The Reverend Alvin Shrum, Pastor

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Greetings Dear Family of St. Johannes!

Let’s talk about prayer and worship! Prayer is a gift from God that encourages us to communicate with Him. Prayer, like worship, not only involves talking but listening and meditating. Perhaps you, like me, are guilty of rushing through our Sunday liturgy without really thinking about the meaning of what God is saying to us. As with the Scripture lessons of the day, we should “slow down” and not rush through the reading as if we’re on the clock.

The Lutheran Church has a rich tradition of liturgy (meaning the work of the people in worship). As such, we always pray the “Lord’s Prayer” as a part of our liturgy and worship. I confess that sometimes I find myself rushing through the words without thinking and digesting the meaning of the liturgy.

So what about you? Do you really think about the words that Jesus taught His disciples in the Lord’s Prayer? As I thought about the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew, Chapter 6, some thoughts and questions came to my mind as I read each phrase. Hopefully my thoughts about the worship and the
Lord’s Prayer will bless and guide you in your worship and spiritual development.

“Our Father who art in heaven,” Do I respect and honor Him in all things?

“Hallowed be Thy Name,” Do I do or speak certain things that will bring disrespect and dishonor to His Name?

“Thy Kingdom come,” The kingdom of God is within us; the goal is for each of us to sense his abiding Spirit and be the visible presence of Christ.

“Thy will be done,” Do I follow my own self-interests, or do I obey and step out in faith as the Holy Spirit leads?

“On earth as it is in heaven.” Do I sit back and do nothing to bring about God’s will right now?

“Give us this day our daily bread,” Do I acknowledge that everything I have is from God?

“And forgive us our trespasses,” Do I live as a forgiven servant of Christ or am I carrying many burdens unnecessarily?

“As we forgive those who trespass against us.” Do I hold grudges when someone hurts me or my ego? I have to remember where I have been and what I have become in Christ.

“Lead us not into temptation,” Do I really believe that God is alive today and that his Holy Spirit seeks to help us overcome hurtful and harmful temptations?

“And deliver us from evil,” Am I mean-spirited? Do I believe that God is able to deliver me? What is my role?

“For Thine is the kingdom, the power, the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” It all belongs to and comes from God, and He shares it with us! What a loving and gracious God we serve.

Let us pray! Heavenly Father, help us to meditate on every word that you speak to us through your Holy Word and liturgy. Reveal, by your Holy Spirit, your ways and will for our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.

May the peace of Christ be with you always!

Pastor Alvin Shrum

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