Collect for the Second Sunday in Lent: O God You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer in times of affliction and distress: Almighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Monday, 15 February 2016—Psalm 74:1–3; Antiphon, Psalm 69:9—Psalm 74 is a lament by the people of God over the (apparent) triumph of the ungodly. Sometimes, it may seem as though God has deserted us, that He has withdrawn His Presence from us. But the antiphon shows us that God has not forsaken us. These words are to be applied to Jesus, to show that He has interceded for us. The reproach which should fall upon us on account of sin has fallen upon Him.
Tuesday, 16 February 2016—Psalm 4—This psalm of David is a plea for help. We can apply it to ourselves when we feel that we are in a hopeless situation, when all we see around us seem bleak or evil, when we wonder what is the use of being Christian. In the psalm, David first appeals to God for relief; then he warns his enemies of the foolishness and futility of opposing God; next, he encourages the faithful to remain patient, trust in the Lord, and await His deliverance. Finally, in the key verse, verse 8, he expresses his confidence in the Lord, and shows the peace of mind which results from that confidence: In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Wednesday, 17 February 2016—Jeremiah 26:8–15—The prophet Jeremiah had spoken what the Lord had told him to speak: that, unless they repented, they would be destroyed (Jer 26:1–6). The wicked citizens and leaders of Judah, however, failed to heed the Lord’s message. More than that, they threatened Jeremiah with death. In the face of persecution and death, Jeremiah remained resolute: in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears. What can we learn from faithful Jeremiah? Be faithful to God in spite of your enemies.
Thursday, 18 February 2016—Philippians 3:17—4:1—St Paul encourages the believers at Philippi—and us—to stand firm in the Lord. As for, the people who love the world—those who are enemies of the cross of Christ—their end is destruction. Therefore, we are to not to behave as citizens of the world, but as citizens of heaven. We are to live contrary to the enemies of the cross.
Friday, 19 February 2016—Luke 13:31–35—Herod Antipas, who had killed John the Baptist because John had reproved him for his sin with Herodias, now finds an even greater enemy in Jesus Christ. But Jesus is resolute: God, not Herod will determine the time and place of His death. Jesus will give His life in Jerusalem, the site of the temple, where God dwelt with His people and desired their true worship, though few of them rendered it. The Gospel tells of Jesus’ great love for His people, as He laments over Jerusalem, and also teaches us to refuse to flee from your enemies.
Saturday, 20 February 2016—The Scripture lessons for Sunday teach us to show our love for God by being faithful to Him, even in the face of resistance and persecution by our enemies—by the enemies of God. Sunday’s hymn of the day, Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart (LSB 708), expresses the love that we have for God for all that He has done for us, especially that Thy precious blood my soul has bought (stanza 1). It is also a plea to God to help us remain firm in our faithful devotion to Him, until the end “when at last Thine angels come, to Abr’ham’s bosom bear me home.” Let this beautiful hymn ever be our prayer!
Prayer in times of affliction and distress: Almighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in every situation they may recognize and receive Your gracious help, comfort, and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for a blessed death: Almighty God, grant Your unworthy servants Your grace, that in the hour of our death the adversary may not prevail against us but that we may be found worthy of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of praise and supplication: Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we praise You for the abundant mercy that You this day so richly have provided for us, blessing us not only with daily bread for our bodies but also with heavenly food for our souls. Grant that Your living and powerful Word may abide in our hearts, working mightily in us to Your glory and for our salvation. We commit ourselves to Your divine protection and fatherly care. Let Your holy angels be with us that the evil foe may have no power over us. Look in mercy on Your Church and deliver it from all danger and adversities. By Your Holy Spirit comfort and strengthen all who are in affliction or distress, and grant Your abiding peace to us all; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use