For the Commemoration of Musicians

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

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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.
Amen.

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman

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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.

A Prayer for the Baptism of Our Lord

O Lord Jesus Christ,
in order to fulfill all righteousness,
you were baptized by John in the Jordan.
Clothe us with this same righteousness,
that as your baptized people,
we, too, may be called beloved children of your Father,
and because of you, know he is well pleased with us;
through your mercy, O our God,
you are blessed,
and live and govern all things,
now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, written to imitate the style of a Mozarabic Collect.

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman


Prayer for the Baptism of Our Lord by Paul C. Stratman is under under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for permission for any commercial use.

“in order to fulfill all righteousness” is a reference to Matthew 3:15

“Clothe us with this same righteousness” is a reference to Romans 13:14Galatians 3:27

“we, too, may be called beloved children of your Father” is a reference to John 1:121 John 3:1

“and because of you, know he is well pleased with us” is a reference to Romans 3:21-22

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.
Amen.

Source: © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

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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

Prayer Reflecting on Violence in Milwaukee, August 13-14, 2016

O, dear Lord Jesus Christ,
you told your disciples,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
When we see violence instead of peace,
it is so tempting to let our hearts be troubled and afraid.
That Thursday night in that upper room
the peace you spoke of was the peace of forgiveness,
the peace of being connected to you,
the peace of being children of God in faith.
Turn our eyes to your cross
to remember how from the violence of your cross
you brought forth peace and reconciliation for the world.
Renew in our hearts the peace you promised,
and make us your people who share that peace.
Guide us so that when we feel frustrated and angry,
we still seek to glorify you
and love and serve our neighbors.
From your holy Gospel,
bring your peace and reconciliation
to individual hearts,
and so dispel trouble and calm fear;
in your most holy name we ask it.
Amen.

Source: © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

 

 

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Prayer Reflecting on Violence in Milwaukee, August 13-14, 2016 by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

 

Prayer Reflecting on Luke 12:32-40

Gracious Father, your Son Jesus told us that you are pleased to give us your kingdom. Let your rule in our hearts transform us from people who live to serve self to obedient subjects of you, our King, ready and willing to serve.

Lord Jesus, you told us to be dressed and ready for service. Clothe us in your righteousness and in your power. Transform our wills so that we are willing, able and ready to do the tasks you have given us, and to fulfill the roles you have given us.

Holy Spirit,  with your gift of faith in the Word, promise, and command of God, you make us ready: ready to praise, ready for service, and ready for our Master’s glory. Move us to open this Word before our eyes and hear it with our ears and take it to heart so that our faith may have its food and fuel to trust and to act, to will and to do your good, gracious and perfect will.

Most Holy Trinity, we live in a world where we see self-service, self-indulgence, and anger everywhere, even within our own hearts. Remind us daily that you have called us out and set us apart to be your own to live, love, and serve as your servants and your children. Make us heralds and witnesses of your Word and instruments of your peace.

Special petitions and intercessions may be prayed here.

With your promise and with your calling, renew faith, hope and love in us. Renew our devotion and our desire to serve you as our gracious Master and King, for all kingdom, power and glory are yours, even as you have taught us to pray:

C: Our Father in heaven….

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman

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“Prayer Reflecting on Luke 12:32-40” by Paul C. Stratman licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

Lord Jesus…

Lord Jesus, be my rest.
Lord Jesus, be my pardon.
Lord Jesus, be my peace.
Lord Jesus, be my comfort.
Lord Jesus, be my assurance.
Lord Jesus, be my hope.
Lord Jesus, be my power.
Lord Jesus, be my life.

Source: Paul C. Stratman

This prayer reflects on Matthew 11:28 (“rest”), Matthew 9:2 (“pardon”), John 14:27 (“peace”), Matthew 5:4 (“comfort”), Acts 17:31 (“assurance”), Romans 12:12 (“hope”), Luke 24:49 (“power”), Matthew 10:39 (“life”)

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman

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“Lord Jesus” prayer by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

Watch, Lord, with Us

Watch, Lord, with us,
lest we fall into temptation and despair
in the darkness of this world.
Watch, Lord, with us,
lest we fall into any kind of danger
in the darkness of this night.
Let your Word be the lamp to our feet
and the light for our path,
our guide through the darkness
and our hope in the midst of despair.
Keep the lamp of your Word
shining brightly in our hearts
in the dark night of the world.
You, Jesus, are the light no darkness can overcome,
and you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman

“Watch, Lord, with us” is a reference to Matthew 26:41

“Let your Word be the lamp to our feet” is a reference to Psalm 119:105

“You, Jesus, are the light no darkness can overcome” is a reference to John 1:5

This prayer is inspired in part by the poetic prayers of Georg Christian Dieffenbach (1822-1901).

Latin version:

Vigilate, Domine, nobiscum,
ne incidamus in desperationem
in tentationem et tenebrarum mundi.
Vigilate, Domine, nobiscum,
ne incidamus in aliquam periculo noctis
huius caliginem destruendam.
Verbum tuum lux pedibus nostris
verbum tuum et lumen semitis nostris,
lux in medio tenebras,
spes in medio desperatio.
Effulgens custodi verbum tuum in cordibus nostris
lucerna mundi tenebris noctis excitabatur.
Tu, Jesu sis lux tenebrae non conprehendit,
etcum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas Deus,
per omnia sæcula sæculorum.