#DailyDevotion Pastors Are A Gift From Jesus


#DailyDevotion Pastors Are A Gift From Jesus

Eph. 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

 

Pastors are a gift from God. They are sent from on high by Jesus. As they preach and teach the truth of Jesus. Paul says elsewhere, Rom 10:14-15 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  (15)  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

These gifts of Christ are sent to equip God’s saints (that means you) for the work of ministry, that is service to your neighbor, works of mercy and kindness. For they preach and teach the mercy and kindness of God in Christ towards you who don’t deserve it. We who have received it are called to do likewise.

 

They are to build up the body of Christ. In what manner? Paul lists several things: unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, mature manhood i.e. the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, and steadfastness. While we certainly have a duty to make sure the pastor preaches and teaches the pure word of God, we also should submit to his teaching unless we have a reason to believe otherwise. Then we are to act in accordance with that preaching and teaching. We are to use that teaching to teach and correct others so they too may be united with us in the unity of faith.

 

As we are taught the truth of Christ the Holy Spirit uses that Word to help us grow in Christ. He intends for us to conform to his image and likeness in righteousness, holiness and knowledge. This word Christ preaches through his pastors makes us participants, communicants in the divine nature. We are going to bear the weight of eternal glory one day and the Word Christ gives us through them helps us to endure and grow until that time.

 

The word they preach helps to give us solid ground upon which to stand if that word is Jesus our Rock, Foundation and Cornerstone. As we meditate upon the truth they preach in Christ’s name and we put it into practice when false teaching comes our way we will be able to recognize it and dismiss it. The love of Christ we experience in his word helps us to share the truth of that love with love and gentleness with those who are erring. In that pure word we are built up and build one another up in Christ.

 

Heavenly Father, continually send us pastors from your Son, and grant them faithfulness that we may be built up into the unity of Christ to give glory unto him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Has Given You Peculiar Gifts To Serve One Another


#DailyDevotion Jesus Has Given You Peculiar Gifts To Serve One Another

Eph. 4:7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

 

Perhaps it is from worrying about giving the wrong impression about getting into heaven by works or maybe it’s a matter of human jealousy or perhaps a combination of the two that gets Christians thinking that we all have the same amount of faith and/or grace as all other Christians but that simply isn’t the case as Scripture clearly teaches otherwise. Now it is true that there is no particular measure of faith or grace needed to be saved. How much faith or grace do you need to be saved? Well you need faith in Jesus and the grace to have that faith. There is no measurement.

 

But now Paul says “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Each Christian being a distinct member of the body of Christ is given a measure of grace to accomplish what Christ desires for you to do as a member of his body. We don’t all get the same gifts nor the same measure of any particular gift.

Paul is fairly clear here: Rom 12:3-8 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  (4)  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,  (5)  so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  (6)  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;  (7)  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;  (8)  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Now he has given us these gifts as he ascended into heaven to the right hand of God. Like the Lord who goes on a journey and gives 5 years worth of salary to one servant, 2 years worth to another and 1 years worth to another and tells them to go do business with it, our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a measure of faith, a measure of grace to use in serving one another and our neighbor. So the only question then is are we using the gifts given us to serve our neighbor?

 

Now remember the Lord who has given us these gifts is the Lord who originated in the heavens above, descended to us in our flesh to win salvation for us and ascended back into heaven and fills all creation. He is with us always and exercises his power on our behalf, on behalf of the Church. Instead of fearing of using our gifts because of the fear of failure step forth boldly to use the gifts he has given you knowing he is with you and for you in the use of them and will accomplish through you what he intends to accomplish.

