with your presence the way our feet may go and the humblest work will shine, and the roughest place be made plain.  Lift us above unrighteous anger and mistrust, into faith, and hope, and charity, by a simple and steadfast reliance on your sure will.  In all things draw us to the mind of Christ, that your lost image may be traced again, and you may own us as at one with him and you, to the glory of your great name.  Amen.” (James Martineau, Home Prayers, London: Longmans, Green, 1891)

Bible reading for the day: Acts 16.16-24
16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for sending preachers – from Paul in the 1st century to my parents and friends in this century – thank you for sending preachers to disrupt Satan’s economy and free bound sinners like this slave girl and me. Thank you! Deliver me and my congregation from the puny, selfish fear of rejection or discomfort. Our faith would be so much greater Lord, if we would suffer for it. So, send us… to the place of prayer and to the people we meet along the way… in the name of Jesus’ Christ. Amen.

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

“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: (1 Pet 5:10)  And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you this day.  To him be the power forever and ever.  Amen.    

*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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