After Communion

O Lord Jesus Christ, you have richly fed and refreshed my soul. Help me to love you with all my heart, truly believe in you, and live according to your will. Finally, grant me a blessed and joyful end that I may live and remain with you forever.

Source: Pomeranian Agenda, possibly by Johannes Bugenhagen, 16th century.

Original in German:

O Herr Jesu Christ, der du meine Seele gar reichlich gespeiset und getränket hast, ich bitte dich, gib, daß ich dich von Herzen recht möge lieben, an dich wahrhaftig gläuben, und nach deinem heiligen Willen leben, beschere mir auch endlich ein selig und frölich Ende, auf daß ich mit dir in Ewigkeit leben, und bei dir bleiben möge, der du mit dem u. (Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 381.2)

Before Communion

Lord Jesus Christ, our only comfort, our hope, our righteousness, our strength and sure defense, kindle in our hearts a desire, hunger and thirst for the eternal food of the soul, your true body and blood, that we may gladly and frequently receive the sacrament, knowing our sins, but relying on you to strengthen and assure us until life’s journey ends and we come to you in our heavenly homeland to see you face to face and dwell with you through all eternity.

Wilhelm Loehe, Samenkoerner des Gebets, p. 139, #88

Original in German:

Herr Jesu Christe, mein einziger Trost, meine Hoffnung, mein Leben, meine Gerech tigkeit, meine Stärke und meine Burg, ich bitte dich, du wollest mein Herz entzünden mit herzlichem Verlangen, Hunger und Durst nach der ewigen Speise meiner Seele, nach deinem wahren Leibe und Blute, daß ich in wahrer Erkenntniß meiner Sünden und starker Zuversicht zu dir dies dein hochwürdiqes Sakrament oft und ohne Ueberdruß möge gebrauchen, daß ich damit ohne Unterlaß meine Seele und Gewissen möge stärken und versichern, bis ich dermaleins meine Reise vollende, das rechte Vaterland erlange, zu du komme, dich von Angesicht zu Angesicht schaue, und ewig bei dir bleibe. Amen.

Early translation in traditional English:

Lord Jesus Christ, our only comfort, our hope, our righteousness, our strength and sure defence, we beseech Thee, kindle in our breasts a fervent desire, hunger, and thirst for that eternal food of the soul,—Thy true body and blood,— that we may gladly and frequently receive the glorious Sacrament in true realization of our sins and strong reliance upon Thee, unto the strengthening and assurance of our souls, until at last life’s pilgrimage ended, we come to Thee in the true Fatherland, to see Thee face to face, and abide with Thee through all eternity. Amen. (Wilhelm Loehe, Seed Grains of Prayer, English edition, #88.)

Before Communion

Lord, I am not worthy to be a guest at your holy table, yet I have heard the sweet words of your invitation, and you have promised me forgiveness of my sins through your body and blood which I eat and drink in this sacrament. O dear Lord, I know that your divine Word and promise are true. I do not doubt them, and resting on them, I eat and drink with you. Let it be to me according to your Word.

Source: Attributed to Martin Luther, no German original found in Die Gebete Luthers, from The Collection of Baron Bunsen, p. 182 #3 Tr. Catherine Winkworth.

Version in traditional English by Catherine Winkworth:

Lord Jesu Christ, though of a truth I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof, yet am I in sore need of Thy help, and desirous of Thy grace, that I may attain godliness and salvation.  I come now in no other confidence than this, that I have heard the sweet words wherewith Thou invitest me to Thy table, and dost promise me, unworthy though I be, forgiveness of my sins through Thy body and blood, which I eat and drink in this Sacrament. O dear Lord, I know that Thy Divine word and promise are true; I doubt them not; and, resting on them, I eat and drink with Thee. Be it unto me according to Thy word. Amen.

For Obedience to God’s Word

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us your holy Gospel and revealing your love to us. In your boundless mercy, help us hold on to this blessed light of your` Word, and through your Holy Spirit govern and guide our hearts, so that we may never stray from it, but hold fast to it and finally be saved; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Pomeranian Agenda, possibly by Johannes Bugenhagen, 16th century.

