Verse for the week: “Make me understand the way of your commandments, that I may meditate on your marvelous works.” Psalm 119.27
Prayer for this week: “Almighty God, you set your Son over the works of your hands, so that even the rebellious spirits must obey him. Give power to your word that your kingdom may grow and increase and all creation be delivered into the glorious liberty of your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (K.B. Ritter, Gebete für das jahr der Kirche, 2nd ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.86 )
Bible reading for the day: Luke 4.31-44
And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.
40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.
42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Lord, “what is this word?” people said. It is your living word, your son Jesus… and he has power not only over demons but over my sin, death itself, and even over the prince of demons, the Devil. Thank you! Keep sending preachers of the good news of Jesus’ victory that my baptism may be enacted for me daily… that I and my congregation may daily know ourselves to be citizens of your kingdom even while we live and serve in this earthly one. In Jesus’ name I ask this, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZzIiaMDQxs
What does baptism mean for daily living?
It means 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: 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 (
www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy
to remember: T:
thanksgiving Alexandria, MN
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.