Devotion for Wednesday, January 22, 2020

“But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. Therefore concerning the
eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an
idol in the world, and that there is no God but one” (1 Corinthians 8:3-4).

Once one knows in faith that God
is God, everything else is known as a lie. In our politically correct world we
often forget to think in the simplest of terms. God is God and there is no
other. Therefore, the things people do that are false mean nothing. There is no
jinx, curse, or karma, only God and what He has created. Know that the Lord has
made His revelation and called You into His presence.

Lord, I listen to all of the noise of this world. Then I see those who
say they have faith and then act abominably and think, “Can this be the faith?”
Help me to hear amidst all the noise the simple truth that You are Lord and
there is no other. It is not as if I were choosing what to believe, but instead
living in the knowledge of what is true. Help me, Lord, to see, hear and

Lord Jesus, You came to reveal
the truth of the ages. Guide me, O Lord, in the way of truth that I may now and
always abide humbly in the truth of the revelation You have given. Let me see
through the cacophony of things in this world the simple truth that You alone
hold all power and authority. Lead me, Lord, in the way of truth and help me
now and always to follow You who has give the words of eternal life. Amen.

Devotion for Tuesday, January 21, 2020

“Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have
knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that
he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know”(1 Corinthians

The gift of salvation is never given
to lift us up in arrogance. Some see themselves as superior because of the gift
of salvation. This is the old Adam. Jesus comes to us humbly, having emptied
Himself of His heavenly glory to walk as an ordinary man in our midst. We are
to follow the example of Jesus and walk humbly as He did. If you know
something, simply share it with others as Christ has shared it with you.

Lord, it is hard to be humble. Let me neither walk in pride, nor seek
to walk with a false humility. Lead me to simply walk each day as You give it,
sharing where You would have me share the knowledge You have given me. As I am
free, help me see that others are free to believe what they do. Give me a
willing heart that shares, but does not insist. Teach me this humility in all
things: for Salvation is of the Lord,

Lord Jesus, I am unable to
imagine how You, so high, came so low for our sakes. Lead me, O Lord, in the
way of truth that I would become unconcerned with where You place me. I am
Yours and pray that this truth is enough – and more than enough. Remove pride
from my heart that I may simply learn to live in the love You have for all
people and share that love with all whom I meet. Amen.

Devotion for Monday, January 20, 2019

“So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does
well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.  A wife is bound as long as her husband lives;
but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only
in the Lord. But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I
think that I also have the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 7:38-40).

What is the better portion for
you to do? We do have choices and sometimes they are a matter of good and
better. Seek for excellence. Do not just settle for good enough, though it be a
fine choice. You are called to come out of yourself and forward toward and into
the Lord. Toward this goal, live urgently, for each day brings you closer to
the prize. Know that He who is in You has already overcome all obstacles.

Lord, in this world, we can be tempted to settle for good enough, but
there are those few who take the extra step toward what is exceptional. Help me
to not live mechanically, but willingly, doing all I can and to the best of my
ability. Stretch me Lord in the way I can and need to be stretched that I would
live into a life that is all You know it can be, doing all You know I can do.

Lord Jesus, none of this is about
grace, for Your grace alone saves me. This is about learning to become like You
in all things. Guide me along this path that I would daily increase in Your
likeness. Help me now and always to see that only in and through You am I able
to exercise these gifts which You have given. Help me always that I may grow
and be like You and become excellent in the gifts You have given me. Amen.

Devotion for Sunday, January 19, 2020

“But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin
daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes,
he does not sin; let her marry. But he who stands firm in his heart, being
under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this
in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well” (1
Corinthians 7:36-37).

Again, this is a thought stream
and not a law. Think through what you are doing in the context of where you
are. Are you doing what you are doing from evil in the heart, or are you
seeking what is pleasing to the Lord? Do pay attention to what you are thinking
and why. Seek what is good and pleasing in the sight of the Lord, for He will
guide you in all of your ways that you may become like Christ.

