kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, December 3, 2018

Road work ahead

Verse for the week: Prepare the way of the Lord...behold, the Lord comes with might.”  Isaiah 40:3,10

Prayer for the 2nd week of Advent: “Lord, accept our prayer and supplication, and grant that we may heed the call of John to prepare the way for your Son, and receive him into our hearts, that we may become your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K. B. Ritter, Gebete fur das Jahr der Kirche, 2nd ed.  Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948)

Bible reading for the day: Luke 3.1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,                        
make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways,
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for sending Jesus into history for our repentance and forgiveness…to straighten out crooked sinners like us.  Repent me and your whole church of the self-esteem that deafens our ears to your voice.  Fill my ears with your voice…make a highway straight to us… come at us with your Living Word now… so that we and all flesh may see our salvation in him, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  In his name I ask this, amen.

hymn: follow this link to a scene from G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” which 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 LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalm 147.10-11

*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: 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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