In Trouble and Turmoil, Be Our Peace

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Lord of the nations,
God in whom we trust,
you alone are holy,
good, wise,
and the source of every blessing.

In trouble and turmoil,
be our peace.
In our hearts and minds
give us the peace that surpasses understanding.
In our mouths
put words of peace,
and make us peacemakers
that we may be called your children.

Let the truth of your Word
govern and guide us
when we are inclined
to be like Pontius Pilate
and say, “What is truth?”

When we are unsure of all things,
draw us to you,
our faithful God,
steadfast in love,
our rock, refuge and fortress.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, January 6, 2021.

Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save. Psalm 146:3

Christmas Day

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Glorious Father,
you have revealed your glory,
your grace and your truth
by sending your only Son
to become flesh and dwell among us.
Enlighten darkened hearts
with this true light
that shines on everyone,
that all might hear, believe, and receive
the right to become children of God;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Newly composed by Paul C. Stratman in Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, #16. ©  2019 Paul C. Stratman

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Christmas Eve

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O Lord,
you have filled this holy night
with the brightness of the true Light,
Jesus Christ.
You have revealed
your peace and goodwill through him
and have given us blessed hope.
Increase our joy
with that news that a child is born to us,
a Son is given to us;
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Opening phrase based on the historic collect for Christmas Eve, newly composed by Paul C. Stratman in Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, #15. ©  2019 Paul C. Stratman

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Litany of the Nativity

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Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

God, loving Father, you sent your one and only Son, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you are the Word who became flesh to save the world, have mercy.
Holy Spirit, you connect us to the love and power of God with your Word, have mercy.

Holy Trinity, splendor and majesty are yours.
Holy Trinity, glory and strength are yours.

Jesus,
promised seed of the woman,
our shield and great reward,
Bringer of peace,
One to whom the scepter belongs,
promised Prophet,
Son of David,
Immanuel,
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace, have mercy on us.

Jesus,
Shepherd of your people Israel,
from of old, from ancient times,
Word who became flesh,
Savior,
Lord’s anointed, have mercy on us.

Jesus,
because you were conceived by the Holy Spirit,
because you were born of the virgin Mary,
because you became flesh and made your dwelling among us,
because you became truly human, like us in every way, except without sin,
because you endured every hardship common to humanity,
because you suffered under Pontius Pilate,
because you were crucified,
because you suffered death as the wages of the world’s sin,
because you were buried, hear our prayer.

Jesus,
because you broke the gates of hell,
because you proclaimed your victory in Satan’s realm,
because you rose in glory,
because you recalled faithless disciples and restored their faith by saying “Peace,”
because you ascended on high,
because you intercede for us at your Father’s right hand, hear our prayer.

Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Lamb of God, grant us your peace.

To us a child is born.
To us a Son is given.

Lord Jesus Christ, Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing, give us your blessed hope as we hear again of your first coming. Fill our lives with the glory of your love, and empower us to live to your glory, for you are God’s gift of love, once wrapped in swaddling clothes, now wrapped in the pages of Scripture, no longer in a cattle stall or feeding trough, but living and reigning with your Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, dwelling in the highest glory, granting peace to your people, now and forever.
Amen.

Litany of the Nativity, © 2020 Paul C. Stratman, written for A Collection of Prayers, www.acollectionofprayers.com.

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This litany prayer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

Prayer for the Nation as the Election Approaches

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.

© 2012 Pastor Paul C. Stratman

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Prayer for the Nation as the Election Approaches by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

“Father of heavenly lights… …every good and perfect gift” are references to James 1:17

“guide us by your commandments” is a reference to 2 John 1:6

“not to put our trust in mortal men who cannot save” is a reference to Psalm 146:3

“King of kings and Lord of lords” is a reference to Revelation 19:16

“Refuge and Fortress” is a reference to Psalm 46 and Psalm 91:2

“you alone can work all things for the good of your holy people” is a reference to Romans 8:28

“rule in our hearts” is a reference to Colossians 3:15

Terrorism

Lord almighty,
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.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, © 2019
based on Psalm 46, Psalm 91, Romans 8:28.

A Prayer for Peace

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Lord Jesus Christ,
you told your disciples,
“My peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled,
and do not let it be afraid.”

Give us peace,
peace that surpasses all understanding,
peace and goodwill from you,
peace that guards our hearts and minds
and keeps them focused on you.

Move us
to be at peace,
to reflect your peace,
to maintain peace with everyone
as far as it depends on us.

Teach us
to reflect your love,
to not be overcome by evil,
but to overcome evil with good.

Stir our hearts
to be joyful in hope,
to endure trials patiently,
to persist in prayer
as we wait for you.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers, in response to the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, August 2020.


A Litany for Peace

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Good God,
gracious Father,
creator of us all,
have mercy on us.

O Jesus,
Son of God and Son of Man,
our brother,
have mercy on us.

True Spirit,
moving over us,
Lord and giver of life,
have mercy on us.

Look at our world, broken by sin.
Look at our hearts, broken in grief.
Look at our minds, shaken in confusion.
Have mercy on us.

Forgive our shortsightedness and open our eyes.
Forgive our hate and empower us to love.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Have mercy on us.

On those who are angry,
on those who are hurting,
on those who are weary,
on those who work for peace,
on those who protect and serve,
on those who suffer loss,
on those who are vulnerable,
have mercy, Lord.

Give wisdom to those who lead,
give patience to those who wait,
give healing to those who hurt.
Have mercy, Lord.

Father, from one man you made every nation of humanity,
you make the sun shine and the rain fall on the wicked and the good,
you so loved the world that you gave your only Son,
have mercy.

Jesus, you took on human flesh and became the brother of the human race,
you suffered great injustice to bear the sin of the world,
you are the tree of life whose leaves bring healing to the nations,
have mercy.

Holy Spirit, you moved the apostles to speak the languages of all nations,
you let your Word go out to all people,
you call and gather your church from all the world,
have mercy.

See our world and our nation.
Help the helpless,
strengthen the weak,
soften the hardened,
warm the loveless,
cool the angry,
cleanse our hearts.
Mercy!

Father and maker of all, you let this world stand because you are gracious. Work that same grace within us that we love because you first loved us, that we imitate you as your beloved children, and live our lives in love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Jesus, Savior of all people and lover of all souls, show us what love is yet again by setting your selfless love before our eyes. You welcomed tax collectors and zealots, and taught them all the way of love. When you were dying you forgave those who didn’t know what they were doing. You gave your friends who deserted you your greeting of peace. Empower us to love, forgive, and give us your peace; Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Holy Spirit, you caused Scripture to be written that we might learn love that is the fulfillment of the law, and that we might know Jesus and follow him in love. You give the spark of faith and you fan faith into flame. Move us to put our faith and hope to work with an active love, that we listen before speaking, think before acting, and consider the needs of others before our own.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, written during the violence in early June, 2020

References to Father, Son and Holy Spirit at the beginning, middle and end reflect characteristics of traditional litanies, and this is being written near Trinity Sunday.

The opening phrases “Good God,” “O Jesus” take the exclamations people often make when hearing bad news and develop them into petitions.

The shortening of responses “have mercy on us,” “have mercy, Lord,” “have mercy,” and finally “Mercy!” are intended to show a growing weariness.


In Time of National Distress

O Lord God, heavenly Father,
by our evil doings and constant disobedience
we have deserved your punishment,
but for your name’s sake spare us.
Restrain everything that would harm us
and protect your suffering people,
that your Word may be declared faithfully
and without hindrance, and that we,
amending our sinful lives,
may walk obediently
to your holy commandments;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Freely modified from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, 1917, 1918.

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