 

Gracious God and Father, your son Jesus Christ has poured out upon us the gifts of your grace and faith that we might serve our neighbor and give glory unto Christ. Remove the fears from our hearts that keep us from doing this and replace it with love for you and for our neighbor that we may serve them and give glory to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion God Is One And The Church Is One


#DailyDevotion God Is One And The Church Is One

Eph. 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

 

Well that’s a lot of ones but all put together they all equal one. There is only one body, that is one holy, catholic, apostolic Church. The true church has no divisions, private interpretations, different interpretations and it is an article of faith. That is to say you can’t prove the Church though you can recognize its presence by the proclamation of the Gospel, namely Jesus is the only savior of mankind, he has won salvation for all men, and he gives this salvation away freely to all who would trust in him alone. You know its presence by the confession there is only one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each person God and Lord and each person distinct from the other yet there is only one God.  This Church exist in the hearts of men and can only be seen for certain in the presence of God.

There is only one Spirit which confesses in this one Church that Jesus Christ is Lord. The Holy Spirit proclaims through the Church that Jesus is the Lord, born of  woman, who is the same Lord who created the heavens and the earth, formed man, delivered Noah, was friends with Abraham, delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians and brought them to the Promised Land.

 

There is only one hope, Jesus Christ who died for our sins, who is our redemption, ransom, atonement, and sanctification. He, the Father, and the Spirit are one Lord and God, as Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” Not just one in will and purpose but one in essence and substance as well.

 

There is only one faith. God did not give us many faiths. Narrow is the way to eternal life and broad is the way to destruction. There is no division in the faith. There is no you can believe whatever you want to believe. What the Scriptures say is what we are given to say. We are to give our Amen to the Word and go neither to the left or to the right, to add or to subtract.

 

There is only one baptism. We are called only to be baptized once for the repentance and forgiveness of our sins. We are not called to keep going back and being baptized because we didn’t think the first one took. We are baptized just once into Christ Jesus, his life, death and resurrection through water and the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Should we sin, we remember our baptism, we repent, confess our sins and receive absolution. We come to the Lord’s Table where he gives us his body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.

 

There is only one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. The Father is the head and source of all, even the Son and Holy Spirit from all eternity, the Son eternally begotten, the Spirit eternally proceeding. He has made us to be his children and gives himself to all who would trust in his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as our inheritance. He has made us to be one with him in Christ. He made us so that we would be one in Christ in him, even as Christ, the Father and Son are one with one another. All this is the gift of God.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us faith and the Holy Spirit that we may be one with you , confess the one faith and be one with one another in love now and in the world to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Living Worthy Of Your Calling


#DailyDevotion Living Worthy Of Your Calling

Eph. 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

Paul, a prisoner for the Lord, urges us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called. Now first note, Paul is a prisoner, literally. He sitting in some prison cell of the Roman empire for his testimony about Jesus Christ. You see his calling and our calling at this point are the same. We have been called to be disciples of Christ Jesus, children of the heavenly Father, citizens of the kingdom of God in Christ Jesus.

 

The manner worthy of that calling is the cross of Jesus. Jesus said if we would be his disciples we much pick up our cross and follow him. That cross is going to involve some suffering on our part. Now Jesus suffered that we might be forgiven of our sins, our relationship with the Father restored and we might have peace with God. That occurred because of Christ’s sacrifice for you on the cross.

 

Now in your daily life, even as Christ died for his enemies, who were sinners, ungodly and who hated him, Christ ask you to do the same for your enemies. That is your calling as his disciples. Your death is to forgive those who sin against you. It is to do good to those who hate you. You cross is to love those who are your enemies.

 

And with your fellow Christians he calls us to have humility, gentleness, patience and bear with one another (put up with each other) in love. None of this is always easy. There is a reason it is called a cross.  But we are called to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ in his great love for us we are to do the same for the people we encounter in our lives. Jesus did it for the world. We only have to do it for our little worlds.  To have humility is to put others first, to seek to serve rather than to be served. For some it may be to allow themselves to be helped by others.

 

We should try to be gentle with patience toward our fellow Christians. They don’t know what we’re going through and we don’t always know what they’re going through, but who couldn’t use a little gentleness and patience directed at them by those they’re going to be spending eternity with.  Remember the Lord calls the weak, the unclean, sinners, those who are nothing and a hosts of other people we might rather not hang around with, just like you. So just as the Lord Jesus puts up with you so you too bear with one another.

