In his book Is God Listening?, Andrew Steinmann shows readers how God’s Word teaches us to construct our prayers so that they are centered on God’s promises. The following excerpt is from the chapter “When Prayer Becomes True Prayer,” in which Dr. Steinmann examines the words of the Lord’s Prayer.
O loving and merciful God, with Your help I begin this new week. I do not know what will happen to me in the course of it. Much evil and misfortune can happen in a single day—how much more in a whole week! And so I come to You at the very beginning of the week and commend myself wholly to You. O my God, grant me Your Holy Spirit so that He may sanctify, lead, and govern me, bearing witness with my spirit that I am Your child. Bless me this week. Bless my going out and my coming in. Bless the labor of my calling and occupation. Bless every step I take. I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. O Lord, if You lead me, I shall not stray. If You keep me, I shall not fall. Let Your faithfulness and mercy guard me in all my ways. Bless all that I have, and let Your blessing prosper me.
O my God and faithful Father, protect and keep me from all harm, danger, and misfortune. Let me remain under Your gracious protection day and night. Guard my house on every side like the house of Job. Let the holy angels camp around me and my possessions, and I will dwell securely. Hear my prayer when I cry to You, and let me not leave the throne of grace without being heard. Keep me from grievous sins. Show me Your ways, O Lord; lead me in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your name. Grant that this week I may become more pious and godly, that I may increase in my knowledge and love of You. As I am leaving behind one week and entering another, grant that I may grow inwardly. Let me add to my faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, godliness. If the last week of my life has now arrived, grant me assurance of Your grace. If this week should become a week of crosses to me, strengthen me by Your Holy Spirit, that with Your mighty aid I may be able to endure and overcome them all. Be my helper in every need, and deliver me from every trouble. I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that I have, together with all pious Christians, to Your gracious and fatherly protection.
Direct, control, suggest this day All I design or do or say That all my pow’rs with all their might In Thy sole glory may unite. Amen. LSB 868:5
Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labor to pursue,
Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
In all I think or speak or do.
The task Thy wisdom has assigned,
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
In all my works Thy presence find,
And prove Thy good and perfect will.
Thee may I set at my right hand,
Whose eyes my inmost substance see,
And labor on at Thy command,
And offer all my works to Thee.
Give me to bear Thine easy yoke,
And ev’ry moment watch and pray,
And still to things eternal look,
And hasten to Thy glorious day.
For Thee delightfully employ
Whate’er Thy bounteous grace has giv’n,
And run my course with even joy,
And closely walk with Thee to heav’n. LSB 854:1–5
From Starck’s Prayer Book, Revised Concordia Edition, pages 17–19 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Yesterday the Church celebrated Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday when the Holy Spirit was outpoured on the disciples and many people came to faith in Christ. Posted below are the devotions for the day of Pentecost and the day after Pentecost from The Lord Will Answer, a devotional book arranged by the seasons of the Christian calendar and Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation. [Read more…] about Devotions for Pentecost
O loving and blessed Jesus, I come before You to meditate with true devotion of heart on Your bitter suffering. Lord, let Your woes, Your patience, inspire my heart with strength to vanquish every temptation and spurn every unworthy desire. This is what my heart would cherish most of all. What pain my soul’s redemption has cost You, O Savior! O Lamb of God slain in innocence! You suffered because of all my sins. Yes, the sins, debt, iniquities, unrighteousness, and wickedness of all people were laid squarely on You and You claimed them as Your very own, so that in the judgment of God You became the greatest sinner of all, yes, sin itself. And as our sins were all on You, so on You also came our punishment, overwhelming You like a flood. During Your public ministry as a teacher, Your lot was contempt, vilification, and blasphemy. But during Your Passion all these things were poured on You with multiplied force. Not satisfied with raising accusations against You and forcing You to stand trial in two courts, the spiritual and the secular, and suffering Yourself to be sentenced to death by both, You were also made to suffer the cruelest physical pains. Your holy body was wounded, scourged, torn, and suffused with blood.
Lord Jesus, when You began Your bitter suffering for our sins amid great agony of soul, when Your soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death, and drops of blood oozed from Your sacred brow, the eyes of Your disciples were heavy with sleep, so that You had to call to them: “Could you not watch with Me one hour? . . . Sleep and take your rest later on” [Matthew 26:40, 45].