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Saturday, December 1, 2012, Devotion

“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; from now on you know him, and have seen him.”  (John 14:7)

Who is Jesus?  If you know Jesus, you know the Father; Trinity is a word that has been coined to describe what Jesus has revealed in the Triune God; God chose to reveal Himself in the Son; Whom are we dealing with as followers of Jesus?  We are given direct access to the Creator of the universe, through whom and for whom all things were made.

Lord, help me to realize with awe whom it is that You are. Grant that I would move from being superficial to a place where I know that You have come to establish an eternal relationship that You alone are able to create. Help me live into this relationship You have created, knowing that all else is futile. May I grow into the truth of this revelation You have made.

Thank You, Jesus, for speaking plainly to Your disciples; help me today to plainly speak to others that they may know the truth. In the truth You have revealed, grant today that I would hold fast to Your Word and live according to it; guide me in Your Holy Spirit that I may listen to You at all times and do those things that You give me to do; Amen.

Friday, November 30, 2012, Devotion

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”  (John 14:6)

No one makes it unless they know Jesus. He is the path. He is the author and finisher of life. If you want to know truth, look at Jesus. God has revealed Himself. The invisible God has made Himself visible. Jesus is not some teacher or prophet; He is the God who showed up to lead those who would follow Him home. It makes sense that if You want to be with God, God is the One who leads you.

Lord, I encounter so many who think of paths to eternity. They think in terms of finding their way, each as they see fit. Help me understand that I am lost, and I need someone to lead me home, and You are that someone. Help me realize that Your invitation is to everyone, but following You is the only way out of this of this world’s mess. Help me know that so I can share that with others.

Lord Jesus, many people, even those who call themselves members of Your body, do not like the idea that You are it. Help me embrace with all my being the truth: You are everything. You created everyone for Your own purpose, and You invite everyone to join freely in that purpose. Help me share this simple truth with all whom I meet that they too may have the opportunity to be led home by You. Amen.

 

Thursday, November 29, 2012, Devotion

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”  (John 14:5)

 

We often think of heaven in terms of up there. We think of the realm of Jesus as some other place. But if we understand that it’s not a place, but the person of God with whom we will be, then we know the real answer is that we will be with Jesus forever. He is both where we are going and how we will get there. If you know Jesus, you know where you are going, and He will show you how to walk each step.

I sometimes make things much more complicated than they need to be. Lord, help me understand that You have come to take us into Your real kingdom right now. Sure, when we die, it is going to be a phenomenal shift, but being a part of You means we’re already eternally connected. Help me to see the shift that has happened already because I am yours.

Lord Jesus, help me to live Your Word today, knowing You are the One who will guide me each step. Help me see that without You, there really is nothing, but that with You, I live knowing all I need to know. Help me share confidently with others the truth that You are taking all who will follow You into a new realm, a new place that is eternal and perfect. Amen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012, Devotion

“And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:4)

Jesus is the way. If you know Jesus, you already know the way. Suppose you are with a guide, leading you along some unknown trail. Would you not trust that the guide will lead you and keep you from straying? Now imagine the perfect guide who knows exactly what lies ahead. Will He not guide you perfectly? Jesus is the perfect guide who will lead us through everything this life will throw at us.

Lord, help my unbelief and those places where I am not trusting You implicitly. Grant that I would trust in Your provision, knowing that You are leading me each and every day and that You will guide me through all the difficulties that will come along. Help me overcome my doubts and fears, knowing that nothing is able to snatch me out of Your hand.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being with me always, even unto the end of the age. Today, help live within the knowledge that You will guide me through every situation. Through the Holy Spirit, cause me to not be anxious, but instead, to trust in the Word that the Holy Spirit will give to speak, knowing that whatever is given will be what is needed. May I be a faithful follower of Yours this day. Amen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, Devotion

“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)

Where Jesus is, is where we are going. We have been given the Word of the Lord, so we know where this life will end up. Do we live, knowing what the outcome will be, or do we live as the world lives, scrambling, trying to figure out how it will all end up? As followers of Christ, we need not speculate. It finally ends up with the simple proposition of trusting Jesus for the details.

Lord, I often get caught up speculating about where and when, but even worse, what is it going to be like. Help me stop these speculations and instead, concentrate on what You have already said. Free me from acting like those who have no hope, knowing that all things are in Your hands and that what You are preparing is of far more worth than I can imagine.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving us words of hope and freedom. Grant today that I would live in confidence, knowing that You have already planned the end of this life’s journey. Grant that in such confidence, I may live today boldly, sharing with others confidently, and not arrogantly, the truth that You have already revealed. Amen.

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS, Advent 1 (December 2, 2012)

  • November 26, 2012 - 9:12 am
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INTERCESSORY PRAYERS, Advent 1 (December 2, 2012)

A ministry of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal

www.lutherancore.org

(Download all of December’s prayers here.)

 

A As we await the coming of our Lord Jesus in glory, let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

 

A brief silence

 

A  Almighty God, heavenly Father, Creator of all that was, is, and ever shall be, direct our way to you in this season. Fulfill the promise that you made to your people, and cause righteousness to spring forth in our days and in our times. Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

A You sent your Son to be the light of the world, to show us your ways and teach us your paths. He showed compassion and love to all. Grant that people everywhere might prepare for the coming of his light, so that it may shine everywhere, especially in those places where there is darkness, distress and perplexity. (recent occurrences may be mentioned by name) Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

A You sent your Son to be Lord of the nations, so that your people may dwell securely. Bring peace where there is no peace. Bring hope where there is no hope. Bring love where there is bitterness and anger. Bless our President Barack, our Governor [name], and all public servants, so that they effectively care for the needs of all they serve. Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

