06 January 2011

On General Prayer 2

- it's found in the LSB Altar Book, p. 441, or in the old TLH, p. 23,24.  First, its provenance.  It appeared in the Common Service Book and Reed believes it to have been written by Seiss based perhaps on some German antecedents.  Second, its concise and beautiful content.  It thanks the Almighty and Eternal God for his innumerable blessings, counting chief among them the preservation of His saving Word and the sacraments.  It intercedes for the Church and for her mission and asks for strength for all Christians to set their hopes fully on the grace revealed in Christ and for strength to fight the good fight of faith and in the end receive the crown of eternal life.  The Lord's blessing on the nations and our country and the education of our young is sought.  His gracious defense from all sorts of perils is asked, and in a most beautiful phrase his mercy for those in need:  "Be the God and Father of the lonely and forsaken, the helper of the sick and needy, the comforter of the distressed and those who sorrow."  Individual needs may be listed.  Then a prayer for acceptance of our very selves and of the gifts we have brought and presented as our humble service.  A prayer for the Holy Spirit to be given to all who approach the Lord's Table so that all communicants receive in sincere repentance, firm faith and to their abundant blessing.  Finally, since we are strangers and pilgrims on earth, a petition that we might by a true faith and godly life prepare for the world to come and a final plea that when our last hour comes God would support us by His might and receive us to His heavenly kingdom through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  It's all there, so rich, so full, so beautiful.  I'd encourage our pastors to use it often.  The people of God will thank you for it.


kay m. said...

Our pastor uses this prayer nearly every week. It's wonderful to hear it often enough to know parts of it quite well. My favorite line is the one you quoted, though I'm still more used to "widows and fatherless." I also love the part about letting "useful arts flourish among us."

Anonymous said...

When the prayer says, "we commend to You our schools..." is that only Lutheran schools? Because it states later in the petition Christian virture. What say you?

Michael Erickson

William Weedon said...

I agree, Kay! Hope you guys had a great Christmas.

Michael, it came from a happier day when you could assume your child's public school education would indeed be influenced by the faith. Maybe we need to pray it even more in these gray and latter days!

Tapani Simojoki said...

I use this from time to time, but increasingly frequently.

[And in a country with no Lutheran schools, I guess that particular petition is all the more needed.]

Christopher Esget said...

Dear brother,

Thank you for this encouragement.