Devotions – September 25 – October 1, 2011
By, Ruth Anne Connor
Sunday, September 25
Let your light so shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Let your light so shine – Our lights are not so much our own lights, but similar to the moon, our light is a reflection of the SON. The great love that God has for us shines through us to those with whom we interact. Just the simple act of smiling at the people we meet walking down the street, or greeting them with a friendly “Hello,” spreads this light and brightens the day for everyone. Another plus … it doesn’t cost a cent! So, the next time you meet someone on the street, or in the hall, or at the store … SMILE! Not only will it brighten their day, but you’ll feel good, too.
Dear Lord, please help me to reflect your light to those around me. Amen.
Pray for those pastors and spouses attending the Mackinac Island Theological Event these days.
Monday, September 26
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God,
serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
I Peter 4:10
As a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend, when you receive a gift from a special child in your life … a gift given just because they love you … what do you do with it? If it’s a picture, it is proudly displayed on the refrigerator. A bouquet of dandelions or a special rock is displayed in a place of honor. Whatever the case, it is put where it can be shared with anyone and everyone who comes into your home. It is proudly displayed as a way to show your love for the gift giver.
The many talents that we have are all gifts from God, given to us just because He loves us. But how often do we proudly display these gifts? How many of us hide our talents? Or if not hide them, don’t share them as often as we should? What talent do you have? How can you show your love for the gift giver?
Dear Loving Father, you have given me special abilities as gifts of your love. Help me to discover these gifts and to share them with others. Amen.
As we celebrate the 7th anniversary of the first prayfaithfully devotion this day and our synod prayer ministry, we pray for all who have written devotions, all who have been pray-ers, all who have been prayed for, and all whose lives are touched by prayer. We thank God for these faithful witnesses.
Tuesday, September 27
As you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves,
singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts,
giving thanks to God the Father at all times
and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the time of year – when the leaves are turning color – when we can witness once again the beauty of God’s creation. Squirrels are gathering their food for winter from the bounty that God has provided. What a marvelous creation this world is!
As I am sure you have heard said many times, “Take time to smell the roses.” Pause in your daily routine to take note of the variety in God’s creation which can stir our senses; the hint of winter in the air, the wonderful colors surrounding us, the sound of the birds – soon to include the sound of geese honking overhead on their journey south. And as you pause in appreciation, say a little prayer of thanksgiving!
God our Creator … you have surrounded us with wonderful things to enjoy. Help us to remember that all that we have, all that we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel comes from you. Amen.
Pray for the members of Our Saviour’s, Atlantic Mine and Interim Pastor Bucky Beach as they discern the viability of their future.
Wednesday, September 28
But those who wait for 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.
As a young girl I had surgery on my foot. My Pastor came to visit with me in the hospital and shared with me this passage from Isaiah. How special is that – my very own Bible verse! Over the years since, I have encountered other instances when my mobility was impaired – further foot surgery, knee replacement, etc., etc…. But having my very own special Bible verse helped me to push through the pain of rehabilitation and get back on my feet.
There is a Bible verse just for you, too. Find it – make it your own – and share it with others. (Many Bibles have reference sections which include a concordance, topical index, or a listing of passages for specific situations that can help you with your search.)
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for always being there with a word of encouragement, a word of comfort, a word of love. Amen.
Pray for the members of Kijichi Lutheran Church, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Rev Heriel Mfinanga) and their NGLS Companion Congregation First, Gladstone (Rev Jonathan Schmidt).
Thursday, September 29
Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.
New beginnings – new birth – is usually associated with Spring. But Fall also brings its own new beginnings – the beginning of a new year of school and Sunday School, Bible studies, men’s and women’s groups, choir – everything that was dormant during the summer is brought back to life. At United in L’Anse we have Sunday School class for children beginning with age 3 (with a few children starting even earlier). Having children abounding on Sunday mornings also brings a whole new level of energy to our morning worship. The children lead us in singing praises to God – with no self-consciousness about matching notes.
I have often felt that God has blessed our youngsters with either an ear for music or a heart for music. Frequently, those who may not be what adults would consider the best singers are the most enthusiastic. I was recently talking with a friend about this very thing and she mentioned an instance where the children were being picked for the solo (singing) parts in the Christmas pageant. One little boy was not being picked, so he went to the teacher and told her, “If you pick me, I will sing with my whole heart!” What could be better music than a child singing praises to God “with his whole heart!” (And remember, WE are ALL children of God.)
Dear Lord, thank you for children. May we all be like children in our enthusiasm for singing your praises! Amen.
Pray for Bishop Tom Skrenes as he receives the Distinguished Alumni Award at Trinity Seminary this day.
Friday, September 30
The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up, and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:15-16
A number of years ago the daughter of an acquaintance was seriously injured in a car accident. She was in critical condition for quite a while and had a long road back to full recovery. In talking with the mother, I told her that I was keeping them in my prayers. “It’s the least I can do,” I said. Her response was, “No, that’s the MOST you can do.” That is something that has stayed with me over the years.
How often do we rush to provide a meal, or send a card, or stop by and visit when there is a friend in need. These are all good things, are appreciated by the recipient, and things we definitely need to do. But did we, in our eagerness to “be there,” take a moment to say a prayer? Next time you’re writing that card, or baking that cake, or cooking that casserole … say a prayer, too.
Dear God, You are the answer to all prayer. Please help us to remember to include a prayer when we are providing help to those in need. Amen.
Pray for the members of St Timothy, Timonium MD (Rev Jason Burns), Zion, Middletown MD (pastor), and Holy Trinity, Laurel MD (Revs Tom & Connie Miller).
Saturday, October 1
But strive first for the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you as well.
When I was in high school, I was in a quandary one Friday afternoon. I had limited funds, but there was a record (45 rpm) that I really wanted to purchase. Sunday was almost here, however, and I also needed something for the offering. Do I buy the record and disregard an offering, or go without the record. For a 12-year old this was quite a decision to make. One of my mother’s guiding phrases haunted me … “If there is a question, the answer is ‘No’”. So after much thought (and I hope, some prayer), the decision was made. My money would go in the offering plate on Sunday morning. The record would probably still be there next week, or even the week after.
Shortly after my decision was made I received a phone call from a neighbor asking if I could baby sit for them that night. Now I had money for the offering and I could buy that record I wanted, too. I don’t know that this was an answer to a prayer, exactly, but looking back I think it was God’s way of showing me that if I put Him first in my life, then He would take care of everything else.
Many times since, I have been in similar situations with the same results. When I make the decision to “seek the kingdom of God,” everything else seems to fall into place as well. However, in those instances with I put “me” first, things tend to go horribly wrong.
Dear Father -- Help me to remember that You do provide everything that I need. Amen.
Pray for the spouses of deceased pastors – Betty Framstad and Lavina Goodrich.