There are two traditions for the theme of the Last Sunday of the Church Year.
The older tradition is the emphasis of End Time and its transition into Advent. In the Historic Lutheran Lectionary, the Gospel for the Last Sunday of the Church Year was the parable of the ten virgins, with the emphasis on readiness for Christ’s return. Sometimes this was called “Sunday of the Fulfillment.” (See Wikipedia article on Totensonntag.)
The newer tradition is the observance of Christ the King, which is also fitting. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end of all things. Often Christ the King has a passion emphasis, which shows us that Christ as King is not always what we would expect. The passion Gospels are an opportunity to proclaim the Theology of the Cross. Even as King, Christ suffered, and he revealed the glory of his love in his suffering. As his loyal subjects, we can expect suffering in the world, too.
Father of heavenly lights
we pray for our nation in the coming election.
As we choose our leaders
guide us by your commandments
and teach us not to put our trust
in mortal men who cannot save,
but to trust you alone
for every good and perfect gift.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of kings
and Lord of lords,
and you live and reign over all.
Bless your church
and move us to use the freedoms our nation grants us
to make your Gospel known in our land.
Spirit of life,
stir our faith in your holy Word so that,
even as we do what we can and as we seek to do your will,
we trust your promise that you are our Refuge and Fortress,
and that you alone can work all things
for the good of your holy people.
Gracious God, rule in our hearts alone—now and forever.
our ever-present help in trouble,
help us not to be afraid when we see people in an uproar,
trying to change the world with violence and terror.
Cool the heat of hatred,
and move people to peace
for the good of all.
Set our hearts at peace
with your peace that is ours in Jesus,
and with your promise to protect
and work all for good.
Move us to proclaim your peace to the troubled.
This prayer website began on June 18, 2016 as a collection of classic prayers. Usage (unique visitors and visits to pages in the site) has almost doubled each year. I am humbled and pleased to see my work used or linked by many church and Christian spirituality websites. The prayer database now has about 1,450 entries. In the past year I began posting pages of seasonal “Featured Prayers” as aids to those planning worship.
Something strange happened this year. Previous years showed heightened usage in March because of worship planners looking for resources for Lent and Easter, and then dropped in April after the rush. This year, April usage was greater than March, and May greater than April. With COVID-19, the whole world is in a time of crisis and Christians are looking for prayers and prayer resources for worship. The most visited entries in early 2020 have been “Kyrie Eleison / Lord, Have Mercy,”“In the Midst of Life We Are in Death,”“Litany of the Holy Spirit” and “Litany of the Most Holy Trinity.” The common theme in all of these entries is Christians crying out, “Lord, have mercy.”
I pray that God would continue to make this website a blessing to many who visit it, and as classic prayers are shared, make it a blessing to even more as hearts and minds are directed to our Lord, who has mercy.
Lord God, heavenly Father, make us watchful and heedful in awaiting the coming of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that when he stands at the door and knocks, he may find us not sleeping in carelessness and sin, but awake and rejoicing in his appearing; through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever.