Collect for Psalm 16: Lord God our Father, keep safe Your servant on the path of eternal life, for You alone are my refuge. When my last hour comes, may my body rest secure in the promise of the Lord's resurrection; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer for likeness to Christ: O God, by the patient suffering of Your only-begotten Son You have beaten down the pride of the old enemy. Now help us, we humbly pray, rightly to treasure in our hearts all that our Lord has of His goodness borne for our sake that following His blessed example we may bear with all patience all that is adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for spiritual renewal: Almighty God, grant that we, who have been redeemed from the old life of sin by our Baptism into the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, may be renewed by Your Holy Spirit to live in righteousness and true holiness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for grace to love and serve God: O God, through the grace of Your Holy Spirit You pour the gifts of love into the hearts of Your faithful people. Grant Your servants health both of mind and body that they may love You with their whole heart and with their whole strength perform those things that are pleasing to You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The Lord restores Jerusalem, His Church, because she is the mother of His children, whom He comforts “as one whom his mother comforts” (Is. 66:13). We are “satisfied from her consoling breast” with the pure milk of the Word, and we “drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance” (Is. 66:11). The messengers of Christ bestow such gifts upon His Church. For He sends them out “as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3), bearing in their bodies the sacrifice of His cross, by which “the kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 10:9, 11). Wherever He enters in with this Gospel, Satan is cast out and falls “like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Thus, we do not “boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). Rejoicing in this Gospel, we “bear one another’s burdens” in love, according to “the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
Monday, 1 July 2013— Psalm 19:2, 4–6; antiphon, Psalm 19:1—Many of the psalms praise the Lord for His deliverance from enemies, both mortal and spiritual. Psalm 19 is a hymn of praise to God because of the majesty and glory that are His by His very nature. The glory of God is revealed by the entire creation. Those who attribute the earth and the cosmos to mere happenstance are only deceiving themselves.
Tuesday, 2 July 2013— Psalm 66:1–7—Psalm 66 calls upon all peoples of the earth to join in with God’s chosen people, Israel, in praising Him. His deliverance of His people from bondage in Egypt and the threat of Pharaoh and his army at the Red Sea is specifically recounted, but all of God’s deliverance of all His people are to be included, especially the deliverance of mankind from the bondage of sin, and the threat of death.
Wednesday, 3 July 2013— Isaiah 66:10–14—Those who remained faithful to the Lord during the days when Isaiah prophesied in Judah had reason to mourn over Jerusalem: hypocrisy, unbelief, and idolatry were common among the people. Likewise, through the ages, including our own, God’s faithful people have reason to mourn when they see the condition of the visible Church: rejection of the authority of the Word of God, acceptance of sins, rather than forgiveness of sins, being preached, and so on. Yet, we know that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Lord’s Church (Matthew 16:18), so we can rejoice. We can rejoice, for the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ provides nourishment, comfort, and abundance for our souls. As a mother nurses her child, so we are nursed by the Holy Word of God.
Thursday, 4 July 2013— Galatians 6:1–10, 14–18—This Sunday, we shall celebrate our nation’s independence. Our political liberty and freedom is a gift from God. Yet, in the Church, we are not independent. We are member of one body, the mystical body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). As such, we are not to live our lives for ourselves independent of others, but are to bear one another’s burdens. The strong Christians are to help the weak.
St Paul urges us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for we are a new creation in Christ, and, as such, our wills are conformed to God’s will, which desires what is best for all people.
Friday, 5 July 2013— Luke 10:1–20—Our Lord desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). But how are people to believe in Jesus Christ, if they have not hear of Him, if they have not had the Gospel proclaimed to them? (Romans 10:14) In our Gospel reading for Sunday, we hear how Jesus sent out 72 men to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus. Likewise, He still call pastors to labor in His harvest fields. As in the days of Christ, their labor is met by different responses: some people are eager to hear of the forgiveness of sins wrought by Christ’s death on the cross, whilst others reject it. The Day of Judgement will be a horrifying one for those who have refused the forgiveness Christ offers, but a glorious one for us who are in Christ, who gratefully receive His gift of salvation.
Saturday, 6 July 2013— Sunday’s Hymn of the Day, Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure Eternal(LSB #533), is a majestic hymn of praise to Jesus. It proclaims Jesus as God in the flesh, as our great Deliverer, Redeemer, and the King of all glory.
Prayer for the nation: Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Grant that we, who came from many nations with many different languages, may become a united people. Support us in defending our liberties, and give those to whom we have entrusted the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, may our hearts be thankful, and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House