Prayer for the Government and Those Under Authority

From Johann Gerhard (1582–1637), Meditations on Divine Mercy Omnipotent, eternal, and merciful God, Lord of hosts, You remove kings and set up kings (Daniel 2:21). All powers in heaven and on earth are from You (Colossians 1:16). In heaven, the angels worship You, archangels praise You, thrones revere You. Governing authorities are subject to You…

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My righteousness?

What should we do with those Psalms that are so hard to pray: the ones where the Psalmist protests his innocence and his righteousness. How can we possibly pray them as our prayers? Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers: What really concerns us here is not any possible motives behind a prayer, but whether the actual content of…

The Structure of the Collect

The following was printed in the service bulletin at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on 25 August 2013 (Trinity 13). As far as I'm aware, the mnemonic was invented by the Rev. Bosco Peters on the site Liturgy. At any rate, that's where I learned it. The Collect always takes the same form. This form of…

Prayer: Learning by imitation

So prayer is something we have to learn. A child learns to speak because his father speaks to him. He learns his father's own language. That is how we learn to speak to God, for God has spoken and still speaks to us. His children learn to speak to him in the language of their…

A Prayer of the Teacher of a Congregation

Lord Jesus Christ, Shepherd of souls, You are highly to be praised! How could I praise you for the inestimable grace and love you have shown me, a poor sinner. You have not only made me a member of Your church and congregation, but You have also installed me in the noble and precious work…

Letter from Iranian pastor on death row

This is a letter from Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani written from prison in Iran earlier this year. Pastor Youcef currently faces the death sentence for apostasy – conversion from Islam to Christianity – and is waiting for the court’s final verdict. Please continue to pray. This message has been translated from Farsi to English. Dear brothers…

The trouble with short hymns and services

These shortened forms of hymnic versions of the Lord’s Prayer are symptomatic of our modern age, which is impatient with hymns longer than three or four stanzas and with services of worship that last longer than fifty-nine minutes. But worship and prayer require time if we are to become attuned to what we are doing…

Denial

[I was reminded of this, one of my all-time favourite poems, by today's Gospel reading, Luke 18:1–8.] When my devotions could not pierce Thy silent ears; Then was my heart broken, as was my verse: My breast was full of fears And disorder: My bent thoughts, like a brittle bow, Did fly asunder: Each took…

Everyone who asks receives

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on the 8th Sunday after Pentecost (25 July 2010) Luke 11:1–13 Rosie was one of the more memorable students I had early on in my teaching career. A teenage girl more blessed with a quick tongue than with a reliable sense of when and how to use it.…

Prayer before the study of the Word

I thank You, my God, that You have prepared for me, a poor sinner, a treasure house full of all kinds of spiritual goodness and nourishment. This treasure house is Your holy and precious Word, which You have given me in the blessed Scriptures. Guide me, therefore, dear Father, and take me into this treasury.…