Thursday, May 4, 2017

The National Day of Prayer

The first Thursday in May has been designated as the National Day of Prayer.  It is my hope that this day will make us think more deeply about the very power of prayer.  We realize the problems our nation is facing as well as the tensions in the world today.  I would offer this prayer:

"Lord God, our country struggles with many problems, which deal with race, equality, crime, homelessness, and unemployment.  May you help those who are being neglected or discriminated against.  May you help those who find themselves living on the margin to get additional assistance so that they might enjoy a better life.  I pray that you would work in the hearts of those striving through diplomatic means to bring peace to countries in the Middle East.  Help all of us to look to you for guidance and to give us hope."   Amen.

Pastor Marty

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

For the families of the victims in Egypt

Let us pray for those who lost loved ones recently due to acts of violence in the Coptic Christian Churches in Egypt.

"Lord God, we pray the families of those who lost loved ones in the violence in the Christian churches in Egypt.  May you comfort these families and may they know of your presence in a very special way. May you thwart the efforts of those bent on violence with disregard for property and human life, and especially for places of worship...in Jesus' name.  Amen."

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017

We are now in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which extends from January 18 - 25. The theme this year is "Reconciliation - the Love of Christ Compels Us."  The Web site for this special week had this comment in regard to the theme:

"Pope Francis’ 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) which provided the theme for this year, when it used the quote: “The Love of Christ Compels Us” (Paragraph 9). With this scripture (2 Cor 5:14), taken in the context of the entire fifth chapter of the second letter to the Corinthians, the German committee formulated the theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017."


Since the time of the Reformation there has been a deep division within Christendom.  We do need to lift up our prayers for unity.  While actual merger might seem out of our reach, we can be praying for a co-operative spirit.  We in the ELCA have established an agreement (e.g. full communion status) in order to have joint worship, etc. with other church bodies.

I would invite you to be praying for unity (whether merger or co-operative working) this week.  We would remember that Jesus himself had prayed that his followers might be one.

Pastor Marty

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Post-Election Praying

Following the presidential election we face uncertainty on many issues.  While we might have thought that all of our angst was gone after the election, it seems that each day something new pops up and brings fear to us.

I bring to you the words of Paul to his co-worker Timothy:  "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity."  1 Timothy 2:1-2.

Yes, after this presidential election we do need to pray for President-elect Donald Trump.  In our worship here at Savior Divine I do pray for our current president every Sunday.  I know that he needs our prayers as well as other leaders, such as those in Congress.  So I would invite you that whether you voted for the president-elect or not, that you would pray for him.  God can work in the hearts of our leaders.  Our prayers can be powerful!

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Earthquake in Italy

An earthquake has hit a portion of Italy on August 23 that has claimed the lives of 260 individuals. We think of the grieving families and also those who survived but lost their homes  These families need our prayers.  While we engage in prayer for such situations, it is also good to know that help comes from the church in another way - a financial way.  The ELCA has committed to send $10,000 to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy.    You can read more here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Presiding Bishop Addresses Recent Shootings

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America addresses the recent shootings that have come from Baton Rouge, Louisiana  and St. Paul, Minnesota.  We need to keep praying as our nation experiences these difficult times.  Here is the video.

Peace,

Pastor Marty

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Praying for Peace

Chicago recently experienced six deaths over the Memorial Day weekend.  Many more individuals were shot, but survived.  This year so far Chicago has had a high number of homicides.  I mention this because I live in a suburb of Chicago and realize the tensions that exist.

I realize that many churches do pray for peace not only for one's city, but also for peace across the nation and throughout the world.  We have these words from the psalmist:  "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.'  Psalm 122:6

Praying for peace ought to be not only for time of war or gang related violence.  Peace can also be lacking when there is political tension in one's local government or where people might be food insecure, or where there might be an outbreak of a virus.   Praying for peace is asking God to bring the conditions where people can prosper and live together well in community.

Yes, I believe amid all the praying it seems takes place for peace, we ought not slack off in bringing this request to God.  As part of my Pastoral Prayer in worship, I pray for peace very Sunday.  May peace be part of your praying as well!