24 May 2008

On the Bidding Prayer

The Bidding Prayer is truly one of the treasures of the Church. It comes down to us from a time when this form of intercession was practiced in the regular Divine Service of the Roman Church. Even though in the Middle Ages it disappeared from the regular Roman rite, it remained in the Good Friday liturgy as a testimony to how Christians used to pray.

In LSB, the Bidding Prayer is, of course, appointed for its age old use on Good Friday, but additionally it may "replace the prayers in the Daily Office or the Prayer of the Church in the Divine Service." (LSB Altar Book, p. 406)

The prayer consists of a bid by an assisting minister (deacon), followed by a time for the congregation to pray (during which they traditionally knelt), followed by a collect by the pastor (during which the congregation traditionally stood), and which they sealed with their "amen!"

Here is the scope of the Lutheran version of this great prayer, outlined in the bids to pray:

Let us pray for the whole Christian Church, that our Lord God would defend her against all the assaults and temptations of the adversary and keep her perpetually on the true foundation, Jesus Christ.

Let us pray all the ministers of the Word, for all vocations in the Church, and for all the people of God.

Let us pray for our catechumens, that our Lord God would open their hearts and the door of His mercy that, having received the remission of all their sins by the washing of regeneration, they may be mindful of their Baptism and evermore be found in CHrist Jesus, our Lord.

Let us pray for all in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Let us pray our Lord God that He would deliver the world from all error, take away disease, ward off famine, set free those in bondage, grant health to the sick and a safe journey to all who travel.

Let us pray for all who are outside the Church, that our Lord God would be pleased to deliver them from their error, call them to faith in the true and living God and His only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and gather them into His family, the Church.

Let us pray for peace, that we may come to the knowledge of God's holy Word and walk before Him as is fitting for Christians.

Let us pray for our enemies, that God would remember them in mercy and graciously grant them such things as are both needful for them and profitable for their salvation.

Let us pray for the fruits of the earth, that God would send down His blessing upon them and graciously dispose our hearts to enjoy them according to His own good will.

Finally, let us pray for all those things which our Lord would have us ask, saying: Our Father...


Ben said...

That's how we (Catholics) pray now, not always as extensively, but in each Mass we pray three or four items such as the ones you listed, and very often during daily mass the priest will ask "for what else shall we pray" and those gathered will offer up their own bids.

Of course, some of the old ladies think that, "For a special intention, let us pray to the Lord," is somehow appropriate for corporate prayer. It drives me crazy, how do I know their "special intention" isn't something silly or wicked?

Scott Larkins said...

Watch those nasty T-Sorms Fr.Will!
Coming atcha!