11 July 2019

Prayers to the Holy Spirit

Sasse once opined that the place that the invocation of the saints came to have in the Church arose as a result of a truncated development in Trinitarian theology resulting from the collapse of the ancient world, and that what rightly belonged there were not prayers to the saints, but prayers directed to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. I have often wondered if he got that right or not, but there can be little doubt that one of the features of the great prayers of Lutheran Orthodoxy is a robust calling on God the Holy Spirit. This has struck me forcefully since using Lutheran Prayer Companion on a regular basis. 

The following samples are offered just as illustrative; they are by no means exhaustive. There are many more! 

O God the Holy Spirit, sanctify us, one and all, in Your truth, and grant that we may with right devotion and holy reverence attend to Your precious Word, which is able to save our souls, write it and seal it on our hearts by true faith, conform our lives to it most diligently for the glory of Your great name, and one day come to Your eternal glory, and in the choir of all the holy angels and elect forever worship and glorify You. Amen. 19. Prayer from the first petition of the Lord's Prayer

O Lord God, Holy Spirit, direct me and other Christians, whom You have adopted in Holy Baptism as fellow citizens of Your kingdom, that we may renounce all ungodliness and worldly passions and shun all works of the flesh, such as adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, murder, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these, about which You warned us through Your chosen instrument, Paul, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Strengthen us in the true faith and in true godliness, that in the kingdom of Christ we may lead a Christian life, and serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him. Finally, take us to heaven, the eternal kingdom of joy and glory, and when our soul must leave the body, let it hear the gracious voice of our Jesus: "Come, you blessed of My Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Amen. 24 Prayer from the second petition of the Lord's Prayer

O Holy Spirit, give me a new heart and a new spirit, and make me a new man henceforth, walking in the commandments of God, keeping His statutes and acting according to them. 29 Prayer from the third petition of the Lord's Prayer

...the power of the Holy Spirit enlighten me. ...my Comforter be with me. 35. Evening Benediction on Wednesday

O God the Holy Spirit, renew my heart from henceforth, that I may not let the heavy debt of my sins increase anew, nor the righteous wrath of God heap upon my soul by unrepentance, but that, as long as I live, I may have the words of the Lord before my eyes, and consent to no sin against His commandments. Yet should I sin out of human frailty by the seduction of Satan and my own flesh and blood, stir me up at once to genuine repentance, and help me with all humility both to seek the forgiveness of my transgressions and to receive it. Strip my heart of all callousness and bitter feeling, and kindle in it true and fervent love for my neighbor, that I may forgive the faults of my brothers and sisters from the heart, bless those who curse me, do good to those who hate me, pray for those who injure and persecute me, and so demonstrate that I am a true, obedient child of my Father in heaven. Enlighten and convert all other sinful men and women, all unholy, hardened and impenitent souls, that they may truly acknowledge their great sins, fear the fiery wrath of God, recoil from the ceaseless torments of hell, repent of their iniquities, in true faith take hold of the bloody merit of Jesus, amend their ungodly lives, and be sustained to eternal salvation; through the blood and wounds of Christ. Amen. 39. Prayer from the fifth petition of the Lord's Prayer

O Holy Spirit, when the evil last hour comes, put on us the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Equip us with the shield of faith, that we may able to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. Teach us to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, that we may do well in all things and hold the field. 44. Prayer from the sixth petition of the Lord's Prayer

O God the Holy Spirit, do not forsake me, but abide with me constantly until the final moment of my life, and keep Your powerful comfort close at hand to oppose all the tribulations of the evil one. Be my strength in greatest weakness, that my last meal in this world may be the Holy Supper, my last thought to imagine Jesus crucified and dying, my last word may be to call out with my mouth, "Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit." 49. Prayer from the seventh petition of the Lord's Prayer

O Holy Spirit, of the same essence, power, and glory with God the Father and His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our governor, leader, and director: I beseech You from my inmost heart to grant me Your divine grace and to help me, that I may receive worthily the Holy Sacrament to the salvation of my soul, and then kindle in me, above all, a true, genuine faith, that I may learn to trust firmly the words of my dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and not doubt that I truly receive under the bread and wine His essential body and blood, forcefully though my reason may strive against it, and especially that, in this precious pledge, I may sincerely remember and take comfort in the fact that my dear Lord Christ was given into death for me, and that all that He reaped by His bitter suffering and dying was also done for my good and is truly effective for me. Additionally, by the use of this high and heavenly feast, also work true love in my heart, that I may be true and faithful to my neighbor, serve him insofar as I may, and show him every good, even as my dear Lord and Savior has done for me. And help me, good and faithful God, from henceforth to amend my life, to guard myself against sin, to increase in piety, and never again to anger You, with my heavenly Father and His dear Son, Jesus Christ, O highest Counselor, Advocate, and Helper in every need, for the glory of Your holy name and the salvation and blessedness of my poor soul. Amen. 308. Prayer before receiving the Holy Supper, to the Holy Spirit

O God the Holy Spirit, who proceed from the Father and are sent by the Son, of the same substance with them, coeternal with them, in one divine and indivisible nature: I adore You, I honor, praise, and glorify You and give thanks to You from my inmost heart for all Your benefits, and most especially that by Your grace You have called and brought me to the holy Christian faith, poured Yourself out in my Baptism, and never cease to work in me Your own works. 365. Thanksgiving for Sanctification

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