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
Prayer for the week: “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: John 17. 20-26 (note: The setting is minutes before Jesus’ arrest. He knows what’s coming, and he is praying to his Father for “those who will believe” in him; that’s us. So, Jesus lets us overhear his prayer now.)
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for sending Jesus to make your name, your love, known to sinners like me and your whole church. Repent us of fearing a world that does not know you and of turning Jesus’ prayer into our project. Jesus is the righteous one and his prayer is sufficient; so bring your kingdom right to us Lord. In Jesus’ name I ask this, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rc3kg7OIeQ
“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: 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. (1 Pet 5:10)
*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 www.dailytext.com). 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.