Daily Devotions
 

We are thrilled to once again be sharing a daily devotion with you for the season of Advent. These inspiring devotions have been written by YOU the members of Good Shepherd.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who opened their hearts to share a small piece of their faith journey with us.   As we journey toward Bethlehem in this season, take time each day to walk with God and experience the stirrings of the deep love that took on flesh to walk with us.  

During the four week Advent season, each Wednesday our devotion will be a video reflection by Dr. Kevin Seal, Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd, as he shares a teaching about the Words and Music of Advent.

Each new day’s devotion will go live directly on our webpage, goodshepherd.com at 6am, (look under the worship tab at the top right of the front page) or you can follow the link that will be sent out later each morning in an email from Good Shepherd.  


Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Carla Jowanovitz 

Can anything good come out of this Pandemic?

I believe the answer is a resounding, yes!  We have seen many acts of kindness over the last 10 months: young students making masks to give away, thank you notes to medical workers, meals and cookies shared to name a few.  We have seen medical advances that would have taken much longer to come about normally; namely the COVID vaccines, but also medications as well.  

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 25% of respondents have experienced a deepened faith.  Even among African Americans, who have suffered disproportionally during the pandemic, 41% say their faith has grown stronger.  Religion doesn’t answer the question – How can God allow tragedy? – but it can provide comfort.  Religion and belief are seen by many researchers and clinicians as an important way to cope with trauma and distress.  The Psalms, for instance, are all about people turning to God during troubled times.  

One thing I have done more during this pandemic is pray.  Sometimes it felt like the only thing I could do.  I have struggled with what to say and how to say it and sometimes I feel like a broken record.  Looking at scripture, we find that Jesus prayed often and we can look to His example.  

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16) 
He prayed at His baptism (Luke 3:21-22)
He selected the 12 apostles after a night of prayer (Luke 6:12-13)
The transfiguration occurred while Jesus was praying (Luke 9:29)
He prayed for his apostles and for his enemies. 
Miracles were followed by prayer:   
Feeding of the 5 thousand (John 6:11), 
Walking on the water (Matthew 14:23-33), 
Raising Lazarus (John 11:41-42)
Jesus died praying, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46)

In John 17, Jesus glorifies His Father, prays for His needs (petitions) and prays for others (intercession).  J. Oswald Sanders, in his book The Power of Transforming Prayer, calls John 17 an example of “communion with God at its highest”.  Jesus also taught us the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.  The first 3 requests are about God.  We are to be His servants and say “Your way, Lord, most of all”.  Worship and thanksgiving are great ways to begin prayer – to acknowledge God’s love and kindness.  For inspiration, read Psalm 103.  We join Jesus in His work and follow His example when we love others with our prayers.  Paul’s prayers in Colossians and Ephesians model for us how to pray for others.  

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:16-19

I have been printing off the prayer requests from the weekly announcements and I add people throughout the week as I hear of those in need of prayer.  Perhaps prayer can become a focal point for you during the Lenten season.  What can we learn from Jesus about praying?  Pray in every situation and pray about every situation.  Go to God about everything! 

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1 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Danelle Buelsing

Carla, your faithfulness in prayer is one of the things I love about you!

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