"Time to Pray"
August 20, 2017
Luke 3:21 - Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
It is two o'clock in the morning when the phone of the Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones rings in Paraguay.
The Paraguay director picks up the phone. A voice on the other side says, "Pastor, can you pray for my son who had a serious motorcycle accident and is in the hospital?"
Do you know when to pray? Should we have a proper time to pray? Should we pray once a month or only when there is worship and Bible study? Or should we pray only at a fixed time like some religions do?
We can find Jesus' answer to many of these questions if we look at what He said to His disciples the night He was delivered. He encouraged: "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38).
Are you among those who think prayer is like a pre-paid cell phone, which has a balance limit? How many times do you pray? And how many times do we pray as a Christian church?
Writing to the Thessalonians, St. Paul addressed many such questions when he said, "Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:17-19).
So there we have it: Christ's redeemed pray not only when something bad happens to them or when they are afflicted and sick. We who have been cleansed of our sins by the Savior's precious blood are glad to pray in every situation and circumstance.
My dear Daily Devotioner, by now you realize our hearts ought to be filled with gratitude for physical blessings, spiritual blessings, and the love of God shown to us at Jesus' cross and empty tomb.
Proof of this is that when Jesus was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove. Luke 3: "And the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased (Luke 3:22).
THE PRAYER: Dear God, may Your love teach us to be grateful children who consider themselves blessed to stand in Your presence. This I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by a volunteer who wants to remain anonymous. The volunteer dedicates his life to the service of Christ seven days a week through the Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones Ministries Center in Paraguay.
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) in Paraguay, known locally as, "Christ for All the Nations," opened its first ministry center in 2000. Since Paraguay is such a remote area, LHM-Paraguay uses Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) to reach out with the Gospel to as many people as possible. In various communities, small groups of 12 to 30 people often gather to study the Bible and discuss how it relates to their lives. Another way LHM-Paraguay distributes its message is over the radio. Programs are being broadcast over four radio stations throughout the country, including the capital of Asunción.
Be sure to check out LHM's International Ministries' blog page. You can find it by clicking here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries