Daily Prayers

Daily Prayer is encouraged each morning and evening for the entire fellowship. A way to read the whole Bible annually is listed in each Sunday bulletin with a simple format of reading three to five chapters from the Old and New Testament each day. A prayer list of needs and concerns of our fellowship and for friends of our fellowship is kept. A calendar of commemorations to remember faithful lives in Christ and the story of the Christian Church is provided for inspiration and encouragement. Devotional materials are available as well.

In these unsettling times, we would like to offer a resource for A Simple Form of Daily Prayer

MAY 14
MATTHIAS, APOSTLE
Matthias was the apostle added to the Twelve after Jesus’ resurrection, as a replacement for the dead Judas Iscariot. He had traveled among the followers of Jesus throughout the Lord’s ministry. Formerly commemorated on February 24, Matthias’s celebration is moved to May 14 in agreement with most Western calendars.

MAY 18
ERIK, KING AND MARTYR
Erik (circa 1150 AD) spread faith in Christ through crusades into Scandinavia and was renowned for his just laws, help of the poor, and ministry toward the sick. He was martyred as he left the Service by an enemy Danish pagan prince.

MAY 19
DUNSTAN, BISHOP, died 988
Dunstan (909 – 988) was born of a noble family near Glastonbury, England and served for a while at the court of King Athelstan. In 936, he took monastic vows and lived as a hermit working as a musician, an illuminator (artist) of texts, and metalworker. After being named Archbishop of Canterbury, he supported the cause of learning and almost single handedly revived monasticism in England in the tenth century.

MAY 21
CONSTANTINE AND HELENA, KING AND MOTHER
Constantine 1 served as Roman Emperor from AD 306 to 337. During his reign the persecution of Christians was forbidden by the Edict of Milan in 312, and ultimately the faith gained full imperial support. Constantine took an active interest in the life and teachings of the church and called the Council of Nicaea in 325 at which orthodox Christianity was defined and defended. His mother, Helena (ca. 255 – 329), strongly influenced Constantine. Her great interest in locating the holy sites of the Christian faith led her to become one of the first Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Her research led to the identification of Biblical locations in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and beyond, which are still maintained as places of worship today.

MAY 23
LUDWIG NOMMENSEN, MISSIONARY, died 1918
Nommensen (1834 – 1918) spread the gospel to Sumatra, founding the church there and completed a translation of the Bible.

MAY 24
ESTHER
Esther is the heroine of the biblical book that bears her name. Her Jewish name was Hadassah, which means “myrtle.” Her beauty, charm, and courage served her well as queen to King Ahasuerus. In that role she was able to save her people from the mass extermination that Haman, the king’s chief advisor, had planned (Esther 2:19 – 4:17). Esther’s efforts to uncover the plot resulted in the hanging of Haman on the very same gallows that he had built for Mordecai, her uncle and guardian. Then the king named Mordecai minister of state in Haman’s place. This story is an example of how God intervenes on behalf of His people to deliver them from evil, as here through Esther He preserved the Old Testament people through whom the Messiah would come.

MAY 24
NICOLAUS COPERNICUS, SCIENTIST, died 1543
Copernicus (1473 – 1543) was a Polish priest who cared for the sick and helped the poor. He studied medicine, theology, classics and, most notably, astronomy where he proved that the Earth revolved around the sun in his On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.

MAY 25
THE VENERABLE BEDE, TEACHER, died 735
Bede (673 – 735) was the last of the early church fathers and the first to compile the history of the English church. Born in Northumbria, Bede was given by his parents to a monastery in Northern England at the age of seven. The most learned man of his time, he was a prolific writer of history, whose careful use of sources provided a model for historians in the Middle Ages. Known best for his book, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, he was also a profound interpreter of Scripture; his commentaries are still fresh today. His most famous disciple, Cuthbert, reported that Bede was working on a translation of John’s Gospel into English when death came, and that he died with the words of the Gloria Patri on his lips. He received the title “Venerable” within two generations of his death and is buried in Durham Cathedral as one of England’s greatest saints.

