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.
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.
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank you that through your Son Jesus Christ you have sown your holy Word among us. Prepare our hearts by your Holy Spirit that we may diligently and reverently hear your Word, keep it in good hearts and bring forth fruit with patience. Do not let our hearts incline to sin, but subdue them by your power and in all persecutions comfort us with your grace and continual help; through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, now and forever.
Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank you that by your Word you have brought us out of the darkness of error into the light of your grace. Mercifully help us to walk in that light, guard us from all error and false doctrine and grant that we may not become ungrateful and despise and persecute your Word, as your people did long ago, but receive it with all our heart, govern our lives according to it and put all our trust in your grace through the merit of your dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever.
inspire us to read your Scriptures
and to meditate upon them day and night.
We beg you to give us real understanding of what we need,
that we in turn may put its precepts into practice.
Yet we know that understanding and good intentions are worthless,
unless rooted in your graceful love.
So we ask that the words of Scriptures
may also be not just signs on a page,
but channels of grace into our hearts.
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord,
that your Word may go forth
and give light and understanding
to nourish the hearts of the simple.
Set our desires on your commandments,
so that we may receive with open heart
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding.
Dearest God and Lord,
strengthen and uphold us
in your pure, precious Word
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
and help us to show and live our thanks
with our fruits of faith
to your praise and thanks
Ach lieber Gott und Herr, stärcke und behalte uns inn deinem lieben reynen wort durch Jesum Christum, unsern Herren, und hilff uns, das wirs danckbarlich erkennen und kräfftiglich mit guten Früchten bezeugen und zieren, dir sei lob und danck inn ewigkeit.
Almighty and eternal God,
we pray that you would
through the right knowledge
of your divine Word
through your Holy Spirit.
Grant us peace and health
as we do the work
of our callings
with your blessing;
through your dear Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
O allmächtiger, ewiger Gott, wir bitten dich, du wollest uns ja bei der rechten Erkenntnis deines göttlichen Worts durch deinen H. Geist gnädiglich erhalten, Friede und Gesundheit verleihen, daß wir die Werke unsers Berufs seliglich mögen ausrichten, durch Jesum Christum, deinen lieben Sohn, unsern Herrn.