March 20, 2022 Pray of the Day:
Eternal God, your kingdom has broken into our trouble world through the life, death and resurrection of you Son. Help us to hear your word and obey it, and bring your saving love to fruition in our lives, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Martin Luther offered excellent advice on Christian prayer in a little pamphlet, A Simple Way to Pray, written at the request of Master Peter, his barber. Among other things, Luther suggested if a prayer is so generic that we can’t remember it afterward, we may as well have just babbled heavenward. Rather, he suggests, even when meditating on a prayer as familiar as the Lord’s Prayer, we ought to pause after each petition and add in the daily concerns of our heart, congregation, and town.
The prayers are an integral part of worship and should be prepared with much thought, time, care, and personal prayer. In some churches the Assisting Minister crafts the petitions that are prayed using the following checklist. Prayers reflect the wideness of God’s mercy for the whole world:
For the church universal, its ministry, and the mission of the gospel – for all the baptized, bishops and pastors of the church, other leaders, missionaries, preaching and teaching, church schools, the unity of Christians;
For the well-being of creation – care of the earth and sea, harvest, the whole environment, the cosmos; For peace and justice in the world, the nations and those in authority, the community – for leaders of government and international organizations, regions and/or people experiencing natural, political, or economic crises, elections, promotions of justice and peace;
For the poor, oppressed, sick, bereaved, lonely – those who are poor, homeless, unemployed, lonely, exiles and refugees, sick dying, prisoners, persecuted for the faith; For all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit – and especially those we know by name;
For the congregation – for local and specific concerns – city, neighborhood, and seminary issues, musicians, artists, other worship leaders, staff, visitors, guests, upcoming events, hardships facing the community;
Thanksgiving for the faithful departed – members of the congregations, those close to the community, relatives who have recently died, those commemorated on the church’s calendar.
Here at Bethany, we use the prayers prepared and written in the Sundays and Seasons and this is the pattern that we use. As mentioned earlier, prayers are an integral part of the worship service in the Lutheran Church. If anyone would like to read Martin Luther’s A Simple Way to Pray, I do have a copy and will happily lend it.
Blessings for peace,
Your Sister in Christ – Pastor Sandy