Rocklin, California

Tag: prayer

Prayers for January 6, 2021

Dear Friends,

I am sure that many of you are watching the news dismay, as the events unfold in our nation’s capital. The chaos and violence of the Evil One is hard at work in our country right now. Regardless of what you think is happening politically in our country, the fact that violence has broken out in our nation’s capital is certainly a sign of the deeper unrest and anger that afflicts us all. 

St. Paul’s words in First Timothy are certainly apropos here:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–7 ESV)

We pray for all, so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may go forth into all the world. That is hard to remember while we are in the middle of such violence. What are we to do as Christians? First and foremost, we pray as St. Paul exhorts us. Here is a good place to start:

Almighty, everlasting God, King of kings, from whom all rank and power proceed, who instituted temporal authority and committed to it the sword for the punishment of the wicked and the protection of the good: lead all temporal lords and rulers in Your way, that they may keep the common peace, turn away from us war and sedition, and nurture whatever makes for peace, honor, and justice. To that end, O Lord of hosts, give them Your divine blessing, the righteousness of Moses, the meekness of David, the zeal of Phinehas, the strength of Samson, and the wisdom of Solomon. Make and keep them steadfast in good, courageous in adversity, confident in affliction, joyful in sorrow, reliable in distress, victorious in temptation, unmoved in prosperity, and wise, strong, and prosperous in all their endeavors. Let their government serve for the suppression of all tyrants, peace in this present time, and the protection of Christians, to the praise and eternal worship of Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen (Lutheran Prayer Companion, p. 152).

But it is also entirely appropriate for us to simply pray for peace:

Grant peace, we pray, in mercy, Lord;
    Peace in our time, O send us!
For there is none on earth but You,
    None other to defend us.
You only, Lord, can fight for us.
        Amen. (LSB 777)

What else are we to do? We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, go about the work which God has given us, and be His light and leaven in a world that seems to be descending into chaos. 

Where? How? When? That will all be revealed in God’s good time. But be at peace. Christ has overcome the world.

Please continue to pray for our nation and its people who are so divided right now. God will be merciful in His own time and way. May it be soon!

In Christ,
Pastor Peperkorn

You can also view this post on our Facebook page and in your email if you are a Holy Cross member. It can also be viewed as a message at Holy Cross Prayers for the U.S. Capitol.

Prayer, Meditation, and the Cross for Advent

Prayer, meditation, and the cross

An Advent Meditation On The Three Things That Make a Christian

advent 2017 FB

Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio

Prayer, meditation, and the cross (affliction) are the three things that make one a theologian. And really, this is what makes a Christian as well.

In this Advent series, we will look at what it means for a Christian to be in prayer, to meditate on God’s Word day and night, and to suffer the Cross as our Lord did. We pray you can join us for this journey to the manger!

What: Advent Midweek Series

When: December 6, 13 & 20

6:00 PM Soup Supper

7:00 PM Prayer and Meditation

Where: Holy Cross Lutheran Church

4701 Grove St.

Rocklin, California 95677


Whatever You Ask in My Name (Easter 6c, 2013)

Easter 6c, 2013 (May 5, 2013, revised from 2008) 

Holy Cross Lutheran Church 

Rocklin, California

Rev. Todd A. Peperkorn 

John 16:23-33

TITLE: “Whatever You Ask in My Name”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our text for today is from the Gospel just read, with focus on Jesus’ words, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you (John 16:23b).

Our Father who art in heaven.

What does this mean?

With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that he is our true father and that we are his true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask him as dear children ask their dear father.

In our household, as I expect it is in most of yours, a part of the nightly ritual is talking about the day. “What happened at school today?” “Who did you play with?” “What kind of trouble did so-and-so get into?” That sort of thing. Now on most days Kathryn and I can pretty much predict what many of the answers are going to be. The days don’t really change all that much. But that isn’t really the point. The point isn’t that we don’t know what’s going on. The point is that we love to hear about our children’s lives. Why? Because that’s what parents do.

