For the Spread of Christ’s Kingdom

Almighty God and heavenly Father,
in your infinite love and goodness towards us,
you have given to us your only and most dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
to be our Redeemer and the Author of eternal life.
After he completed our redemption by his death
and ascended into heaven,
he sent his apostles, prophets,
evangelists, teachers,
and pastors abroad into the world.
By their work and ministry
he gathered together a great flock from all parts of the world,
for the eternal praise of your holy name.
For these great benefits of your eternal goodness
we give our most humble thanks.
We praise and worship you,
and we humbly pray,
by your blessed Son,
grant to all your people everywhere
who call on your holy name,
that we may continue to show ourselves thankful to you
for these and all your other benefits,
and that we may daily increase
and go forward in knowledge and faith
in you and your Son by the Holy Spirit,
so that your holy name may be forever glorified,
and your blessed kingdom enlarged;
through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
now and forever. Amen.

Source: Sarum Rite, eleventh century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Shortened version:

Almighty God and heavenly Father, in your infinite love and goodness towards us, you have given us your only and most beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who sent his apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors abroad into the world. Grant that all your people everywhere may  go forward in knowledge and faith in you and your Son by the Holy Spirit, so that your holy name may be forever glorified and your blessed kingdom enlarged;  through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. 

For Those Who Minister

O God,
your ways are mercy and truth.
Carry on your gracious work,
and with your gifts
give us what our human weakness cannot attain,
that the stewards of your mysteries
may be grounded in perfect faith,
and shine like the brightness of the sky above
with lives lived to your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Leonine Sacramentary, fifth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

May Our Fruit Endure to Eternal Life

O Lord of the harvest,
grant that those you call to serve in your holy Church
may always abound in your work,
and that the fruit of their labors
may endure to eternal life;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 48 #1 (Ember Days in Autumn)

A Prayer before Preaching

800px-lucas_cranach_d-c384-_-_martin_luther2c_1528_28veste_coburg29_28cropped29Lord God, you have appointed me as a Bishop and Pastor in your Church,
but you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a task.
If I had lacked your help, I would have ruined everything long ago.
Therefore, I call upon you:
I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to you;
I shall teach the people.
I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon your Word.
Use me as your instrument — but do not forsake me,
for if ever I should be on my own, I would easily wreck it all.

Source: Martin Luther [Die Gebete Luthers, #515]

Source of this version: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/prayers/sacristy.txt

This text was translated in 1999 for Project Wittenberg by James Kellerman and has been placed in the public domain by him. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text.

Also called “Luther’s Sacristy Prayer”

Original in German:

Herr Gott, du hast mich inn deiner Kirchen eynen ßischoff und Pfarrherr gesetzt, du sihest, wie ich so ungeschickt bin, solch groß und schwer Ampt recht außzurichten, und wo es ohn deinen Rath gewest were, so hett ichs schon vor langst alles mit eynander verterbet, darumb raffe ich dich an; ich will zwaar gern meinen Munde und mein Hertz darzu leihen und neygen, ich will das Volck lehren, ich will auch selbst immer lehrnen und mit deinem wort umbgehen und demselben fleissig nachdencken; brauche du mein als deines Werckzeuges, alleyne, lieber HERRE, verlasse du mich nicht, dann wo ich werde alleyne sein, so werde ichs lcichtlich alles mit eynander verterben.