05 October 2010

How does a Lutheran pray upon the birthday?

Take a page from Starck!

Eternal, gracious, and merciful God, by Your favor I have again lived to see my birthday, the day on which You ushered me into the light of day, to receive me later by Holy Baptism as Your child.  By the former favor I was made a human being and your creature, by the latter I become Your child and heir.  And so this day will be a day of prayer, praise and thanksgiving to me.


Having been nurtured in Your arms, I have been guided and accompanied by You in the years that followed.  You have given me food and clothing, and have graciously guarded me until this day.  O my God, I am not worthy of the least of all of the mercies and of all the faithfulness that You have shown me.  Come and hear; I will declare what the Lord has done for my body and soul.  Unfortunately I cannot recount everything!  One could sooner number the stars in the sky than the gracious gifts I have received from You, O Lord.  From how many dangers You have delivered me!  How many calamities You have warded off from me!  Your Spirit has taught, governed, guided, and when I was leaning toward sin, has inwardly warned and restrained me.

O my God, while my years increase and Your favors also become numerous, I am reminded today of the sins that I have committed throughout my life.  Forgive them to me for Jesus’ sake.  Blot them out with His holy blood, and let me obtain mercy for His sake.  Grant me grace to spend the remaining days of my life, which are written in Your book, in true fear of You and in sincere faith, that all my doings and my whole life may be pleasing to You.  And since I do not know the number of my days on earth, while I know that You have fixed bounds for me which I cannot pass, keep me from shortening my own life by anger, intemperance, sins, wrecklessness, and crimes.  Let me reach the limit of life appointed for me in health, under Your blessing and protection, until after this earthly and transitory life You will give me eternal and heavenly life for the sake of Jesus Christ.  Till then I shall celebrate this day, as often as it recurs, with praise and thanksgiving, and shall now sing:

My soul, now praise your Maker!  Let all within me bless His name Who makes you full partaker Of mercies more than you dare claim.  Forget Him not whose meekness Still bears with all your sin, Who heals your ev’ry weakness, Renews your life within; Whose grace and care are endless And saved you through the past; Who leaves no suff’rer friendless But rights the wronged at last.  LSB 820:1


tehazy said...

What a rich, rich Christo-centric prayer. Thank you for sharing it.

scott said...

I agree... Starcks prayer book is loaded with them!