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Friday, February 1, 2013, Devotion

“So they were saying, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is talking about.”  (John 16:18)

In a lack of faith, we doubt and do not trust our circumstances. Jesus has given us words He intends that we have. This is a reminder that indeed things will work out. One of the fallacies in our age is that a Christian will not suffer. In fact, suffering is a guarantee, because the devil will hate you. We are reminded that the Lord allows things for a little while in order to accomplish the Father’s will.

Lord, I do not always understand Your Word, but help me to move through what I do not understand in order that my faith may be strengthened. Help me to overcome the things of this world, knowing that they will be this way for just a little while. Help me, I pray, to trust in what You say and to be lead by the Holy Spirit to understand those things which are difficult to hear for the first time.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, , even for the words which are hard to hear. Help me today to live in whatever circumstance I find myself, knowing that You are with me and will guide me through every situation. In all that I do this day, grant that I would be firm in faith and live into the life to which You are calling me. May all I do be pleasing to the Father and to His glory. Amen. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013, Devotion

“Some of His disciples then said to one another, “What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?”  (John 16:17)

We often hear, but do not hear. After the fact, it becomes clear. But Jesus isn’t teaching us just for after the fact, He is giving us the ability – if we will apply ourselves – to learn to understand all that is spoken, including those things for the future through the lense of His irrefutable promises. The key is in Trinity and meditating on the mystery that Christ has revealed. We have seen God in the flesh.

Lord, the mystery is deep and great. Often, I would rather not focus on these things, but go about my daily business without dwelling in the refuge of Your revelation. Grow in me the desire to seek You first and then all the other things. Help me see more clearly the eternal truth You have revealed, knowing that these are the things that really do matter. Give me an inquisitive mind that seek after Your willing revelation, understanding it and growing to be like You.

Lord Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, guide my thoughts this day to grow in comprehending who You are and what You have revealed. Send me into the world not as one who knows all things, but as one who is growing in knowledge of You, the One who is the center of all things. Cause me to bear witness of You in me that others may come into the eternal relationship You have established through grace and granted to me by faith. Amen.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013, Devotion

“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  (John 16:15)

Please see this simple statement that succinctly interlocks the Father and the Son. Everything belongs to Jesus. The Father takes from what belongs to Jesus and shows it to the disciples. Absolute respect and deference are shown. You can meditate on the mystery of Trinity, but also, meditate on the mystery of the relationship, realizing that this is the kind of relationship the Lord develops in the disciple.

Lord, help me grow as a disciple. I often settle for the trivial things, settle in and fail to grow. Grant that I would be willing to grow into a relationship with You such that I fulfill Your desire for godliness and holiness. Take me through those obstacles that hinder me and fill me with a desire to learn and grow from You my Lord and Master.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for showing the mysterious and marvelous relationship You have in the Father. Through You, grow in me the same kind of relationship and send me today into the world to display that relationship in all I say and do. Through the Holy Spirit, help me live the relationship first and foremost in all I do this day. Amen.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013, Devotion

“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”  (John 16:16)

Within sixty or so hours o saying this, Jesus will be crucified, dead and buried and then resurrected. Remember Scripture says third day, not in three days. It’s Thursday and the fourth day from the time He is saying this will be Sunday, but the actual time is just a few hours. We should listen carefully as Jesus speaks, for He gives us the Words of eternal life.

The mystery is deep Lord, but You have come that we may walk in and know the mystery You have revealed. Grant that I would walk in that mystery knowing that no matter what happens in this world, it will be just a little while and the rebellion of this age will be over. Through my time here, help me focus on You, knowing that all is in Your hands and You will bring about all that You have promised.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving words of comfort in the midst of the coming chaos. Keep me in Your assurance today that no matter what may come, I can remain in the confidence of Your never-failing promise of eternal life for those who love You. In all I do this day, may I reflect Your love in me as an invitation for others to join You in the glory You have promised. Amen.

 

Monday, January 28, 2013, Devotion

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  (John 16:14)

We have not yet seen what is to come. Jesus has disclosed who He is that we might, through Him, have disclosed by the Father yet more. It is sad when the devil convinces us to move beyond the curiosity we displayed in childhood to the place where we think we know all there is to know. The mind of God will never be fully known, but there is all of eternity to expand our own understanding of all that is.

Lord, as I have grown older, I have increasingly shut down my awe and wonder at all that You have created, knowing that this is only a fragment of a reflection of who You are. I need to increase in wonder and decrease in cynicism that I may come to the place where I once again look forward to growing and learning, most especially in You.

Lord, teach me today to look around at all of the things I do not know about. In wonder, help me to see glimpses of Your glory in every corner of this day, knowing that You are always present and reflect Yourself in the creation. Help me be a reflection of Your glory today, that others might have a witness of Your presence through Your creation. Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (February 3, 2013)

  • January 27, 2013 - 1:00 pm
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PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (February 3, 2013)

A ministry of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal

www.lutherancore.org

Download Prayers of the Church for January through March, 2013.

 A  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Jesus Christ and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence

A  Almighty God, your glory fills all of creation. Open us to the awareness of your glory each day. Illumine our lives, so that all that we do in service and witness to you might reflect your glory. Lord, in your mercy,

C  hear our prayer.   

 

A  Loving Father, in generations past you called men and women to speak your Word and formed for you a holy people. Empower leaders of your Holy Church in our day who will speak with courage and openness the true Word that gives life to all who hear and receive it, now and for all eternity. Lord, in your mercy,

C  hear our prayer.

