The Congregation at Prayer A Guide for Daily Meditation and Prayer For the Week of the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany February 1, 2015, through February 8, 2015 Catechesis Notes for the Week —“A Lover’s Word”—This week we begin two weeks of meditation on Confession and the Office of the Keys. These headings from the Catechism might sound dry and sterile to some, but these sections are all about receiving “ a Lover’ s Word.” Jesus’ Word of forgiveness is a Lover’ s Word—the Word of Him who loved us, His bride, so much that He laid down His life in death to cover the ugliness of our sin and rebellion against God. Just as the words of our beloved in marriage strengthens our relationship with our spouse, so the words of absolution from our Lover Jesus strengthen our relationship with Him. Even more than this, His Word of forgiveness makes us beautiful, strengthens faith against sin and temptation, and gives us comfort. What woman doesn’ t want to hear the word of him who loves her? This is how we should view the absolution and preaching, and why we should learn to value it and long to hear it from our pastors. The Order of Meditation and Prayer Pray and confess out loud as much from the order of meditation and prayer as you are able, or as your family size and ages dictate. Learn by heart the verse, catechism, and hymn of the week. Theme: Jesus Gives Us the Victory over Satan! Invocation In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Apostles’ Creed Verse: Psalm 130:3-5 If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. 5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. Psalm: 111 and/or the appointed daily psalms listed below. Prayer on the Psalm: O Lord, all Your works are good, faithful, just, and true. Grant us to take pleasure in Your works that we might study them for our life and salvation. The fear of You, O Lord, is the beginning of wisdom. Grant us the wisdom of faith that, at all times, we hold fast to Christ Jesus, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Daily Psalms Morning Evening Sunday 78 79 Monday 80 81 Tuesday 82, 84 83 Wednesday 85 86 Thursday 88 87 Friday 89 90 Saturday 91 93 Sunday 92 94 The Catechism: Confession and the Office of the Keys What is Confession? Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven. What sins should we confess? Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord's Prayer; but before the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts. Which are these? Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments: Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm? Kindergarten + Second Grade + Third Grade + Readings for the week of the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Day Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Bible Stories for the Family and Academy Jesus Casts Out an Unclean Spirit—Mark 1:21-28 The Parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin—Luke 15:1-10 The Parable of the Prodigal Son—Luke 15:11-24 The Parable of the Prodigal Son—Luke 15-25-32 David’s Sin with Bathsheba—2 Samuel 11:1-27 The Prophet Nathan Confronts David—2 Samuel 12:1-25 Look ahead to Sunday’s readings Look ahead to Sunday’s readings Daily Prayer Readings from LSB, p. 299 Zechariah 11:4-17 2 Tim. 4:1-18 Zechariah 12:1-13:9 Titus 1:1-2:6 Zechariah 14:1-21 Titus 2:7-3:15 Job:1:1-22 John 1:1-18 Job 2:1-3:10 John 1:19-34 Job 3:11-26 John 1:35-51 Job 4:1-21 John 2:1-12 Job 5:1-27 John 2:13-25 Prayers: Collects for the Week, Daily Themes for Prayer, In Our Prayers at Peace Collect for the week of the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: Almighty God, You know we live in the midst of so many dangers that in our frailty we cannot stand upright. Grant strength and protection to support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Daily Themes for Prayer Sunday: Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Pray for the joy of the resurrection among us; for the fruit of faith nourished by the Word and Sacraments. Pray for faith to live in the promises of Holy Baptism; for one’s calling and daily work; for the unemployed; for the salvation and well-being of our neighbors; for schools, colleges, and seminaries; for good government and for peace. Pray for deliverance against temptation and evil; for the addicted and despairing, the tortured and oppressed; for those struggling with besetting sins. Pray for marriage and family, that husbands and wives, parents and children live in ordered harmony according to the Word of God; for parents who must raise children alone; for our communities and neighborhoods. Pray for the Church and her pastors; for teachers, deacons, deaconesses, and other church workers; for missionaries and for all who serve the Church; for fruitful and salutary use of the blessed sacrament of Christ’s body and blood. Pray for the preaching of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and for the spread of His knowledge throughout the whole world; for the persecuted and oppressed; for the sick and dying. Pray for faithfulness to the end; for the renewal of those who are withering in the faith or have fallen away; for receptive hearts and minds to God’s Word on the Lord’s Day; for pastors and people as they prepare to administer and receive Christ’s holy gifts. In Our Prayers this Week Rev. Dr. Chris Ikanih, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Milwaukee and missionary to the surrounding urban neighborhood. Sue Laubenstein in her ongoing struggle against the complications of multiple system atrophy. Pastor Edwin Suelflow, recovering from an intestinal virus. Erna DeRidder in therapy at Linden Grove nursing home. Bob Elmer, hospitalized with pneumonia and a urinary tract infection at Community Memorial Hospital. Hospice Care: Will Ebel and Jeff Yanke Lord’s Prayer and Morning or Evening Prayer from the Catechism Hymn of the Week “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee” (stanzas 1-3) Looking forward to the week of the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany 607 February 8, 2015 Hymns: 820, 398, 693, 625, 797, 873 Isaiah 40:21-31: The prophet Isaiah speaks comforting Words concerning the power of the Lord to help His people. “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” 1 Corinthians 9:16-27: Paul, like Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel, speaks about preaching the Gospel for the salvation of sinners as that which is at the very center of his ministry as an apostle. Mark 1:29-39: In this Gospel, Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever and healed many who were sick and oppressed by demons. The Gospels are filled with occasions like this. Given all the miracles that Jesus performed—healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, etc.—it is astonishing to hear Him say in this Gospel that the reason He came into the world was to preach. Preaching! “For this purpose I have come forth,” He said. This does not mean that His miracles were unimportant, and it certainly doesn’t mean that He didn’t come into the world to suffer and die, and to rise from the dead. Rather, Jesus’ emphasis upon His preaching indicates that it is through the preaching of His Gospel that all His miraculous saving work comes to us. It is by the preaching of His Gospel that the power of His death and resurrection comes to us, forgiving us of all sin, healing us of all infirmities, and raising us from the dead to eternal life. Take away the preaching of the Gospel and we simply do not know Jesus nor do we come to receive any of the blessings of His salvation.
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