MAY 27
JOHN CALVIN, RENEWER OF THE CHURCH, died 1564
Calvin (1509 – 1564) was a reformer of the Church. He broke with Rome and set up a theocratic government in Geneva. His Institutes of the Christian Religion is a classic.

MAY 29
JIRI TRANOVSKY, HYMNWRITER, died 1637
Tranovsky (1592 – 1637) was “Luther of the Slavs” spreading the good news of Jesus in Slovakia, reforming the liturgy, and writing hymns for his people. One example of his hymnody is Your Heart, O God, Is Grieved in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship, #602.

MAY 31
THE VISIT OF MARY TO ELIZABETH
The feast of the Visitation lifts up Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth recorded in Luke 1:39 – 47. Mary’s song, the Magnificat, is one of the great hymns of the Church and is appointed for singing every Vespers.

JUNE 1
JUSTIN, MARTYR, died 165
Justin (100 – 165) was born of pagan parents and after a long search for truth became a follower of Christ and taught the faith at Ephesus. His Dialogue with Trypho and Apology record his ideas. He was scourged and beheaded when he refused to participate in a pagan sacrifice.

JUNE 3
JOHN XXIII, RENEWER OF THE CHURCH, died 1964
John XXIII (1881 – 1964) served as bishop of Rome (Pope) and convened Vatican II. This led to many reforms within the practices of the Roman Catholic Church and opened up dialogue with Lutherans and other Christians.

JUNE 3
THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA, died 1886
On June 3, 1886, thirty-two young men were burned to death for refusing to renounce Christianity. The confident manner in which these Christians went to their deaths contributed to a much stronger Christian presence in Uganda.

JUNE 5
BONIFACE, MISSIONARY AND MARTYR, died 754
Boniface (675 – 754) was educated, became a monk, and was ordained as a presbyter in England. He was deeply inspired by the example of others to become a missionary. Upon receiving a papal commission in 719 to work in Germany, Boniface devoted himself to planting, organizing, and reforming churches and monasteries in Hesse, Thuringia, and Bavaria. One of his first acts was to cut down a sacred oak tree of Thor in Hesse. When he was not harmed, many of the people came to Christ and the wood was used to build a church. He also did mission work in the Netherlands. On June 5, 754, while reading the Gospel to a group of converts, Boniface and his companions were murdered by a band of pagans. Boniface is known as the apostle and missionary to the Germans.

JUNE 7
SEATTLE, CHIEF OF THE DUWAMISH CONFEDERACY, died 1866
Noah Seattle (1790 – 1866) led a coalition of tribes, and convinced them to live peacefully with encroaching white settlers. When he became a Roman Catholic Christian, he held morning and evening prayer with his tribe. The city of Seattle is named for him.

JUNE 9
COLUMBA AND AIDAN, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH
Columba (521 – 597) was an abbot and missionary who founded the Christian community on Iona (still a vibrant point for pilgrimages and ecumenism) and spread the Gospel to the tribes of Irish, Picts, and Scots in his day. Aidan (600? – 651) was a monk of Iona who served as bishop and revived the church of his day. The Life of Columba and the Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede preserve many stories about these saints.

JUNE 11
BARNABAS, APOSTLE
Barnabas, one of the earliest Christian disciples, was originally called Joseph. After Paul’s conversion, it was Barnabas who introduced the former enemy of Christians to the apostles. With Paul, he organized the first missionary journey and defended the “salvation by grace through faith” claims of the Gentile Christians. In the Eastern churches Barnabas is commemorated as one of the seventy commissioned by our Lord Jesus. Tradition asserts that he was martyred at Salamis, Cyprus in 61 AD.

JUNE 12
THE ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF NICEA
The first Council of Nicea was convened in the early summer of 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine at what is today Isnuk, Turkey. The emperor presided at the opening of the Council. The Council ruled against the Arians, who taught that Jesus was not the eternal Son of God but was created by the Father and was called Son of God because of his righteousness. The chief opponents of the Arians were Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and his deacon, Athanasius. The council confessed the eternal divinity of Jesus and adopted the earliest version of the Nicene Creed, which in its entirety was adopted at the Council of Constantinople in 381.