 

A  Lord Jesus Christ, we give thanks for the service in this congregation of (names of members) and pray that all of us may be renewed for faithful service in your name. Lead the members of (name sister congregations) as they serve you in their communities. Lord, in your mercy,

C hear our prayer.

 

A  Grant, O Lord that all who suffer in body, mind or spirit may be renewed by your healing presence. We pray today for those whose concerns are known to us: (names). May those who care for them be guided by the knowledge that you are a faithful God, fulfilling your promise to remember your children always. Lord, in your mercy,

C  hear our prayer.

 

A  Loving God, your Scriptures tell us that from the womb you called Jeremiah and served as the Psalmist’s strength. Teach us to respect all of life and see your hand at work. Lord, in your mercy,

C  hear our prayer.

 

A  Lord of the Church, sustain and guide your people to proclaim your love and demonstrate the common bond we share through the work of your Holy Spirit. Empower all the baptized to witness to your Gospel message of hope proclaimed through the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Lord, in your mercy,

C  hear our prayer.

 

A  Comfort those who mourn, especially the family and friends of [names], with the peace that comes through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Grant them the sure and certain hope that all who die in the Lord will rejoice with you in your heavenly kingdom. Lord, in your mercy,

C  hear our prayer.

 

A  Guided by your Holy Spirit, we place into your care, Merciful Father, all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C  Amen

Prepared by Pr Kenneth M. Ruppar

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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013, Devotion

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”  (John 16:13)

People clamor for the truth, yet settle for whatever may come along that tickles their fancy. We are called to live by the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth. By His leading, we will be shown what is necessary, for He speaks for Trinity and guides according to the perfect will of God. What is needed will be disclosed. By faith, we are to trust in the never-failing leading of the Holy Spirit.

Come, Holy Spirit, and guide me today in Your way. Help me not resist the instruction You offer, knowing that all things are in Your hands as You lead all godly people toward the eternal glory You have planned from the beginning. Help me overcome my desire to do things my way, that I would do them Your way, knowing that You have come to lead toward perfect righteousness.

In Your power and by Your direction, give me a willing spirit to be in accord with Your Holy Spirit that I may do what is right in Your eyes this day. Help me overcome the obstacles that will come my way, knowing that You alone are able to lead me through every situation this day will bring. May my life this day be pleasing to You and in accord with the perfect will of the Father. Amen. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013, Devotion

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”  (John 16:12)

Everything we need to know comes in time, as the Lord leads, that we may grow, for this is what discipleship is all about. We live in a world of instant gratification and this is not how the kingdom works. It comes through revelation, growing, learning and expanding our horizon to meet the Lord’s horizon which is infinite. We should be on the Lord’s path, not our own, for He is Lord and Master.

Lord, help me to shed myself of the pollution of my culture which wants quick, easy answers to everything. Grant instead that I would live into the role of a disciple that daily spends the necessary time to learn, grow and absorb what I have learned as You refine me into the person You have always meant me to be. Grant that I would take things on Your time and not insist that You take them on my time.

Grant today, O Lord, that I would live into the promises You hold before me. If You so choose, help me take in the lessons You intend. If You choose to not teach me anything significant, grant that I would be humble and satisfied with Your direction. In all things, lead me to do what is pleasing to the Father, knowing that all things are in Your hands. Amen. 

Friday, January 25, 2013, Devotion

“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;  concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”  (John 16:8-11)

If you believe in Jesus, that is, come in His grace, there is no longer conviction of sin. Confrontation, repentance, penitence and learning obedience, yes, but not conviction. But for those who reject Jesus, they remain in their sin. The freedom granted is not permission, but conformity to the ideal that God has always intended. This is what Jesus came to do. Be conformed by the renewing of your mind.

Lord, help me to understand the simple truth You have revealed that I may be conformed to Your will. Help me see that I need not get into the good/bad racket that so many are in, trying to outweigh the bad with the good, but instead, live knowing that I have been set free from sin and death by Your grace. Bring me to the right place to live that I may live in Your grace to the Father’s glory.

Almighty Father, I thank You for sending Your Son to pay the price I could never pay for my transgressions. In the power of Your Holy Spirit, grant that I would live into the true life of faith, trusting in Your every provision, knowing that only in You can I find what is the desire of a pure heart. Guide me today to be a faithful witness of Your love by faith. Amen. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013, Devotion

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”  (John 16:7)

We tend to look at things in the moment and want resolution to something that is not so quickly resolved. Jesus did not come to make us feel good in the moment, but to lead us to an eternity where all are good. The help we need is already here. The Holy Spirit has come to lead all who will follow in the way of righteousness. Jesus paved the way for all who would follow Him.

Lord, help me rely on the help You have already provided in the power of the Holy Spirit. Give me ears to hear and lips to speak what I hear that I may live in the guidance which is perfect and holy. Keep me from doubting as You speak, Holy Spirit, that I may learn and grow as a disciple, knowing that You have already given me the Word of eternal life.

Guide me this day Holy Spirit that in Your revelation I may live into the life that is being prepared for me and all who believe in the truth that has already been revealed. Help me be a witness for those who do not yet, but will believe, that they too may know the truth and be set free from this present captivity to sin. May I be found faithful this day, living in the righteousness obtained through grace. Amen.