Resources for your time with God

Introduced during a time of COVID-related church closures and restrictions, our devotional pages under the Church@home banner have been very popular with many readers. But spending time with God throughout the week isn’t only a blessing when we can’t get to church on a Sunday. It’s an important boost for our faith every week. Therefore, you’ll continue to find support for your devotional life on these pages – and the LCANZ has plenty of other resources which we’ll highlight for your information, too.

– Lisa


Prayer – an oasis? by Ruth Olsen

Jesus … left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed (Mark 1:35b).

Read Mark 1:29–45.

As one reads these verses for today, one can sense action and movement, as if things are happening quickly. That’s a characteristic of how Mark writes. At the home of Simon and Andrew, Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever. Jesus took her hand and helped her up. The fever left, and she began serving them. Mark records no words, just action – a demonstration of Jesus’ authority.

Word spreads, and people crowd in, seeking help for their loved ones. Jesus heals many, but again, silences demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew who he was – again, demonstrations of Jesus’ authority, the authority of heaven. Jesus probably wanted first to show by word and deed the kind of Messiah he was before he declared himself clearly, and he would not let the demons frustrate this intent.

Early the following morning, Jesus went to a solitary place to pray. Much had been happening, but time aside from busyness to pray was a priority. Time to listen and be still, time for heart-to-heart communication, to recharge and replenish – an oasis away from busy ministry.

Simon and his companions find Jesus, telling him, ‘Everyone is looking for you!’, to which Jesus said, ‘Let’s go somewhere else, to preach there also; that’s why I have come’. What would your response be? ‘But … but …?’ However, Jesus was focused and would not be distracted by popular demand.

A man with leprosy comes to Jesus, desperately seeking help. You can read Leviticus 13 and 14 for the regulations required for dealing with an infectious skin disease, including the seven days’ isolation (lockdown?). Imagine the isolation of being untouchable. Yet Jesus touches him, speaks to him, and the leprosy is gone! Imagine the man’s delight and joy! But he is told not to tell anyone apart from the priest. Instead, his joy bubbles over to anyone nearby. Jesus, who is not seeking popular demand, retreats to lonely places, but people continue to pursue him even there.

Lord, increase our capacity to receive from you and share from you by the power of your Spirit at work in us and through us. Amen.

How much do we understand? by Pastor Mark Gierus

At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realise that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him (John 12:16).

Read John 12:12–19.

When it comes to life, how much do we understand? How were the heavens, the earth and all things that live on earth created? Do we comprehend the intricate relationships of all living things, let alone our own human relationships? Do we understand the deep thoughts, worries, anxieties, desires and hopes of our human hearts? Do we understand the work of Jesus?

The disciples, we are told, did not understand all the events that occurred. That Jesus said that he must suffer and die and be raised again. They did not understand that Jesus came as the King of Kings, yet also a servant king. Jesus did not come as a human conqueror on a battle horse, but as a suffering servant, humble and riding on a donkey. Only after the end of all the things that Jesus had to go through did the disciples realise what was happening. The heart of the matter was that Jesus came to suffer and die and rise again on the third day for the sin of the world.

Yet, like the disciples, we may not fully understand the mysteries of the work of God. We may not fully understand the work that continues in us by the power of the Holy Spirit through the word of God planted in our hearts. We may not fully understand why things happen the way they do, but as we read the word of God, we grow in faith to see Jesus in our lives. It is by faith that we live and have meaning. Faith in Jesus, the king who came to save us from our sins, to face each day with confidence in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

When we meet Jesus on that day when he comes to take us with him forever, we will clearly see what Jesus sees. We won’t need to understand, for all that is unclear will be made clear. Some things seem wrong or out of place in life, perhaps different from how you would have done something. But it is in these very things that, by faith, we know that God works in us and through us for his glory. Jesus wasn’t weak for dying on the cross – instead of raising up an army to save him, he came as a servant to give up his life so that we might have life.

Lord, we don’t understand so many things – the wonders of your creation and the struggles we have in our own hearts. Yet, Lord, you love and shape us for your work through what we see and do. Help us trust you and remember your deep love for us, first shown by sending your Son Jesus to suffer and die for our sins and to offer us life forever with you in his name. Amen.

To receive the LCA daily devotion each morning in your inbox, go to and select Daily Devotions from the Churchwide list after entering your email address. These can also be printed off from the LCA website at


Week Sunday readings
1–7 OCT Exodus 17:1–7 Psalm 78:1–4, 12–16 Philippians 2:1–13 Matthew 21:23–32
8–14 OCT Exodus 20:1–4, 7–9, 12–20 Psalm 19 Philippians 3:4b–14 Matthew 21:33–46
15–21 OCT Exodus 32:1–14 Psalm 106:1–6, 19–23 Philippians 4:1–9 Matthew 22:1–14
22–28 OCT Exodus 33:12–23 Psalm 99 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10 Matthew 22:15–22
29 OCT–4 NOV Deuteronomy 34:1–12 Psalm 90:1–6, 13–17 1 Thessalonians 2:1–8 Matthew 22:34–46
5–11 NOV Joshua 3:7–17 Psalm 107:1–7, 33–37 1 Thessalonians 2:9–13 Matthew 23:1–12
12–18 NOV Joshua 24:1–3a, 14–25 Psalm 78:1–7 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 Matthew 25:1–13
19–25 NOV


Judges 4:1–7 Psalm 123 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 Matthew 25:14–30
26 NOV–2 DEC Ezekiel 34:11–16, 20–24 Psalm 100 Ephesians 1:15–23 Matthew 25:31–46

For more prayer and devotional resources, including a listing of daily Bible readings for each day of the church year, go to

Lutheran Tract Mission also provides the readings in a booklet, which can be accessed electronically at or as a printed booklet through the LTM office (phone 08 8360 7222) for a donation of 20c per copy.  


1–7 Oct: Those members of the LCANZ nominated to serve as delegates to the 2024 Convention of General Synod in a year’s time

8–14 Oct: The unity of the church and the Way Forward for the office of the public ministry in the LCANZ

15–21 Oct: People working in aged or disability care around Australia and New Zealand, during Australia’s National Carers Week

22–28 Oct: Lutherans in New Zealand, on the anniversary of the signing of He Whakaputanga, the nation’s Declaration of Independence, in 1835 (28 Oct)

29 Oct–4 Nov: All who mourn the loss of loved ones and those who support them on All Saints Day (1 Nov)

5–11 Nov: The families and loved ones of those who have died in all wars and conflicts on Armistice Day (New Zealand)/Remembrance Day (Australia) (11 Nov)

12–18 Nov: The opportunity and commitment to follow Jesus’ example of showing love to our neighbours on World Kindness Day (13 Nov)

19–25 Nov: Those who support victims of violence on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 Nov)

26 Nov–2 Dec: All those who have suffered and continue to experience loss from floods, earthquakes, fires and other disasters

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