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Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Today we focus on the reading from James, which discusses the importance of prayer. Our devotion is from What Luther Says and includes quotes from Luther about this important aspect a Christian’s faith.

Scripture Readings

Numbers 11:4–6, 10–16, 24–29
Psalm 104:27–35
James 5:1–20
Mark 9:38–50

Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.

Devotional Reading

Look at God’s Word and Promise

“Learn, therefore, that there can be no real prayer without this faith. But do you feel weak and fearful? Your flesh and blood is always putting obstacles in the way of faith, as if you were not worthy enough or earnest enough to pray. Or do you doubt that God has heard you, since you are a sinner? Then hold on to the Word and say: Though I am sinful and unworthy, still I have the commandment of God, telling me to pray, and His promise that He will graciously hear me, not on account of my worthiness but on account of the Lord Christ. In this way you can chase away the thoughts and the doubts, and you can cheerfully kneel down to pray. You need not consider whether you are worthy or unworthy; all you need to consider is your need and His Word, on which He tells you to build.”

Let Us Pray More, Especially in These Latter Days

“This is a great assurance: When we call, the Lord will hear, and will hear more gladly and intently than we are able to call. But do we not deserve blame for being so slow to call, we who, after all, have such glorious and comforting and numerous promises? Oh, let everyone who can do so call and cry. There is no lack of hearing. And especially in these terrible last days, so close to the end of the world, calling and crying to God, to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is indeed very necessary. Therefore let us watch and call without ceasing, that we do not fall into temptation.”

Prayer, Spiritual Pulse of Christian

“Wherever a Christian is, there the Holy Spirit is, who does nothing else but pray constantly. For though a Christian is not constantly moving his lips and speaking words, his heart nevertheless moves and beats (just like the pulse in his body) and always throbs with such sighs as these: Dear Father, may Thy name be hallowed; may Thy kingdom come; may Thy will be done by us and everyone. And the harder the blows of life or temptation and trouble press and beat upon him, the stronger such sighs and prayers become, even vocally. Therefore you cannot find a Christian without prayer, just as you cannot find a living man without a pulse. The pulse never stands still; it is always throbbing and beating by itself, even though a man is sleeping or doing something else and, therefore, is not aware of it.”

Devotional reading is from What Luther Says, pages 1081, 1090–91 © 1959 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Video is of “Alleluia! Let Praises Ring” © 2017 Concordia Publishing House.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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