Original in German:

Wir danken dir, Herr Gott himmlischer Vater, daß du uns dein heiliges Evangelium gegeben, und dein väterliches Herz hast erkennen lassen; wir bitten deine grundlose Barmherzigkeit, du wollest dies selige Licht deines Worts bei uns gnädiglich erhalten und durch deinen heiligen Geist unsere Herzen also leiten und führen, daß wir nimmermehr davon abweichen, sondern fest daran hallen und endlich dadurch selig werden, durch Jesum Christum, deinen Sohn u.

For Hearing the Word

O Lord, our Maker, Redeemer and Comforter, we are gathered in your presence to hear your holy Word. Open our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that through the preaching of your Word we may be taught to repent of our sins, to believe in Jesus in life and in death, and to grow day by day in grace and holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913, p. 7.

As it appeared in The Lutheran Hymnary in traditional English:

O Lord our Maker Redeemer and Comforter we are assembled in Thy presence to hear Thy holy word. We pray Thee so to open our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit that through the preaching of Thy word we may be taught to repent of our sins, to believe on Jesus in life and in death, and to grow day by day in grace and holiness. Hear us for Christ’s sake. Amen.

A Personal Confession of Sin

Almighty God, I am sorry for my many sins. I am proud and corrupt. I do not fully know my sins, and can never be sorry enough for them. Father of all comfort, do not deal with me in judgment, but in your great mercy. Give me your Holy Spirit so that I hear your Word, realize my sins, learn humility, seek you in truth, and be relieved in heart and conscience by the promise of our Lord Jesus. O Lord Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, by your bitter death and suffering and with your righteousness and innocence, cover my sin and evil. May I not only hear your Word, but keep it in my heart and live by it.

Source: Johannes Bugenhagen in  Gebetbuch, enthaltend…,  # 60.

Ich armer Sünder bekenne mich Gott dem Allmächtigen, daß ick leider viel gesündigt habe und mich in Sünden alfo vertiefet und verderbet, daß ich meine Sünde und fündlich Leben weder erkenne, noch genugsam beweine. Darum, allmächtiger Gott, ein Vater alles Trostes, ich bitte dich, du wollest mit mir thun nicht nach der Menge meiner Sünden, sondern nach deiner mannigsaltigen Bannherzigkeit, und sende mir zu deinen heiligen Geist in Verkün digung deines Wortes, damit ich komme zur Erkenntniß meiner Sünde und sündlichen Lebens und daß ich mich möge wahrlich demüthigen, dich in Wahrheit suchen, und in tröstlichen Zusagen in unserm Herrn Jesu mein Herz und Gewissen wiederum zufrieden stellen. O Herr Jesu Christe, mein Erlöser, ich bitte dich durch dein bitter Sterben und Leiden, daß du wollest sein mein Fürbitter und Mittler bei Gott, deinem himmlischen Vater, und mit deiner Gerechtigkeit und Unschuld vertreten meine Sünde und Bosheit; dazu verleihe mir nicht allein zu hören das Wort, sondern auch das im Herzen zu behalten und darnach zu leben. Amen. Vater unser.

Remembrance of Baptism

Lord God, heavenly Father, we give you thanks for the wonderful gift of baptism and the many gifts that come with it: forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life through your Son Jesus Christ. In your grace and mercy, preserve us in faith that we may never doubt your promise, but find our comfort in you in all temptations. Send us your Holy Spirit that we may renounce sin and always continue in the righteousness given us in baptism, until we receive eternal salvation by your grace.

Source: Adapted from two German prayers, one by Martin Luther and one from the Pomeranian Agenda.