JUNE 14
ELISHA
Elisha, son of Shaphat of the tribe of Issachar, was the prophet of God to the northern kingdom of Israel ca. 849 – 786 B.C. Upon seeing his mentor Elijah taken up into heaven, Elisha assumed the prophetic office and took up the mantle of his predecessor. Like Elijah, Elisha played an active role in political affairs. He also performed many miracles, such as curing the Syrian army commander Naaman of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:1 – 27) and restoring life to the son of a Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:8 – 37). A vocal opponent of Baal worship, Elisha lived up to his name, which means “my God is salvation.”

JUNE 14
BASIL THE GREAT, BISHOP OF CAESAREA, died 379
GREGORY, BISHOP OF NYSSA, died around 385
GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS, BISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE, died around 389
MACRINA, THEOLOGIAN, died around 379
The Cappadocian fathers, as the three men in this group are known, explored the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Basil’s monastic rule forms the Eastern monastic life. Gregory of Nazianzus defended orthodox Christianity in Constantinople. Gregory of Nyssa, Basil’s younger brother, wrote on the spiritual life. Macrina, older sister of Basil and Gregory of Nyssa, was the leader of a community dedicated to asceticism, meditation, and prayer.

JUNE 17 EMANUEL NINE, MARTYRS, died 2015
On June 17, 2015, Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Lee Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist while they were gathered for Bible study and prayer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina. Pastors Pinckney and Simmons were both graduates of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. A resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance for the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine was adopted by the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on August 8, 2019.

JUNE 21
ONESIMOS NESIB, TRANSLATOR, EVANGELIST, died 1931
Onesimos was born in Ethiopia. Captured and taken as a slave to Eritrea, he was there freed by Swedish missionaries. He translated the Bible into his native Oromo and returned to preach there.

JUNE 24
NATIVITY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist was highly revered by the early Christians as the forerunner of the Christ and the last of the Old Testament prophetic line. The celebration of his birthday is one of the earliest festivals in the calendar of the church and can be read in the Gospel according to Luke 1 – 2.

JUNE 25
PRESENTATION OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION
The Augsburg Confession, the principal doctrinal statement of the theology of Martin Luther and the Lutheran reformers, was written largely by Phillip Melanchthon. At its heart it confesses the justification of sinners by grace alone, through faith alone, for the sake of Christ alone. Signed by leaders of many German cities and regions, the confession was formally presented to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at Augsburg, Germany, on June 25, 1530. A few weeks later Roman Catholic authorities rejected the Confession, which Melanchthon defended in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531). In 1580 the Unaltered Augsburg Confession was included in the Book of Concord.

JUNE 25
PHILIPP MELANCHTHON, RENEWER OF THE CHURCH, died 1560
Though he died on April 19, Philipp Melanchthon is commemorated today because of his connection with the Augsburg Confession. Colleague and co-reformer with Martin Luther, Melanchthon was a brilliant scholar, known as “the teacher of Germany.”

JUNE 27
CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA, TEACHER, died 444AD
Cyril (376 – 444 AD) became archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt in 412. Throughout his career, he defended a number of orthodox doctrines, among them the teaching that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is rightly called Theotokos, the “God-bearer.” In 431 AD the Council of Ephesus affirmed this teaching that the Son of Mary is also true God. The writings of Cyril on the doctrines of the Trinity and the person of Christ, for example his On the Unity of Christ, are classic works of theology.

JUNE 28
IRENAEUS, BISHOP AND TEACHER
This important early church leader tried very hard to hold to the faith handed down by the apostles. An opponent of the movement known as Gnosticism, Irenaeus was one of the first to speak of the church as catholic, or linked together.

JUNE 29
PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES
These two strong willed apostles are the pillars of the church in the first generation after Christ. Peter was one of the Twelve, one who both offered a glorious confession of faith and later denied knowing Jesus. Paul once led the persecution of Christians, then was converted and helped bring the faith to non-Jewish people.