kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, December 9, 2019

The end of your drought


Verse for the week: “Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me.” Malachi 3.1

Prayer for this week of Advent: “Lord Jesus, our Light and our Salvation, you alone are the one who was to come to save us.  We thank you for your coming and for your will to perform in us again your saving work. Rule us by your Holy Spirit, that henceforth we may wait for none other and put our trust in nothing in heaven or earth except you alone, our Lord.  Amen.” (Martin Moller, Thesaurus precationum, 1603; text in Gerhard Molwitz, Lutherisches Gebetbuch, p.41.)

Bible reading for the day: Isaiah 35.1-10 (Note: the people of Judah and Jerusalem are in the midst of a nearly 50 year disciplinary “time out” – the Exile to Bablyon, 587-539BC – which they brought upon themselves by their rebellion against God. They have been blind to his favor and deaf to his word. Also, there is a symmetrical structure to v.1-7 of this Hebrew poem: if you fold it in half from top to bottom, the content of the verses parallel each other and God is at the center of the restoration.)
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
    the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
    “Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
    will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
    He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
And a highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
    It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
    even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
No lion shall be there,
    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
    but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for redeeming rebellious ones, including me, through Jesus Christ; he is the highway to new life. Thank you. Daily unstop our ears that we may be delivered from the drought of the self and listen instead to you. Take my trembling hand, Lord Jesus, and lead me to the comforts of Zion; in your name I pray. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to the portion of Handel’s “Messiah” that proclaims this news from scripture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTzZqf3dze4

Benediction: “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 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 (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. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Your King


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

Prayer for this 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: Psalm 72.1-11, 18-19
Give the king your justice, O God,
    and your righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice!
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the children of the needy,
    and crush the oppressor!
May he live while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
    like showers that water the earth!
In his days may the righteous flourish,
    and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
May he have dominion from sea to sea,
    and from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth!
May desert tribes bow down before him,
    and his enemies lick the dust!
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands
    render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
    bring gifts!
11 Yes, all kings must pay homage to him,
    all nations serve him!

18Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
    may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, this prayer is full of good things to ask for in a king; thank you for giving us the only king who fulfills it: your Son, Jesus Christ. Daily teach me, our nation, all nations, and the rulers of this world to bow in homage to him. Blessed be your name O Lord, forever. Amen and amen!
Hymn: follow this link to an excerpt from G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YaGwI7GjlA

“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. (The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther; Reclaim Resources © 2010)

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 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. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The True Lumberjack is for you


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

Prayer for this 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: Matthew 3.1-12
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
    make his paths straight.’”
Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, in Jesus Christ your whole kingdom comes for me and a race full of sinners. Thank you! Thank you also for John’s clear voice in this wilderness of self-esteem and political correctness. Whenever my congregation and I root our trust in our religion, our tenure, our family tree, take your axe to that sin. By your sheer, sharp grace bear in us the fruit of repentance that trusts in Jesus alone as our righteousness. In his name I pray, 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=vRAFQCOkjgE

“I believe in Jesus Christ…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther; Reclaim Resources © 2010)

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 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. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

From the stump of his promise...


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

Prayer for this 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:  Isaiah 10.33-11.10 (note: written near the end of the 8th century BC, chapter 1 of Isaiah summarizes the rebellion of the Lord’s own beloved children. To his rebellious children who have estranged themselves from him, the Lord makes the following promise.)
10.33 Behold, the Lord God of hosts
    will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the great in height will be hewn down,
    and the lofty will be brought low.
34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
    and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.

11.1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
    and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for Jesus the righteous branch from the stump of your promise…He extended his hand to be crucified on a tree to recover rebellious sinners from the four corners of the earth, including me. Thank you!  We judge by what our eyes see and our ears hear; He alone judges with righteousness… and He now stands as the savior and signal for people. Draw me and your whole church to inquire of and find our rest in Him rather than ourselves. I ask this in his name, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRaFdFkOVyY

“I believe in Jesus Christ…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!  (The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther; Reclaim Resources © 2010)

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 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. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Our refuge and strength


Verse for the week: “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”  Psalm 146.5

Prayer for the week: “Almighty, everlasting God, you have promised us a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Direct us by your Spirit, that we may wait watchfully for the coming of your Son, and with holy lives go forth to meet him, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete für das jahr der Kirche, 2nd ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.235). 

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 46
 God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for that river who is Jesus Christ, flowing with forgiveness and life for me and your whole church. Repent us of seeking refuge in our selves or in any source other than him… for to do so only leaves us raging, tottering, melting. Grant me and my congregation the stilled conscience that trusts you and your promise that you are our Lord, with us and for us in Jesus Christ. 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=bONV_YZCKdg

“I believe in Jesus Christ…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.  Amen.  II Thess 2.16-17


*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. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

In him all things hold together


Verse for the week: “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”  Psalm 146.5

Prayer for the week: “Almighty, everlasting God, you have promised us a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Direct us by your Spirit, that we may wait watchfully for the coming of your Son, and with holy lives go forth to meet him, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete für das jahr der Kirche, 2nd ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.235). 

Bible reading for the day: Colossians 1.13-20
 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for Jesus; because he is the full revelation of you, he is everything for me and for your whole church… forgiveness, life, and salvation all in one for us. Thank you! When the devil, human deceit, and my own sin would try to lure me back to the domain of darkness, hold me fast to Christ and project his power for my sure defense. 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=Ah6xIq4mL0I  

“I believe in Jesus Christ…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.  Amen.  II Thess 2.16-17


*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. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Strange King


Verse for the week: “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”  Psalm 146.5

Prayer for the week: “Almighty, everlasting God, you have promised us a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Direct us by your Spirit, that we may wait watchfully for the coming of your Son, and with holy lives go forth to meet him, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete für das jahr der Kirche, 2nd ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.235). 

Bible reading for the day: Luke 23.27-43
 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for sending us such a strange king in Jesus: a king whose throne is a cross and who intercedes for and forgives his scoffers… sinners like us. Thank you. Kill off the old sinner in me that would dispute your sovereignty and trust my own words more than yours. By your Holy Spirit grant me the humble fear, love and trust that confesses my guilt and clings to your righteousness rather than my own. 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=3YJnVN6wdvI

“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:  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.  Amen.  II Thess 2.16-17


*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.