Original in German:

Herr Gott himlischer Vater, wir danken dir je billich das du die selige gnadenreiche Tauf durch den heiligen Tauffer Johannem hast erstlich angerichtet, und uns auch dazu lassen kommen, in welcher du uns umb dienes Suns Christi Jesu willen zusagest vergebung der suenden, den heyligen Geyst und das ewige leben. Wir bitten dich, erhalte uns inn sochem vertruqen auff dein gnad und barmhertzigkeyt das wir an socher zusagung nymmer mehr zweyffelen, sonder der selben inn allerley anfecchtun uns troesten, und gib durch deinen heyligen Geyst das wir fuer suenden uns hueten, unnd in solcher unschuld dazu wir durch die Tauffe kommen sind, bleyben moegen, Oder ja wo wir fallen. Unnd menschlicher schwacheiyt halb nicht koennen bestehen das wir inn suenden nicht ligen bleyben, sonder durch rechtschaffene Buss uns bekehren und deiner gnad unnd zusagun uns wider troesten und also durch din genad ewig selig warden.

Prayer of Good Courage

Lord God,
you have called your servants
to ventures of which
we cannot see the ending,
by paths as yet untrodden,
through perils unknown.
Give us faith to go out
with good courage,
not knowing where we go,
but only that your hand
is leading us
and your love
supporting us,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Eric Milner-White, Daily Prayer, p. 14. Originally published: Oxford University Press, 1941.

Original in traditional English:

The call of Abraham

O Lord God, who hast called thy servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown: Give us faith to go out with a good courage, not knowing whither we go, but only that thy hand is leading us, and thy love supporting us; to the glory of thy Name.

Praying with the Readings, Three Year Lectionary, Year C

For users of Christian Worship: Hymnal (2021)

  • Prayers of the Church based on the readings in the Three-Year Lectionary in Christian Worship: Hymnal (2021).
  • Prayers follow the themes and borrow language from the readings appointed for each Sunday.
  • Prayers often include petitions that reflect on minor festivals of the corresponding weeks when possible. For example, the prayer for Proper 8 (June 26-July 2) includes a petition that reflects on St. Peter and St. Paul (June 29):
    • “Strengthen, guide and protect those who spread your gospel, especially those who serve in faraway lands. Support them in all trials they suffer for the sake of the gospel, and let your kingdom spread to many.”
  • Prayers often include petitions that reflect on national holidays and observances (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, etc.).
  • Prayers have a flexible format with repeated responses drawn from the readings and psalms of the day. These can be replaced with traditional responses (Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.) if desired.
  • Each prayer ends with a classic collect chosen from the prayers of the early church or the Reformation era.
  • Download zip package includes files of the entire body of prayers in Word (docx), Rich Text (RTF) and Portable Document (PDF) formats, plus individual files of every single prayer in RTF format for easy access and insertion into a document, without having to scroll through a larger document file.

Question: Can these prayers be used with the Christian Worship (1993) lectionary?
Answer: Yes. A conversion chart for Sundays after Pentecost / End Time is included.

Readings for the Assembly: Cycle B (Mark (Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary)

Question: Can these prayers be used with the Revised Common Lectionary or lectionaries based on the RCL (Lutheran Service Book)?
Answer: Yes. Even though some of the Christian Worship (2021) readings may not be the same as Revised Common Lectionary, the Gospels will be the same most of the time, and so the Sunday themes will often match, too.

FREE TRIAL! To download some free-to-use prayers for Year B through SendOwl, click “Try Now!” below:

Price $28.00. To purchase through SendOwl, click “Buy Now!” below.

For users of the Revised Common Lectionary, and other lectionaries based on it (Lutheran Service Book).

Readings for the Assembly: Cycle B (Mark (Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary)
  • Prayers of the Church/Prayers of the People based on the readings in the Revised Common Lectionary.
  • Prayers follow the themes and borrow language from the readings appointed for each Sunday.
  • Prayers have a flexible format with repeated responses drawn from the readings and psalms of the day. These can be replaced with traditional responses (Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.) if desired.
  • Each prayer ends with a newly composed collect also reflecting on the themes in the readings.
  • Download zip package includes files of the entire body of prayers in Word (docx), Rich Text (RTF) and Portable Document (PDF) formats, plus individual files of every single prayer in RTF format for easy access and insertion into a document, without having to scroll through a larger document file.