 

Finally we are called eagerly maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. As Paul writes in just a little bit, there is only one faith, one teaching in Christ. There aren’t many interpretations all equally valid in him. We should be eager to strive for that unity in the Spirit. It is unity not of feeling, but the Spirit comes with the teaching, the Word of God. We may not always understand different parts of the Scripture in the same way but what we do understand ought to conform to the whole teaching of Scripture. That brings us peace.

 

Heavenly Father, what Paul prays for the Ephesians, may you do for us in our lives as those called by you today.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion What Do You Have To Do To Be Recognize As God Around Here?


#DailyDevotion What Do You Have To Do To Be Recognize As God Around Here?

Ex. 16:9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

 

What does one have to do to get noticed around here.  At least that’s what goes through my head when the Lord interacts with his people. The last part of verse twelve just jars me. Think about it. The Lord had already delivered the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians with twelve plagues: water to blood, plagues of frogs, flies, boils, fiery hailstone, locust, darkness and the death of the firstborn to name a few. Somehow that didn’t leave a lasting impression on them that the Lord is their God and is God.

 

Then the Lord led them through on dry ground between walls of water to escape the Egyptian armies and the Lord has the waters fall upon the Egyptians to wipe them out and keep the Israelites safe and sound. Yet the people do not trust the Lord or recognize him as their God. This will happen time after time for like the next thousand years. The Lord truly is patient.

 

Nevetheless the Lord’s glory appeared in the cloud with all Israel witnessing it.  The Lord promises he is going to take care of these grumbling, unbelieving people. They will eat meat in the evening and bread in the morning and so they shall. And this will go on for years. And during those years, many Israelites will apparently forget who is supplying everything. They will sin again and grumble against Moses and Aaron, and because they are the Lord’s representatives, the Lord himself.

 

Now do we recognize Jesus as the Lord our God? Indeed, Jesus is the very same Lord who spoke to Moses and Aaron and provided for the Israelites in the wilderness. Does Jesus have to perform some sign for us so that we may know he is the Lord our God? What conditions are you placing on Jesus or the Father before you repent and turn in faith towards them? Jesus has already performed all the signs necessary as witnessed in the Scriptures especially having been raised from the dead on the third day. If his word and the witness of the apostles is not enough for you there is nothing the Lord could do to change your mind to worship him as the Lord your God.

 

As Peter says, we have something more certain than seeing the miracles. We have the enduring, living Word of God. If the promises of God’s Word are not enough for you, even seeing a dead person raised from the dead will not make you repent and believe in Jesus the Lord. Trust in Jesus as your Lord and God and eternal life is yours today. Turn from the sins of your past and turn to Jesus who has won forgiveness on the cross for you and gives you everlasting life for free and he will.

 

Almighty God and Father, may the word of your testimony in the holy scriptures be what convicts our hearts that we may confess our sins, turn from them and believe Jesus Christ is the Lord our God that we may freely receive the gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Who Are You Grumbling Against And What For?


#DailyDevotion Who Are You Grumbling Against And What For?

Ex. 16:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

 

The Israelites had been grumbling to Moses and Aaron. They didn’t like their circumstances. It’s like they completely forgot what their life was like in Egypt. Why when Moses was first on the mountain with the Lord, their cries were going up to heaven. Obviously things were not as rosy as they were trying to paint it.

 

Now the Lord had brought them to this place to humble them but it doesn’t look like it’s going to well. You would think if they had a problem they would turn to the Lord for help in prayer but instead they grumble against the Moses and Aaron and in doing so they grumble against the Lord who gave them Moses and Aaron. Do we also grumble against the Lord’s anointed? Do we grumble against those whom the Lord has given us to do the ministry in our midst? Do we pray for them instead and ask the Lord to work through them? Do we give thanks to God for them? Unless they are actually doing something wrong we’re probably not complaining about them so much as, like the Israelites grumbling against the Lord what he have given us.

