Sunday Worship Services at 8:30 and 11:00 AM
Worship at Church of the Reformation is grounded in the rich liturgical history of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where worship is an experience of the Biblical Story, a proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world and the celebration of Eucharist. During the year we use a variety of liturgical formats enhanced by the Reformation Choir and outstanding music from one of Washington’s premier pipe organs. The time of worship is a celebration of inclusiveness, hospitality, gratitude, thanksgiving and praise. Worship is a time that renews our sense of self and empowers our ‘being’ in the world. Lutheran liturgy is participatory – all are invited to “enter in”, and we are blessed by many liturgical leaders from our congregation. We hope you will join us!
A Simple Way to Pray
Luther’s Prayer Pattern
From Mount Carmel Ministries
Martin Luther is one of the most well-known figures from the Reformation period. His controversial sermons and writings are widely read. What is not so widely understood is his prayer life.
In a letter he wrote to his barber, Luther reveals this private side of his faith. He answered his barber’s question, "Doctor Luther, how do you pray?" in A Simple Way to Pray, for a Good Friend. It was published in 1535. Luther offers his barber some first hand advice, because he understood from his own life what struggles must be faced in establishing a life of prayer and devotional contact with the Lord.
Luther recommended a routine of daily prayer. "It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last of the evening. Guard yourself against such false and deceitful thoughts that keep whispering: ‘Wait awhile. In an hour or so I will pray. I must first finish this or that.’ Thinking such thoughts we get away from prayer into other things that will hold us and involve us until the prayer of the day comes to naught."
Luther’s method is to focus on a small portion of scripture. He wrote about the need for concentration and avoiding fatigue from reading too much at once. "Don’t take too much upon yourself lest the spirit should get tired. It is sufficient to grasp one part of a Bible verse, or even half, a part from which can strike a spark in your heart. For the soul can think more in one moment than the tongue can speak in ten hours and the pen can write in ten days."
Luther meditated on scripture or the catechism by asking questions of the passage that reflected a pattern of thanks, confession and prayer. For example, examine his reflection on the Third Commandment ("Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy"). He included this in his counsel to help his barber pray. Luther first writes a prayer of Thanks: "Dear Lord God, I thank you for your great and precious grace and for the blessing you have given us in your word and in the preaching of it. It is a treasure no human heart can fully appreciate. You have especially commanded us to use these blessings on the Sabbath..."; then one of Confession: "I know and confess my great sin and my terrible ingratitude, and I have spent the Sabbaths wickedly throughout my life. I have horribly neglected your precious word and have been lazy, unwilling to hear it. I have not desired nor ever given proper thanks for it..."; and finally one of Prayer: "Dear Father, I pray for myself and all the world. Keep us steadfast in your holy word, and do not take it from us, because of our sin, laziness, and ungratefulness..."
The T.R.I.P. Prayer Method
From Mount Carmel Ministries
Since 1989, Mount Carmel has been teaching people to pray the scriptures by encouraging people to ask four questions of the verse they are reading. These questions are similar to those used by Martin Luther and Walter and Ingrid Trobisch. The questions are:
THANKS: What in this verse makes me thankful?
REGRET: What in this verse causes me regret?
INTERCESSION (prayer): What does this text lead me to pray for?
PURPOSE: What action does this text encourage me to take today?
We created the acronym T.R.I.P. to help remember these four questions.
As you read the Daily Texts, you can use all or some of these questions to listen to what God is saying to you in the selected passage. Practice the T.R.I.P. pattern with John 15:4. "Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me."
THANKS: I thank you, Lord, that I am in you. And you have chosen to live in me. You want me to be fruitful in my life with you. I am able to look forward to your will being done in me because you are in me. Because you are in me, I have hope.
REGRET: I regret that I try to go it alone without asking your help.
INTERCESSION: I pray, Lord, for help in turning one thing I try to do alone over to you. (Be specific and identify the one thing you want God to carry today.)
PURPOSE: Today, any time I am inclined to take back what I turned over to you, I will say, "It's yours, God not mine."
Members and visitors who have difficulty hearing are encouraged to approach a greeter or usher to obtain a listening device upon entering the Narthex prior to worship. Three devices are available.
Flowers for the Altar
Flowers to the glory of God, and in memory of, or in honor of, an individual can be requested by contacting Madge Selinsky at (703) 527-2182 in advance of the date on which you would like to provide the flowers. The cost is $50 per arrangement.