23 January 2009

Prayer of the Church

LSB Altar Book offers a number of Prayers of the Church that may be used in the Divine Service.  The one beginning on page 442 is particularly strong.  It comes from the old Service Book and Hymnal.  What is NOT noted in LSB is the way that this prayer could be shortened by dropping petitions to provide you with the "core" of the prayer.  SBH indicated this by setting the following paragraphs against the outer margin and indenting the optional ones (which I simply here omit).  Thus, in its most basic form this prayer would be prayed as follows, which is how we often pray it at Weekday spoken Divine Services:

Almighty God, we give thanks for all Your goodness and bless You for the love that sustains us from day to day.  We praise You for the gift of Your Son, our Savior, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  We thank You for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter; for Your holy Church; for the means of grace, for the lives of all faithful and just people, and for the hope of the life to come.  Help us to treasure in our hearts all that You have done for us, and enable us to show our thankfulness in lives that are wholly given to Your service.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Save and defend Your whole Church, purchased with the precious blood of Christ.  Strengthen Your faithful people through the Word and the Holy Sacraments, making them perfect in love, and establishing in them the faith once delivered to the saints.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Send the light of Your truth into all the earth.  Raise up faithful servants of Christ to advance the Gospel both at home and in distant lands.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Preserve our nation in justice and honor that we may lead a peacable lifewith integrity.  Grant health and favor to all who bear office in our land, especially the President and congress of the United States, the governor and legislature of this state, and all who make, administer, and judge our laws.  Help them to serve this people according to Your holy will.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

By Your Word and Holy Spirit comfort all who are in sorrow or need, sickness or adversity (especially...).  Be with those who suffer persecution for the faith.  Have mercy on those to whom death draws near (especially...).  Bring consolation to those in sorrow, and grant to all a measure of Your love, taking them into Your tender care.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

We remember with thanksgiving those who have loved and served You in Your Church on earth, who now rest from their labors (especially...).  Keep us in everlasting fellowship with all Your saints, and bring us at last to the joys of Your heavenly Kingdom.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

All these things and whatever else You know that we need, grant us, Father, for the sake of Him who died and rose again and now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

1 comment:

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

That is almost exactly what we do here. Though, I also use the other two from time to time.