Fri. March 15

Friday March 15, 2019

 Today’s Focus          The First section of the Lord’s Prayer

Scripture Reading for the Day Matthew 6:5-18

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,[a]
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,[b]
but rescue us from the evil one.[c]

14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair[d] and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Daily Reflection         Luther’s explanation on the 1st of three petitions of the Lord’s prayer

Introduction
            Our Father in heaven.

What does this mean?
            With these words God wants to attract us, so that we come to believe He is truly our Father and we are truly His children, in order that we may ask Him boldly and with complete confidence, just as loving children ask their loving Father.

The First Petition
            Hallowed be Your name.

What does this mean?
            It is true that God’s name is holy in itself, but we ask in this prayer that it may also become holy in and among us.

How does this come about?
           Whenever the word of God is taught clearly and purely and we, as God’s children, also live holy lives according to it.  To this end help us, dear Father in heaven!  However, whoever teaches and lives otherwise than the word of God teaches, dishonors the name of God among us.  Preserve us from the heavenly Father!

The Second Petition
            Your kingdom come.

What does this mean?
            In fact, God’s kingdom comes on its own without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may also come to us.

How does this come about?
            Whenever our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that through the Holy Spirit’s grace we believe God’s holy word and live godly lives here in time and hereafter in eternity.

The Third Petition
            Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

What does this mean?
            In fact, God’s good and gracious will comes about without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may also come about in and among us.

How does this come about?
            Whenever God breaks and hinders every evil scheme and will-as are present in the will of the devil, the world, and our flesh-that would not allow us to hallow God’s name and would prevent the coming of His kingdom, and instead whenever God strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in His word and in faith until the end of our lives.  This is God’s gracious and good will.

Some questions for reflection

  • In your own words, think about how it is YOU define prayer.
  • If you have a regular prayer routine, think about how you pray, where you pray, and when you pray. How did you learn these things.

 Today’s Pilgrimage challenge

  • Share with your group, what prayer means for you. How you pray and if and how you feel prayer benefits your relationship with God and with others.

Today’s Prayer

Gracious and loving God, we thank You for the gift of prayer!  We thank You for providing us faithful teachers and people who have modeled prayer for our lives.  When we come to You in thought and prayer, allow us to feel Your presence.  May this gift You have freely shared with us all always be treasured in our sight.  Amen.

3 thoughts on “Fri. March 15

  1. Mel Olenwine

    Prayer. Well, the dialogue goes on in my head almost all day long. But on my heart today is the story of a time I was disillusioned with it all…God, my church, my family since the day I was born. No one thing or person made me leave St. Matthew’s…it was a combination of many, many things, and they all played into the feeling that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. If people think it is easy to leave a place, childhood memories, every important occasion from my baptism to the baptism of my children, it most certainly was not. Leaving the people I had known forever even harder. In Bible study we talked about the community of faith, and how important that is. So when I was eating my dinner before a Lenten service that day a few moons ago, and a man named Jerry Kulp sat down and asked me what church I went to, and I confessed I was wandering aimlessly looking for a church (I wasn’t even convinced at that time I was even still a Lutheran….GASP). And then, “Let me tell you about my church…” and the sales pitch began. I remember laughing out loud and being highly amused by his presentation…so different from any pastor I had ever known…. It was still months until I managed to find my way “all the way over to the south side” to check out St. Peter’s, but those voices…..those voices…. they persist, don’t they? But what Jerry didn’t know about that day….could not have possibly known about that day…was that by God placing him and St. Peter’s in my path, He brought me back to my faith family at St. Matthew’s in a very roundabout way. But isn’t that God? the magic of God? He works in roundabout ways. He works in many ways that we don’t understand. And therefore we TRUST. And pray. Because God is good. Always.

    Reply
    1. Lisa

      Prayer for me is my constant conversations with God. Anytime and anywhere. I can’t ever remember a time when prayer wasn’t part of my life.

      I can’t remember a time where I was ever disillusioned with the church. Perhaps with some people, but not with the church as a whole. I have moved up and down the east coast, experiencing different churches and their habits. Sometimes it was hard to adapt to their “style”, but being a part of a faith community was always important to me. Especially since I was moving around from state to state with no family near me. But the one constant for me has always been my prayer life. It is so amazing for me to look back and see how God has been working in my life. I could never see it at the time, but He was ALWAYS there.

      Worship in the south was very different from what I had grown up with. But it became a part of me. “Contemporary” worship became part of me. I was still worshipping the same God….just in a different way. But something tugged at my heart that the “traditional” Lutheran worship was my roots, so I went back to a traditional Lutheran Church. But I learned that the act of worshipping was what is important. Just doing it. Not how you do it.

      God has placed some incredible people in my life to help me with my faith journey. The other day I was mentioning to a friend that I have REALLY connected on a spiritual level with several people. What a blessing! I’m truly blessed! So the act of trusting God is a no brainer. How can you NOT trust??
      God IS good. In His time. “There’s that patience thing again….”

      Reply
      1. Pastor Jerry

        Wow! Powerful! Thank you for sharing! Yes, I continue to be amazed at how God continues to work through our lives, placing people and various events within our midst to draw us ever closer to God!
        Peace, blessings, and love
        PJ

        Reply

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