But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and PRAY in the Holy Spirit.
June is the month that summer officially begins. It is often time for graduations and new beginnings. For some, it is a time to leave the daily grind and head out for a well-earned holiday. It is time to enjoy warm, sunny weather and picnics and barbecues. It can also be a time for relaxation and reflection. So, let us take the opportunity to reflect on our devotional life and especially on our privilege of prayer.
Jesus taught the disciples that they had the privilege to speak with a Father who is also a King.
They might have imagined entering his throne room with their list of petitions, asking for physical and spiritual blessings. They surely trusted in their Father’s love and the King’s wisdom in granting their requests. And Jesus reassured them that the Heavenly Father would hear and answer their prayers. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
Jesus taught us the Lord’s prayer. Luther gave us his morning and evening prayers. Our parents taught us prayers for meals and for bedtime. Sometimes those prayers are stanzas from familiar hymns. But what about all our special, personal prayers? St. Paul instructs us in his letter to the Ephesians. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (6:18).
Paul’s pattern for personal prayers begins by reminding us to pray with a faithful heart, a heart given to us by the Holy Spirit. Next, we are encouraged to pray on all occasions. Of course, we pray in church and on special occasions such as weddings and baptisms. But all occasions can also mean anytime or anyplace. Your prayers can include thanksgiving for special blessings, requesting help in times of trouble, or even asking for guidance in small, daily matters. Send all kinds of prayers to the heavenly Father’s throne. Ask him for anything, anytime. Paul ends with an encouragement to stay alert and pray for your fellow Christians. How often have we found comfort in knowing that others are praying for us in our time of need? If we follow his advice, we will be like the Thessalonians — praying continually and giving thanks in all circumstances.
We can continue praying to the Lord with prayers from the heart or prayers we have committed to memory. We can also turn to our Bibles, hymnals, and devotion books when we struggle to find the right words. And we can be assured that when all those resources fail, “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. …The Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Ro 8:26-27)
Scriptures are filled with invitations and encouragements to pray. They abound with promises that our gracious God will hear and answer our prayers. Search them daily to strengthen your faith and enrich your prayer life. Reflect on the privilege you have to approach your dear Lord in prayer.
Come, my soul with every care;
Jesus loves to answer prayer.
He himself bids you to pray
And will never turn away.
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Our Offerings in May
€120.00, CHF500.00, and $510.00 were received in basket offerings. €2508.18 were received as direct deposits to the Chaplaincy bank account.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
Direct Deposit Information
Please consider direct deposit of your offerings to our ministry.
Designate: John Paul Hartwig
IBAN: DE21 5519 0000 0106 6260 13
Devotional Materials Available
WELS Ministry to the Military has prepared a packet of materials including a New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, a devotional book called God Our Refuge, and a pamphlet from Time of Grace ministries. These materials are appropriate for all, not just the military. We will have them for distribution at our worship services. Please take one for yourselves and to give to friends and neighbors.
A Personal Note…
June 23 marks the first anniversary of our arrival in Germany. We thank you all for welcoming us so warmly and making us feel at home. The Corona virus has made these past months strange in many different ways, but we thank God that it seems we are toward the end of all this. And through it all it has been a wonderful privilege to see you, week in and week out, and to be able to worship with you.
To God be the glory,
John and Helen Hartwig