 

Nevertheless, the Lord is kind to the Israelites and overlooks their grumbling. He answers the prayer they should have prayed and promises to give them meat in the evening and bread in the morning. The Lord will provide for them their daily bread. As it says in the meaning of the fourth petition, “God gives daily bread to everyone, even all wicked people. But we pray this that we may realize it and receive it with thanksgiving.”

 

And the Lord was also testing the Israelites to see if they would listen to him. They were to gather a portion of the day each day but on the sixth gather up twice as much because there would be none on the seventh. Well the first couple of weeks that just went fabulously. Well not really. There were some who would not listen. But after 40 years in the wilderness they finally started to get the hang of it.

 

So what is the Lord wanting you to do? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, trust God has put his seal on him and in him we have life everlasting given to us for free. This is not as easy as one might think. We do like to try to put our own two cents in occasionally. But no, look to Jesus alone as your salvation, life and light.

 

Lord God, Heavenly Father, grant us grace that we may humble ourselves before you and receive all your benefits and give thanks and most especially grant us such faith in your Son Jesus Christ, that in him we may have eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Sun Of Righteousness. He Has Healing In His Wings.


#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Sun Of Righteousness. He Has Healing In His Wings.

Mark 6:53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

 

What is going on with the fridge of Jesus’ garment? You might remember in the previous chapter the woman with an issue of blood believed if she only touched the hem of his garment she would be healed. Now people are imploring Jesus that they may touch even the fringe of his garment to be healed as well. What is going on with that?

 

Num 15:38-40 ESV  “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.  (39)  And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after.  (40)  So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.” Now the Hebrew word for tassel is tzitzit. From the site Jewish roots of Christianity they say, “The numerical value of the word tzitzit (fringes) is 600. Each of the fringes contains 8 threads and 5 knots, making a total of 613. This number corresponds to the 613 commandments contained in the Torah.” And also, “In making the fringes according to Sephardi (Middle Eastern) tradition, one winds a long blue thread around the other white threads and in between are special knots.  The first segment below where it is tied on the garment (or prayer shall, called a tallit) has 10 winds (the number 10 = the letter “yod”) then a knot, then 5 winds (the number 5 = letter “hay”) then a knot, then 6 winds (the number 6 = the letter “vav”) and then a knot and then 5 winds again (another letter “hay:), then a final knot.” Those letters spell out God’s name YHWH.

 

Alright, so what? Well these tzitzit were worn at the corners of the garment and the corners in Hebrew is also kanaph. A tzitzit is a wing like projection according to Strong’s and kanaph is also translated as wings. It is written, Mal 4:2 “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” The tassels and corners of Jesus’ garment are his wings. A stretch? I don’t think so. If the tassels reminded Jews of the commands of God and they also represented God’s name as per tradition, then they would be reminded to fear the name of God looking at them. And Jesus is most certainly the Son of Righteousness. They believed Jesus is that Son of Righteousness and were looking to his wings to be healed.

 

So that people were healed touching the fringes tzitzit on the kanaph of his garment shows Jesus is the very Messiah of God and that we too can place our faith in him for our salvation and our healing on the Last Day when he returns and we come leaping out of the graves like calves from their stalls.

 

Gracious God and Father grant that we may touch the hem of Jesus’ garment by faith and be healed spiritually in our inner man to be fully healed on the day of his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion No One Can Confess Jesus Is YHWH Except By The Holy Spirit


#DailyDevotion No One Can Confess Jesus Is YHWH Except By The Holy Spirit

Mark 6:48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said,  “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

 

Jesus walking on the water and the multiplying the loaves of bread are connected. The message of both is the same as seen in verse fifty-two. What is that message? That Jesus is YHWH, the LORD, God Almighty come in the flesh and visiting his people. Now disciples were rightly afraid because you don’t normally see people walking on water at night or day. They thought he was a ghost.

But Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, seed of David is the LORD of the Old Testament. It is written, Job 9:8 “who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea;”

Psa 77:19 “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.” Sir 24:4-5 [LXX] “I dwelt in high places, and my throne is in a cloudy pillar.  (5)  I alone compassed the circuit of heaven, and walked in the bottom of the deep.” It is the LORD who is talked about here. The LORD, YHWH, is ruler over the wind and the waves and all creation. When Paul says no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit he means no one can say Jesus is YHWH, the LORD, Jehovah. That is why the heretics are heretics. They cannot confess Jesus is YHWH, the LORD, Jehovah in the flesh, born of woman.

 

It was the LORD who fed the Israelites in the wilderness and it is the LORD who feeds the five thousand. It is the LORD who walks on and through the depths of the sea and it is the LORD who walks on the Sea of Galilee and gets into the boat into the boat with the disciples.

 

Now it is this LORD, who is Jesus, who says, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” and gets in the boat. You see Jesus says the same thing to you and me. The Lord of the Old Testament in taking on human flesh has gotten into the same boat with you and me, i.e. the boat=humanity. It is written, Heb 2:14-15 “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  (15)  and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery…17-18 “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  (18)  For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” And that is why we can have courage and not be afraid. In Jesus, the LORD is one of us, with us and for us.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us faith that we may confess Jesus is Lord to your glory and that we may take great comfort in that and not fear what may come our way but take courage knowing you are for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion You Need To Pray


#DailyDevotion You Need To Pray

Mark 6:45 Immediately [Jesus]  made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

 

Again we come up with the topic of prayer. My goodness, if the Lord and Creator of all takes time to pray, what should we poor fallen creatures do but pray all the more. The need is certainly greater on our end.

Luther writes: “I tell you the truth, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.” Jn. 16:23 AAT In the second place, you must also consider the promise contained in Christ’s words: “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, He will give it to you in My name.” Lay hold of these words, and impress them on your heart. For you hear that Christ not only gives you the promise but also strengthens and confirms it with a twofold oath. He swears most solemnly: “Just believe Me. As surely as God lives, I will not lie to you.” Surely he Who wants to be a Christian should blush a bit and feel ashamed if he has never prayed from the heart after hearing these words. Is it not an everlasting disgrace before God and all the world that even though Christ must assure us with such a solemn oath, we still do not believe and are not finally impelled to begin to pray from the heart? After all, what are we going to say before God or in answer to our own conscience when we are asked: “Have you ever prayed the heavenly Father earnestly and with an undoubting heart that His name be hallowed? Do you not know how earnestly I have commanded this and how solemnly I have sworn that your prayer will surely be heard if only you pray from the heart?” I say that in all fairness we should blush with shame before ourselves and really fear God’s terrible judgment if we attach so little importance both to His command and to His solemn promise and allow them to fall on deaf ears. It will do no good to excuse yourself and say: “I really did not know whether I was worthy” or “I lacked the desire, and it was inconvenient for me” or “I had to attend to other business.”

 

Again Luther writes: “I  tell you the truth, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.” Jn. 16:23 AAT Cultivate the habit of falling asleep with the Lord’s Prayer on your lips every evening when you go to bed and again every morning when you get up. And if occasion, place, and time permit, pray before you do anything else. In this way you get ahead of the devil by surprise and without warning, whether you are ready or not, before he catches up with you and makes you wait. For it is better to pray now, when you are half-ready, than later, when you are not ready at all, and to begin to pray only to spite and vex the devil, even if you find it most difficult and inconvenient to do so. Do this also when the devil assails you and restrains you because of your unworthiness, when he asks you to wait until you have become more pious and purer. For if you do not want to begin until you become worthy, you will never pray. Therefore begin at once, even though you feel unworthy. Be courageous, and leap over both worthiness and unworthiness, even though you are steeped in sin.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, as you took time to pray, grant us faith and your Holy Spirit that we may believe your promises and come to the Father in prayer for all our needs of body and soul. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.