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Living in Prayer: In fervent prayer …

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In fervent prayer …

In the Word

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. Acts 12:5

Of the Word

The story of Peter’s deliverance from prison is a familiar one. As his friends were praying, God sent an angel to bring Peter out of the prison. Guards were unaware, locks were opened, gates swung wide, and Peter was free. Even he thought that he was having a most wonderful dream! When he arrived at the home of his praying friends, the servant girl answered his knock, but did not admit him. No one believed her excited report that Peter was at the door. They thought the poor girl had lost her mind. Meanwhile, Peter kept knocking. All this after earnest prayer for his deliverance! The Christians couldn’t fathom that God had actually answered their fervent prayers. (Acts 12:1–19a)

Are we sometimes just like them? Do we pray — but then not believe or recognize God’s answers? God invites us to pray, and He promises to hear and answer. His answers are always given at the right time and in the right way because He knows what is best for us, the people He loves.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, help me pray, believing that Your answers will be revealed in the right way and at the right time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 28/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Walking with My Lord: God’s love reaches others …

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

God’s love reaches others through you and me.

In the Word

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. John 11:5

Of the Word

God the Father sent Jesus to love sinners. That was His assignment. He did it so well. He loved not only His close friends — Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and His twelve special disciples — but also thieves and “foreigners,” the learned, the poor, the children, the selfish, and the sorrowing. No distinctions. Jesus loved them all.

His love took Him to the cross where He suffered and died to set free all sinners (including you and me). Before He died, Jesus told His friends: “I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you” (John 13:34 GW). And St. Paul wrote: Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1–2).

Love as Jesus loved! That’s our assignment. Love everyone (even those who are tough to love). Love sacrificially. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). God’s love reaches others through you and me.

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, help me love everyone I encounter today. When it’s hard to love, remind me how much You love me. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 10/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked GW are taken from GOD’S WORD, God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 1995.

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Walking with My Lord: Jesus felt compassion.

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Jesus felt compassion. We do, too.

In the Word

Jesus wept. John 11:35

Of the Word

Jesus, our Brother, felt the same emotions we feel. He felt pity, sympathy, compassion. He expressed His feelings by caring and loving actions. Sometimes He cried. When He saw how His friends, Mary and Martha of Bethany, grieved for their dead brother, He wept.

What meaning for our own lives can we find in the tears of Jesus? It’s okay to cry. If our Lord Himself emptied the contents of His heart this way, then we who are His disciples, His brothers and sisters, will also feel deeply for one another. Sometimes we’ll cry. We will, in fact, live as St. Paul encourages us: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12–14).

A second look at Paul’s words reveals that compassion is more than “feeling sorry” for others. It may mean forgiving generously and graciously as well. That’s how Jesus showed His compassion most clearly for us!

Walking with my Lord

Jesus, fill my heart with love for others. Help me love as You love. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 9/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Walking with My Lord: It’s time for a new look!

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

It’s time for a new look! A new life! A new self!

In the Word

Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature. Ephesians 4:23–24 TLB

Of the Word

Ann impatiently flipped through the clothes hanging in her closet. Quickly she evaluated each outfit, dismissing every one — too old, too drab, too tight!

Wardrobe crisis! Changing clothes becomes pretty simple compared to changing our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. God’s Word encourages us: … get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to …  destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness … (Ephesians 4:22–24a GNT). Sound impossible?

God comes to our rescue with His gift of Baptism. By our Baptism, then, we were buried with him [Christ] and shared his death, …  by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life (Romans 6:4 GNT). In our Baptism the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. Now … you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to …  (Romans 8:9a GNT). You are not the same anymore. A new life has begun!

Walking with my Lord

Holy Spirit, move in me. Control my thoughts, my behavior that I may be holy and good, reflecting Christ, my Savior. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 6/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked TLB are taken from THE LIVING BIBLE, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL. Copyright © 1971.

Scripture quotations marked GNT are taken from the GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION – Second Edition, American Bible Society, New York, NY. Copyright © 1992.

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Living in Prayer: Show me, Lord!

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Show me, Lord!

In the Word

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4

Of the Word

What is your home state? North Carolina or North Dakota? Oklahoma or Oregon? Maine or Montana? Those who claim Missouri say they live in the “Show Me State.”

According to the psalmist, God would have all of us claim the “Show Me” address. With the psalmist we can pray: Show me your ways … teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:4-5). It isn’t always easy to stay at the “Show Me” address. Sometimes Satan tempts us to try other, more appealing places. Our own sinful nature can pull us in directions that are not pleasing to God. But we are not to fear. Listen and pray to the Lord. Our loving God keeps calling us back. The Holy Spirit helps by creating in us a new, teachable heart and helps us to see God’s roadmap for our lives.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, show me Your ways for my life, the life You have given me through Jesus Christ. Forgive me when I wander onto paths that are not pleasing to You. Lead me back to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 26/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Living in Prayer: Why Lord, why?

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Why Lord, why?

In the Word

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? … Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Psalm 13:1a, 3a

Of the Word

Why, Lord? Why is life stolen from the unborn? Why did death come in the midst of a vibrant, productive life? Why doesn’t death come for the one whose eyes no longer see, whose body is wracked with pain? Why is peace elusive in the world, in my country, even in my own heart?

Ever since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden, God’s people have had trouble and heartache resulting from sin. But at the same time, God’s promises are clear. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20b). Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9b). Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine (Isaiah 43:1b). When clouds of uncertainty hang low, when answers seem far away, our loving God has comfort for us. When nothing else makes sense, His love is still strong and sure. When all else fails, God never fails.

Walking with my Lord

Lord, when I am filled with pain, questions, uncertainties, and frustrations, help me to find peace and comfort in Your Word and in Your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in Prayer. Written by 2003-2005 LWML Christian Life Committee. 24/31 ©2005 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Walking with My Lord: Life is a tense war …

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Life is a tense war, an ancient battle. And I am my own worst enemy. Help!

In the Word

… O God … put a new and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 RSV

Of the Word

Conflict is everywhere. Between spouses, siblings, coworkers, interest groups, races, and nations. But conflict also often lives within — in our hearts and minds. How often, we must admit, we are at war with ourselves. St. Paul put it this way: I know that good does not live in me — that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. I don’t do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. … My inner being delights in the law of God. But I see a different law at work in my body — a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of (Romans 7:18, 19, 22, 23a GNT).

How often we regret our unkind words, angry outbursts, or indifferent worship! Why do we give in to selfish behavior, hurtful gossip, or hateful thoughts? We grieve with St. Paul when he cries: What a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me from my dying body? (Romans 7:24 GW). The answer is Christ! I thank God that our Lord Jesus Christ rescues me (Romans 7:25a GW)!

Walking with my Lord

Father, Christ died for me! Christ rose for me! Christ lives in me to cleanse and empower me to live for You! In His name, I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Walking with My Lord. Author: Donna Streufert. 5/30  ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked RSV are taken from the REVISED STANDARD VERSION, Thomas Nelson and Sons, New York, NY. Copyright © 1952.

Scripture quotations marked GNT are taken from the GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION – Second Edition, American Bible Society, New York, NY. Copyright © 1992.

Scripture quotations marked GW are taken from GOD’S WORD, God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 1995.

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