Easter Greetings from Pastor Bob
“…O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever…”
"4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard…and the God of peace will be with you.”
As we enter a continual lock-down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus we look for signs that our efforts are not in vain. Like the signs of spring, which seem too few and far between - signs that we are winning in our struggle against the virus, seem too few and far between. However, our current situation is a temporary one. (this too shall pass) We get to discover how God is active in our lives during this difficult uncertain time. As we keep in touch through correspondence, through phone calls, through computer facilitated means, our awareness of how much we rely on seeing each other and sharing a few words with each other increases with the passage of time. As we feel the shock wave of daily commerce being disrupted, our awareness of our dependence of each other increases. And maybe, just maybe, our appreciation for each other also.
What is not temporary is our relationship with God. God has made us and God continues to encourage us to be who God has created us to be. God continues to call us to behave the way God wants people to behave. God continues to hear our prayers, even when we can only sigh sighs that are too deep for words. God continues to love us, lead us, and surround us with signs, little angels, little packages of love and faithfulness to us; a kind word, a helpful gesture, a supportive favor, attentive ears, soft understanding eyes.
Here are some prayers I invite you to use during the rest of the month:
LUTHER'S MORNING PRAYER In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
LUTHER'S EVENING PRAYER In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
Let us pray for the church, the world, and for all those in need…
Almighty God, help the church reach people in need. Help it be a gathering place for people to come to share their fears, their worries, their joys, their victories and above, all share you. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God help our children and parents keep safe and sound…help them discover new ways of being together so they may enjoy themselves…help them discover news of learning so they may know more than before …help them see that they are loved and that people are praying for them…We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Almighty God, help our farmers and cattle people survive this time of uncertainty…may everyday commerce start up again soon and may prices rebound to a fair level. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, help us as we pray. Strengthen our hearts, shape our minds, calm our fears, increase our faith so we may turn to you first for all of life’s needs. Help our knees bend, our eyes close in devotion to you. Call out to our hearts so our lives may be turned to you in love and praise of your great goodness. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Amen.
Almighty God, help our health care professionals as they place themselves in harm’s way each and every time they walk out the door…help the medical researchers and scientists find the vaccine against this virus that has latched onto us and is leaching so much life out of us, protect and guide them O Lord. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, help our households who have experienced a loss of life and are concerned about the future, who wonder what the new normal will be like and just wish that it just wasn’t so… help our household who worry about losing their homes, permanently losing their jobs, or their way of life. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, help those who were hungry before the virus…help those who did not have adequate housing, clothing, or medical care even before our world has been knocked out of whack…help those who have always struggled with death and despair just living right next door to them…Open the hearts and minds of everyone so we may all be more aware of the struggles of the poor, the disadvantaged, and the down-trodden. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, protect our mommies and daddies, grand-mas and grand-pas, great grand-mas and great grand pas, bothers and sisters, daughters and sons, our cousins and our shirt-tail relations, with your love. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, we thank you for all blessings we have received and ask that you safely guide us through our nights and watch over us during our days. And when do you call us home, let us join up with our loved ones who live with you in your heavenly home. We pray this in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.