Lord, I need to learn this amidst all of the garbage the world throws
my way. Lead me, O Lord, in the way of truth that I may now and always abide in
the truth You have revealed once for all. Guide me, O Lord, that I may have my
heart examined by Your Spirit and be led not by what is evil in my heart, but
by Your Spirit which leads me in the way of goodness. Help me, Lord, through
Your Spirit.

Lord Jesus, You have come to
rescue us from the evil that is in our heart. You know first hand the
difficulties that reign in us. You know this world and its multitude of ideas
that pummel us each day. Lead me, O Lord, in the way You know I need to go that
I may learn to follow You in all of the ways you have established. May I now
and always abide in the truth You have revealed. Amen.

Devotion for Saturday, January 18, 2020

“And his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the
virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in
body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the
world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to
put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure
undistracted devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:34-35).

The community in Corinth was
amidst upheaval because of the impropriety of one of its members. Paul’s
direction here is not a law, but a way of thinking through these things. He is telling
us to keep our eyes upon the prize. The way to the prize is the upward call of
Jesus. Be led to become like Christ in whatever way that will take you and let
nothing get in the way.

Lord, You know all things and You know all that is needed. Grant us eyes
to see and ears to hear all that is right and true. No matter to what You call
me, help me to go there. Grant that I would see through the distractions to
focus upon all that is right and good. You have come for our benefit. You have
come that we might live into the purpose for why we exist. Be the One who
guides and let it be no one and nothing else.                                

 Lord Jesus, You know the struggles of this world. You know how hard it is to see through all of the distractions that come each day. Guide me this day, Lord Jesus, that I would see clearly as I walk each step of faith. Help me now and always to see that in You alone is the hope of all. In and through all circumstances, help me to learn how to be faithful that I would live according to the Father’s will. Amen.

Prayer petitions For Celebrating the Sanctity of Life,

For Celebrating the Sanctity of Life,

Please add one or more of these petitions to your intercessory prayers.


Gracious Father, through you all parenthood is blessed. You were pleased to incarnate your Son through the consent and the flesh of a woman, the Virgin Mary. You entrusted the care of the holy Child to his foster father, St. Joseph. Bless, protect, guide, and strengthen all parents – biological, adoptive, and foster. Especially when parenting is difficult, give them joy and satisfaction in their holy task. Grant them a double portion of your Spirit, so that their children may flourish in faith toward you, in honor toward their parents, and in love for all your children.

We pray for those who struggle to have children and cannot. We pray for those who have lost a child they deeply loved. We pray for those who struggle to love their children even when that is desperately difficult. We pray for those who do not want the child they have conceived or borne. Have mercy on them all.  They face such terrible demons of grief, shame, regret, fear, and anger. Often, we can only stand and weep with them, and pray for them. Help us to do those things, and to walk with them through their dark valleys. Help us to share our confidence that you will lead them safely through.

Have mercy on women who seek, or who have endured, and abortion – and upon the father of their unborn child. As you visited Joseph in a dream, touch their spirits with your presence. Help them understand your love for them, and their unborn child. Where forgiveness is needed, grant it freely and lavishly. Help them to turn to you. Give them the strength to choose life, not death, if they are pregnant. Give them the grace to repent, to forgive themselves and each other, and to be healed in body and soul, if they have already had an abortion.

There are so many “disposable people,” dear Lord! They range from the unborn, to the handicapped, to the frail elderly, to people whose lives seem so “out of bounds” that we can’t really comprehend, much less respond to them helpfully or graciously. Loving, respecting, and caring for “disposable people” is so hard! We can feel overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, cheated, or hopeless. And we’re ashamed even to admit that sometimes even we wish they’d just go away.  Forgive us, dear Lord. Give us grace to see them through Jesus’ eyes: as people he loves so much that he gave his life for them. Give us grace to see his presence in them. Give us grace to share even a cup of cold water with them, for Christ has claimed them as his sisters and brothers.