A You sent your Son to be Lord of the church, so that it may teach, make disciples, and baptize. We pray for the church and its mission. Make it one, and holy, so that it may be blessed in its ministries. We pray especially for…. (church bodies, church leaders, pastors, sister congregations, missionaries, and church ministries may be named here). Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

A  You sent your Son to be Lord of our lives. Help us to raise our heads to see our redemption coming. Do not let your people be weighed down with the cares of this life. Help us to stay awake at all times, praying that we may have the strength to face whatever we must endure. Bring your comforting peace to those whose lives are torn by addictions, lack of employment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness, divorce, and separation. Answer the pleas of those who have asked for our prayers, and hear the prayers of those who have no one to pray for them. Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

A You sent your Son to be our healer and helper. We pray for His work to be done in all who suffer from emotional or physical illness. Bless the healing hands that you have called and sent to care for your people. Today we remember especially [names and] all who need your healing touch. Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

Here other intercessions may be offered.

 

A You sent your Son to bring us to eternal life. We remember with thanksgiving those saints, martyrs, holy ones, and loved ones who have proceeded us into your kingdom, especially those most near and dear to us who now rest in your arms. Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

P Into your hands, most merciful Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Prayers composed by Pr. Ron Orovitz.

These are not copyrighted, and we encourage you to adapt them to your situation and customs. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

 

If you want to help with this project, please contact Pr. Steve Shipman at prsteveshipman@gmail.com. There is no compensation except appreciation and a retirement plan that is out of this world.

Some suggestions: it may be helpful in certain congregations to give worshippers the opportunity to voice requests. It is also good to provide a time of silence for their specific concerns.

 

It is good to include in the remembrance of the faithful departed any memorialized by altar flowers, etc.

 

You may want to include a petition recognizing any milestones during the week (birth, baptismal, wedding anniversaries, etc.). This would include those honored by altar flowers or in a similar manner.

Monday, November 26, 2012, Devotion

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”  (John 14:2)

Jesus is preparing for what is to come. This is His promise to all who believe. We need to trust, that is, believe in His Word. He has also told us that His Word will not fail. Therefore, listen to Jesus who has promised that He is preparing a place for those who believe. For those who do not believe, the place has already been prepared, along with the devil and his minions. This is the reality that faces our world. Either you are with Jesus, or you are not.

Lord, help me to live like a believer. Rid me of all the unbelieving games that go on in this world, that I might grow in Your love. Teach me what I need to know, for You are Lord and Master, that I might grow in the discipleship You have given me. Help me overcome the obstacles that are in the way of my becoming and being a genuine disciple.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for preparing the way before me. Help me to trust in Your preparations for this day, knowing that all things are in Your hands. Give me a confidence as I go out into the world so that I may be a witness of Your presence in my life in order to share with others the opportunity they have in You. Let me focus not on what You are preparing, but on why the preparations are being made so that I may be an effective witness here and now, knowing that the there and then is covered by You. Amen.

Sunday, November 25, 2012, Devotion

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.”  (John 14:1)

Your spirit may be troubled by the world and its circumstances, but let not your heart be troubled, for if you know Jesus, all is well with your soul. Believe in Jesus, that is, know that He is in control, for all authority is in His hand, and everything will work to glory because you know Him. Act on that belief and live a life with Him.

Lord, it is all so simple, but the worries of the world carry me away. Help me, I pray, to move into the place where my heart is not troubled because I believe in You. From there guide me back out into this troubled world in order to learn how to be Your disciple, knowing that You alone are able to bring all things together – and You will – for the glory of the Father.

Thank You Lord Jesus for reminding all of us not to be troubled in our hearts by this troubled and fallen world. Help me today to be compassionate, caring and concerned for those around me, but also proactive in doing what needs to be done. Grant that I would live into this promises You hold before me today, knowing that You are constantly at work for those who love You. Help others to see that I am a believer that they may have the opportunity to be one too. Amen.

 

Saturday, November 24, 2012, Devotion

“Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny me three times.”  (John 13:38)

Jesus reveals the truth about Peter (and all of us). We may say we will do this, or that, but when push comes to shove, we will seek to save our own hides. However, what do we gain, if we gain a few more years?  Jesus came to save us for all time and eternity. We are unable to do what we wish, but Jesus gives us the ability to do what is needed. That is why He is the Savior.

Lord Jesus, help me to see that although the desire is there, I cannot accomplish what You alone have come to accomplish. Help me live trusting You above all else, especially my own motives. Create in me a willing heart that learns to obey You in everything, trusting Your leading to guide me along the right path You have planned for my life.

Thank You, Savior, for saving me from myself. Help me to move beyond myself today that I may be a willing and obedient servant. Guide me in my actions this day so that I do what You desire and not just what I think is right. Help me today to learn faithfulness to You, my Lord and Master, that in all I do, I may be a pleasing servant of Your kingdom. Amen.

Friday, November 23, 2012, Devotion

Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now?  I will lay down my life for You.”  (John 13:37)

“Lord, give me what I want and I will do this for You.”  We often like to barter with the Lord, but this is not how things work. He is Lord and Master and things will be done according to the will of the Father. We will lay down our life, for daily we must die to sin, death and the devil, but where we join Jesus is up to Him. We are in no position to negotiate.

Lord, help me overcome the desire to think I can negotiate with You. Help me have a heart that understands that You are Lord and Master. Grant that I would live into this life into which You are calling me as a willing and obedient servant of Your will. Help me overcome whatever obstacles may be in the way, that I may truly be Your servant.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for showing the way. You were the obedient servant who suffered even unto death on the cross for our sakes. Grant today that I would pay whatever the cost in my own life, knowing that it is nothing compared to the cost You have paid for the sake of our eternal freedom. Help me serve You this day, willingly and for the glory of the Father. Amen