Sunday, July 21, 2013

Time in the Word - Proper 12

Time in the Word

Pentecost 9 – Proper 11
Persistent Prayer

July 22-27, 2013


Prayer is the obvious them for next Sunday. The Gospel deals with several aspects of prayer: 1 how to pray; 2 persistence in prayer; 3 God is willing to give good gifts to His children. The Old Testament lesson deals with Abraham’s reasoning with God: getting God not to destroy Sodom because of only 10 righteous souls. Having been reduced from 50 the Lord stops Abraham at his request of ten. Not even ten were found and thus the city was destroyed as is depicted in the woodcut on our cover. Prayer is often a wrestling with God, a spiritual struggle. The Lord encourages us to watch and pray to remain vigilant and on our guard.

Collect for Proper 12: O Lord, let Your merciful ears be attentive to the prayers of Your servants, and by Your Word and Spirit teach us how to pray that our petitions may be pleasing before You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God now and forever.

For an answer to prayer; Almighty God, You have promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in Your Son’s name. Mercifully incline Your ears to us who have now made our prayers and supplications to You, and grant that those things that we have faithfully asked according to Your will we may receive to meet our need and bring glory to Your; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For steadfast faith: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in the faith to the end and finally come to love everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For the right understanding of Christ: Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the way, the truth, and the life that following His steps we may steadfastly walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Grant us Lord, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are pleasing in Your sight that we, who without You cannot do anything that is good, may by You be enabled to live according to Your will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
For faith, hope, and love: Almighty God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hop in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Monday, 22 July 2013— Psalm 119:145-149; antiphon, Psalm 50:15 This psalm is based on The Hebrew Letter “Qoph” It’s theme- “Crying With The Whole Heart” David cries “Save me O lord and I will keep Your law.” As the psalm draws to a close, prayer for deliverance becomes more dominant.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013— Psalm 138— This is a royal son of praise for God’s saving help against threatening foes. In many respects it is like Psalm 18 though it is more concise and direct. Two Hebrew four-line stanzas (Vv. 1-3, 6-8) develop the main theme; at the center a two line stanza (Vv. 4-5) expands the praise of the Lord to a universal company of earth’s royalty.
Wednesday, 24 July 2013— Genesis 18:20-33— Abraham bargains with God not to destroy Sodom for the sake of 10 righteous people. In addition to the idea of persistence in prayer, our Old Testament lesson teaches us a number of timeless truths. God is concerned about conditions on earth. Vv. 20-21. We do not have a God high in the heavens who could not care less what happens on earth. In the case of Sodom, God Himself comes down to the city for a first-hand investigation. God knows and cares about the human condition. The wrath of God is real. In verse 22 God intends to destroy the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sin is punished. The wrath of God is visited upon the wicked. This applies to any city or nation at any period of history. A corrupt society will experience its consequences. In verse 25 Abraham tests God’s justice. Would God destroy the righteous along with the wicked? God would not do that; He is a just God. Vv. 27 and 30 speak concerning the attitude of one in prayer. Abraham realizes he has no right he had no right to speak to God, to approach God, to make any requests. This is the attitude of one who knows his finiteness and unworthiness to speak to God in prayer. Prayer is no friendly chat between equals. It is an audience with the Holy One, full of majesty and glory. Sodom was destroyed because 10 righteous people were not found in the city.

Diogenes could not find one honest man in his land. Are there as many as 10 really righteous people in your city?

Thursday, 25 July 20138— Colossians 2:6-15— Paul exhorts his people to live in Christ in whom dwells the fullness of God. We live on earth only once and almost everyone wants to get as much out of life as possible. But how do you achieve a happy and fulfilling life? Go to any bookstore and you will find scores of books promising a life that can be good, rich, happy and free of fear, worry, and guilt. That is life as it ought to be, the kind of life God means for us to enjoy. But how many readers of these books will then have that new life? When will the real life begin? There is no easy way to get real life. Christians get this life by living in Christ. Life is a by-product of a one-to-one relationship with Christ. Paul gives us the procedure for living in Christ as a way to real life. The key is in verses six and seven. Contemplate these words.

Friday, 26 J1uly 2013— Luke 11:1-13— Jesus gives the Lord’s Prayer and teaches persistence in prayer. It is common practice for many to ask once and forget it. How long should we pray for something? Is unanswered prayer a “no” answer? In the Gospel for Sunday Jesus teaches that there is no limit to the number of times we pray. The friend wanting bread comes at midnight when his friend is in bed. The man wanting to borrow bread kept asking and pounding until in desperation he got out of bed and gave the food. It wasn’t because of friendship but because his friend would not quit bothering him. He would not take “No” for an answer. Jesus teaches that se should ask, see, and finally knock to get what we want. Persistence in prayer is necessary.
Saturday, 27 July 2013— Matthew 6:5-13; 7:7-11 – The hymn of the week is “Come, My Soul, with Every Care” (LSB 779). In every need in every circumstance take it to the Lord in prayer.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

Woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden [The Book of Books in Pictures]) ©WELS.

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