Our True Rest

Lord of heaven and earth,
reveal your glory to us
in our Lord Jesus Christ,
so that we may lay
our sin and guilt
and all the burdens of life
on him,
and find in him
our true rest;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, © 2019 from Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, Collect for Proper 9 / Pentecost 7, Year A, based on Matthew 11:25–30.

Prayer about the Fires in California, November 2018

Gracious Lord,
your holy Word tells us
that no trouble or loss
can separate your people
from your love which is ours in Jesus Christ our Lord.

We pray
for those who have suffered losses of home and property,
for those whose loved ones are missing,
and for those whose loved ones have died
in the wildfires of California.

Deliver your people from all evil.
Remind us all that the things of this world pass away,
but you and your mercy endure forever. 
Use this disaster
to lift the eyes of many
from the things of this world,
and to look to you
as the only provider, protector,
and refuge in all trouble;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, 2018



Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the living Word,
and your Word is truth.
Sanctify us with the Word of your holy Gospel.
Set us apart for you high and holy purpose
of living under you in your kingdom.
Let your rule expand in our hearts
until we rule there no more
but live according to your good and gracious will.
Reform us in your image
transforming us to live
in holiness and love.
Your Word of Scripture alone can do this.
The message of your words and works on our behalf
are the power of God that saves.
So Save us. Change us.
Renew your church.
Move us to live for your glory
and to serve our neighbors.
You live and reign with your Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, 2018, for www.acollectionofprayers.com.

As the School Year Begins

Lord Jesus Christ,
as a child, you increased in wisdom and stature,
you listened to your teachers and asked them questions.
Bless those who learn that they may grow in knowledge
of their Maker, Redeemer, Life-giver,
and of your glorious world we live in.
Bless those who teach,
that they may share the wisdom
they have received from above,
and that they may do their work
with patience and love
that reflect your mercy that endures forever.

You yourself are the Great Teacher.
Instruct all of us in your commandments:
to show love by glorifying you and serving our neighbors.
Disciple all of us with your holy Gospel:
to be forgiven, renewed and empowered
through your life, death and resurrection.
Fill our hearts with wonder and excitement
as we see your divine design in math and science,
as we see your hand in history,
as we learn to glorify you through art and music,
as we learn to know our neighbors,
their hopes, their hurts, their needs,
that your love may flow through us to them.

Your holy Word also tells us,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
By your power, help us increase in wisdom,
never ceasing to learn all the days of our lives,
until we sit at your feet in your Kingdom;
where with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
you live and reign, one God, now and forever.

Source: © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

Creative Commons License

Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, as a child, you increased in wisdom and stature…” is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

“you grew in wisdom and stature” is a reference to Luke 2:52

“you listened to your teachers and asked them questions” is a reference to Luke 2:46

“patience and love that reflect your mercy that endures forever” is a reference to Psalm 107:1

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,…” is Proverbs 9:10

For the Commemoration of Musicians

Written for the commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750; Heinrich Schütz, 1672; George Frederick Handel, 1759; musicians, July 28. 

Paul C. Stratman at the Bach statue near St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany

Jesus, help us
as we work to sing your praise,
not just for beauty,
but for the instruction
and edification of our neighbor
with the message of your holy Gospel.
We give thanks
for the many artists,
musicians and poets
who keep your Word
before our eyes
and in our ears.
Even though many of them
now enjoy the eternal pleasure
of singing  your praise
at your right hand,
their songs of praise to you
are still heard here on earth.
When we make music,
help us to put away
all thoughts of competition,
jealousy, and glory for ourselves.
Instead, turn our thoughts to
doing all of our work,
striving for excellence,
bearing your message,
and making all of our music
to the glory of God alone.

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman

Creative Commons License
Prayer for the Commemoration of Musicians by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

“Jesus, help us” recalls Johann Sebastian Bach’s practice of writing “J. J.” or “Jesu, juva,” “Jesus, help” on the top of his manuscripts.

“for the instruction and edification of our neighbor” recalls Bach’s preface to his Orgelbüchlein.

“now enjoy the eternal pleasure…” is a reference to Psalm 16:11

“turn our thoughts to…” is a reference to 1 Corinthians 10:31

“to the glory of God alone” recalls Johann Sebastian Bach’s practice of writing “S. D. Gl.” or “Soli Deo gloria,” “to the glory of God alone” on the bottom of his manuscripts.

After a Fire

Gracious Father,
you give your angels charge over your children
to keep them in all their ways
and protect them from danger.
Give healing and recovery
to those who were injured
or suffered losses in yesterday’s fire.
Comfort those who mourn.
Keep us and our homes from all danger.
Continue to protect and support
the fire and rescue workers
who help and protect us.
You alone, O Lord, give all deliverance and protection.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, April 8, 2018

The fire was in an apartment building only a few blocks from our church.