kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, August 6, 2018

Wearied in the good fight?

Verse for the week: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  I Peter 5.5

Prayer for the week: “Almighty, everlasting God, mercifully regard us who have been made your children through baptism and, according to your grace, grant that your promises may be fulfilled in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirche, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 183). 

Bible reading for the day:  I Kings 19.1-8 (note: Ahab reigned in the northern kingdom of Israel from 869-851 BC, his wife was Jezebel. As leaders, they were unjust and selfish; they worshipped Baal and rejected God and his prophets.)
1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets (of Baal) with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you that you not only hear my laments, you have taken them into yourself in Jesus Christ. Each day repent me and your church of our proud self-pity and of running away from the good fight of faith.  After each night’s sleep, lift me and my brothers & sisters up out of our beds and in the strength of the food that is Christ himself for us, grant us to run with perseverance the race that is set before us… the race that gives Jesus to our neighbor in our words and deeds.  I ask this in His name, amen.

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

What is the significance of baptizing with water?
It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily sorrow for sin and repentance and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
Where is this written?
Saint Paul says in Romans, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 ESV). (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

benediction:  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21) 

*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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