“Almighty God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another.”
Two simple yet heart felt Prayers –
Two simple yet heart felt Prayers –
“Pour out upon us, O Lord, the Spirit to think and do what is right, that we, who cannot even exist without you, may have the strength to live according to your will.”
For blessing on the Word – Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, my Lord.
A prayer before we study the Word – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.
The lessons give us people who are in trouble. In the Gospel lesson the disciples are frozen with fear on the Sea of Galilee. In the Old Testament lesson Elijah is in the throes of complete despair to the point he has given up. In the Epistle Paul is so desperate in his concern for the salvation of his fellow-Jews that to win them he is willing to be cut off from Christ. The hymn asks God our heavenly Father to guide us safely through this wilderness of life.
Collect for Proper 14 – Almighty and everlasting God, You are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve. Pour upon us the abundance of Your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merit of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen
Monday, August 4, 2008 – Psalm 34:1, 4-8; Antiphon, Psalm 145:16 In the Introit for next Sunday, David sings the praises of the Lord, who provides for all his needs, and saves him from his enemies, especially sin, death, and the devil. We apply it to ourselves when we use the antiphon, “You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing,” as part of our table prayer, as we are taught in Luther’s Small Catechism.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 – 1 Kings 19:9-18 - Here we encounter the prophet Elijah, hiding in a cave in fear for his life. He is discouraged because his people, the children of Israel have forsaken the true God for idol worship. The Lord shows Elijah His might in the form of a mighty wind, an earthquake, and fire, but then comfort Elijah by speaking in a “gentle whisper.” (Or, we might remember the King James Version’s “still, small voice.”) The Lord directs Elijah to anoint kings and prophets, and assures him that a faithful remnant endures.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 – Romans 9:1-5 – This day’s epistle fits nicely with the Old Testament reading. As did Elijah, St. Paul here laments over his people, the Jews. The very people to whom the Messiah was sent, from whom He came, have rejected Him. Paul’s anguish is very much in evidence; he is willing to forego his own salvation, if it would save his people. And still, in chapter eleven, he, too, will speak of a remnant of the faithful.
Thursday, August 7, 2008 – Matthew 14:22-33 – We can see ourselves in Peter. Jesus asks him to do the impossible, and Peter, full of bravado, believes he can. However, when he takes his eyes off of Jesus, he falters, and is at risk of perishing. Likewise, when we avert our eyes from Jesus, we lose faith and confidence, and put ourselves in spiritual jeopardy. When we cry out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus rescues us, lest we drown and are lost forever.
Friday, August 8, 2008 -Psalm 28- The Psalm appointed for next Sunday is very similar in theme to the Introit: David beseeches the Lord to deliver him from his enemies, and then praises Him for His justice and deliverance. Once again, we encounter a verse which is very familiar to us; this one from the liturgy. Verse nine appears in the creedal hymn of praise sung in the order of Matins, the Te Deum Laudamus: “O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine heritage. Govern them and lift them up forever.”
Saturday, August 9, 2008 – Psalm 90 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn “Our God our Help in Ages Past.” Isaac Watts based his hymn on Psalm 90, but it fits very well with the Introit, Psalm, and all three Scripture readings for to-morrow. He is, indeed, our Help, Hope, Shelter, and Home.
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