Question: Can these prayers be used with the Christian Worship (1993) lectionary?
Answer: Yes. A conversion chart for Sundays after Pentecost / End Time is included.
Also: The choices for readings in Christian Worship (1993) are closer to the Revised Common Lectionary than they are to Christian Worship (2021).

Question: Can these prayers be used with the Christian Worship (2021) lectionary?
Answer: Yes. Even though some of the Revised Common Lectionary readings may not be the same as Christian Worship (2021), the Gospels will be the same most of the time, and so the Sunday themes will often match, too.
Also: This set is separately written and different from the set written specifically for Christian Worship (2021). The prayers in this set are more free in content, and there are no secular holiday or minor festival references.

Price $28.00. To purchase through SendOwl, click “Buy Now!” below.

See also…

Praying with the Readings, Historic Lectionary

“Now and Forever…” Contemporary Collects for Modern Lectionaries

October is Clergy Appreciation Month

October is clergy appreciation month!

Enhance your pastor’s personal prayer life, and possibly help in your pastor’s worship planning by giving these resources as gifts:

Christian Prayer

MockupThis book strives to bring together the best classic prayers and rites from many sources and arranges them for personal devotion. Most of the prayers are gathered from Christians of the past as a source of prayer for Christians today. Thus, the title Christian Prayer.

This prayer book can also be used for group or congregational worship. The topical prayers can be used as intercessions in corporate worship. The confessions and absolutions and the litanies can be read alone, but they are printed so they can be used with a leader and group.

The topical prayers drew from many sources, all updated in language and edited for consistency.

Seasonal Devotions and Home Liturgies are short rites can be used by families or small groups to observe days and seasons that may not always be celebrated in corporate worship, and some that may establish new traditions in the home. Lighting of an Advent Wreath, Blessing of a Nativity Scene, Chalking the Door for Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Days of Holy Week, Easter Eve and All Saints Day. As this book is being prepared, (April and May of 2020) we are being made painfully aware of the need for worship materials in the home.

Available now in paperback and for Kindle through Amazon.com. 

“Through Your Mercy, O Our God…” Prayers from the Mozarabic Church

This book is a collection of prayers from the Mozarabic tradition. The Mozarabs were Christians who lived in Spain under Islamic rule. The prayers in the Mozarabic Rite are free in style and substantial in meaning. Most of the prayers also seem to be very direct in presenting gospel content. They are also very consciously biblical. Some of the Mozarabic prayers also have a definite structure. Sometimes the structure is similar to the parallelism in Hebrew psalms. Some prayers remind me of a modern bullet list. The content, structure and biblical foundation of the prayers give them a special beauty, along with deep meaning.

Available through Amazon for Kindle and in paperback.

“God Be in My Head…” Prayers from Old Sarum

“God Be in My Head…” Prayers from Old Sarum – The Sarum Rite, also called the Use of Salisbury, was a variation of the Roman Rite developed in the 1100s that was known to be high in ceremony. It also had a wealth of richly worded prayers that have influenced Christian worship ever since. Many prayers from the Sarum Rite were used in the Book of Common Prayer. This book gathers prayers from the original Sarum Missals, Breviaries and Psalters and presents them in a single collection in contemporary liturgical English, and may be useful in public or private devotions. Click here to order through Amazon.com.

The New Ancient Collects

The New Ancient Collects – For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. Click here to order through Amazon.com.

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church –  A collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources. Click here to order through Amazon.com.

Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage

Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by [Stratman, Paul]Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage –A collection of prayers from the history of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church from Luther to Loehe. The collection includes prayers by Johannes Bugenhagen, Georg C. Dieffenbach, Veit Dietrich, Matthias Flacius, Wilhelm Loehe, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Joachim Mynsinger, Johann G. Olearius, Johann Jacob Rambach, and the early agendas and prayer books of the Austrian, Brunswick, Hamburg, Lueneberg, Norwegian, Nuremberg, Pomeranian, Riga, Russian, Saxon, Schleswig-Holstein, and Swedish Evangelical-Lutheran churches. Click here to order through Amazon.com.

Also available for scholars of Celtic Christianity:

The Antiphonary of Bangor and the Divine Offices of Bangor