We pray for everyone who cares for the most vulnerable people in our midst. Their work is often hard and usually under-appreciated. Thank you for their goodness and dedication. Deepen their compassion, integrity, and wisdom. Protect and strengthen them when others want them to act against their faith, their principles, and their dedication to cherish life and promote genuine well-being.

Father, there are any who think that humanity is a matter of achievement. If someone isn’t smart enough, healthy enough, independent enough, or even wanted enough, they don’t “deserve” to be treated as fully human persons. Don’t let us fall into that horrible mindset. Give us the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord, and joy in your presence – not just for our own good, but so that we are equipped to combat those sinful and death-filled notions. Help us to share, in word and by example, what you have always revealed: that we are persons because you have made us in your divine image. No matter how distorted or disabled or debased that image has become through accident, malice or the cussedness of the universe, help us all to see, acknowledge, and pray for that image to be perfectly restored in Christ Jesus our Savior.

Devotion for Friday, January 17, 2020

“But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is
concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who
is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his
wife” (1 Corinthians 7:32-33).

We get to the heart of what Paul
has been saying. There is a principle here. We have been created to care. Where
that care is directed is important. We often find that we are driven to care
about the things of this world. When that care interferes with the direction of
our faith, this is a problem. We were created to love and the direction of our love
will guide us. Direct your life toward the Lord.

Lord, I do not know what it means to love you above all things. Lead me,
O Lord, to be guided by You in and through all things. Help me to see that only
in You will I find meaning for why I exist. Guide me to live in the right
direction that I may now and always walk according to Your purposes. Help me
see through those things that seek to direct my focus in other directions.

Lord Jesus, You continuously
pointed us upward. Lead me to see that only in You will I find completion. Guide
me according to Your goodness to know that in You alone will I be able to walk
the narrow path of salvation. Lead me out of myself to see that through You is
the only way to find what is missing that I may not wander through this life
aimlessly. Guide me, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Devotion for Thursday, January 16, 2020

“And those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who
rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did
not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use
of it; for the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:30-31).

The point continues that your
momentary circumstances will change. 
What you have will eventually pass from you to another.  What you do not have remains to be seen.  Who you are in the Lord is eternal and the
hope toward which we are called.  This
age will pass away, but you are called by the grace of the One who is
eternal.  For what will you live and to
what will you strive?

Lord, there are many ideas in the world.  People are constantly vying to persuade me
this way or that.  Help me I pray to see
through the lies and delusions to see clearly what it true.  In truth, lift me up to become as one who
seeks Your face and follows in Your example. 
Teach me how to walk in this world of confused and mixed messages to be
one who walks with You in the words of eternal life.

Lord Jesus, Word made flesh, lead
me in truth that I may be guided by Your clear and ever-present word.  Help me in moments of confusion to see and
hear clearly.  Help me to learn what it
means to abide in You.  Help me to never
reject the promise of Your abiding in me. 
Through all things, keep me on the narrow path that I may walk humbly
before the Father and do what is pleasing in His sight.  Amen.

THE PRAYERS, Transfiguration of Our Lord, Cycle A (February 23, 2020)  


Transfiguration of Our Lord, Cycle A (February 23, 2020)


Let us pray that the light of Christ may shine upon the Church, the world, and all people according to their need.

A brief silence


Holy Lord, Holy and Mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us! In the transfiguration of Jesus, we see your glory. And we see what a human being, immersed in you, will look like. Thank you for this “doubled vision.” Thank you for showing us that Jesus truly is all in all. Thank you for his suffering and death, which transfigures our own. Thank you for the vision of his holy glory, which he so lovingly pours upon all who cling to him in faith.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Transfigure your Church. Make it a lamp, radiating the splendor of your beloved Son’s light and life. Make it a place where poor sinful mortals may eat and drink in your presence, and live. Make it a place where cleverly devised myths are confounded by the glorious truth of the Gospel. Make it a place where all may come, and be fashioned into the very image and likeness of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Transfigure this congregation: its people and programs; its decisions and vision; its worship, service, and fellowship. Make our every word and action like clear crystal, through which the radiance of Jesus’ love shines unimpeded upon everyone we meet.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Transfigure the suffering of your persecuted Church, by uniting it to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Give it grace to speak truth and offer forgiveness to its enemies. Transfigure the ministries of seminaries, missionaries, and sister congregations and synods, that all they say and do points to Jesus and his strong saving love.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


 Transfigure this world, so that the sacrifices of those who stand in harm’s way to protect us may not be in vain. Let their actions shine with valor and honor; and grant them healing when they fall, and joy when they return home.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Transfigure this death-shadowed world; its people; and its leaders. Enlighten minds to seek your truth, and purify hearts to delight in doing your will. Turn us from being enemies of you, of one another, and of our own eternal good. Transfigure us into your loyal subjects, sisters and brothers to one another, wise stewards of creation, and lovers of your Beloved.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Transfigure the lives of all who sit in the shadows of suffering and sorrow – especially: {List}. Grant that Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, may rise upon them with healing in his wings. Let sorrow be turned to joy; fear into hope; and despair into faith in your love.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, we entrust our beloved dead into your care, knowing that you have transfigured their death into life, their sin and brokenness into holiness, and their limits into unbounded delight in your infinite wisdom and goodness. We humbly beseech you to transfigure each of us into the likeness of Christ. Speed the coming of that day when he shall be all in all. Grant that when we look upon the face of any whom you have redeemed through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we see his love alone, shining in their eyes.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

All these things, and whatever else you see that we need, grant to us, dear Father, for the sake of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

THE PRAYERS, 6th Sunday after Epiphany, Proper 6, Cycle A (February 16, 2020)


6th Sunday after Epiphany, Proper 6, Cycle A (February 16, 2020)


Let us pray that the light of Christ may shine upon the Church, the world, and all people according to their need.


A brief silence


Dear Father, you set a high bar before us! You want us to look, act, and be like Jesus. Thank you for promising us that, in our Baptism, we are joined to him. Thank you that he has “cleared the bar” – and help us to not dangle lazy arms or drag objecting feet, as he carries us over that bar with him! By your Spirit, grant that all that Jesus has done for us is made manifest in us, to your glory and for the benefit of your people.


Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Build the Church into a holy temple, filled with your Spirit, with Christ as the cornerstone. Give it faithful pastors, bishops, theologians, teachers, and other leaders.  Help them plant and water the seed of faith, to which you alone give growth. Make the Church set before the world the way of life; and grant that many should choose it.


Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Cause quarrels, angry words, and hurt feelings to cease in this congregation. Unite us in a common purpose: planting and tending the seed of faith in one another, in our children and grandchildren, and in our friends, neighbors, and community.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Jesus spoke hard words about anger, adultery and divorce. Help us take them to heart. Bring your forgiveness and healing to those wounded by hurtful words and deeds. Give each of us wisdom and grace to comfort, challenge, and encourage loved ones who strive to remain faithful; who struggle to repent of offenses they have caused; and who agonize over how to forgive those who have betrayed their trust.


Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


We pray for our sisters and brothers in the faith who suffer persecution and death on account of Jesus. Set before us their example of faithful obedience to your Word. Help us to assist and defend them. Turn their tormentors from the paths of death and toward your light and life.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Set before the rulers of nations the path of life and of death; and give them the desire and the strength to choose life for themselves and for the people in their care. Conform each of us to your will, so that we may rightly and peacefully live together as your people.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


We lift before you the needs of everyone who is afflicted by suffering, sin, or sorrow, especially: {List}. Deliver them from evil; grant them refreshment, hope and healing; and restore them to fellowship with all who love them.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Dear Father, keep in your tender care all who have died trusting in your promises, especially those whose loss we grieve most deeply. Give us grace to comfort one another; to abound in gentleness, forbearance, self-control, faithfulness and compassion; and to choose those good things which you mean for our eternal life. Grant us the joy of joining the whole company of the redeemed in praising, worshipping, glorifying and adoring you forever.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


All these things, and whatever else you see that we need, grant to us, dear Father, for the sake of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.