Now if this is true for earthly fathers and mothers, how much more is this true for our heavenly Father! Our heavenly Father, who knows all things, wants to hear from you. He doesn’t want to hear from you because He doesn’t know what’s going on in your life. Far from it. He wants to hear from you because He loves you. He wants to hear from you, and answer your prayers, because you are His child, baptized into His name. Jesus put it this way:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24 ESV)

If this is true, if God gives you all things in Christ, and if God wants your joy to be full, why don’t we pray? We quickly make prayer into an obligation, a task to get done, or even something we do to please our parents or grandparents. We treat prayer like it is a fire alarm. Break the glass and pop out a prayer, but only when things become really bad.

But it is not so. Luther once commented that next to preaching, prayer is the greatest devotion the Christian can render to God (Luther, House Postils, 2:104). The right to speak to God in prayer is a high honor, and it is one that does not come lightly. You have the ear of the king! You are in holy conversation with God in Jesus Christ, our Lord. There is no greater benefit to you and your needs than prayer. When you pray, God hears. When God hears, he answers. When He answers, it is only in blessing for you.

This is why Satan wants to drag you away from prayer. He knows how powerful it is. The Israelites prayed to God that he would take away the fiery serpents, and He did. Abraham prayed to God that He would save Lot and his family. David prayed to God for forgiveness, and God granted it. The Canaanite woman. The centurion. Jairus’ father. The blind, the sick, the sinners. God heals them all. That is who He is. That is what He did for them, and that is what He does for you even now. Satan knows this all too well. He doesn’t want your sins forgiven. He doesn’t want you receiving God’s peace. He wants you feeling tired, alone, angry with God and man alike. He knows this, and so He does everything He can to drag you away from our Lord in prayer. Luther put it this way:

The devil is a scoundrel who furtively sneaks up behind us to see if he can somehow divert us from prayer. So, we must prepare ourselves to oppose him and allow nothing to deter us. When he prompts you to think, there’s something else I must do first, then you must say, No, not so; as soon as the need arises, I shall pray; for when I have need to call upon God, that is the right time to do it. If I am not fit or worthy to pray, God will make me fit and worthy. For I know that He loves me, not because I am so good or righteous, but for the sake of Christ, Whom I love and in Whom I believe. (Luther, House Postils, 2:106)

What the devil doesn’t want you to know is that even when you are too whipped to pray, even when you feel like you hate God and want nothing to do with Him, even then the Spirit prays for us when we cannot pray for ourselves. St. Paul says “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26 ESV) This is God’s work for you. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ hears your prayers. You have been washed in Him, you sit at His holy table, eat, drink, listen and speak with Him. You are a part of the family, and that will never change. Hear again those beautiful words from the catechism:

Our Father who art in heaven.

What does this mean?

With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that he is our true father and that we are his true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask him as dear children ask their dear father.

Pray with boldness and confidence. You are the Lord’s. Believe it for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in true faith, unto life everlasting. Amen.

CS Lewis on the Liturgy & Prayer

from a letter written by C.S. Lewis on April 1, 1952 …

The advantage of a fixed form of service is that we know what is coming.  Ex tempore [] public prayer has this difficulty; we don’t know whether we can mentally join in it until we’ve heard it—it might be phony or heretical.  We are therefore called upon to carry on a critical and a devotional activity at the same moment: two things hardly compatible.  In a fixed form we ought to have “gone through the motions” before in our private prayers; the rigid form really sets our devotions free.  Also find the more rigid it is, the easier it is to keep one’s thoughts from straying.  Also it prevents getting too completely eaten up by whatever happens to be the preoccupation of the moment (i.e. war, an election, or what not).  The permanent shape of Christianity shows through.  I don’t see how the ex tempe method can help becoming provincial, and I think it has a great tendency to direct attention to the minister rather than to God.