John the Baptist

Dear Lord God,
we thank and praise you
for giving us
the blessed John the Baptist
and for his joyful preaching
and blessed pointing
to Christ the Lamb of God,
that we may know
where to find salvation
and eternal life
so that we may have
comfort and redemption
against sin and death
and that God’s goodness sand grace
may comfort us forever.
God grant this to us all.

Source: Martin Luther in Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s… p. 388-389.    [Die Gebete Luthers, #677] Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Wir danken dir, lieber Herr Gott, und loben dich, daß du uns den lieben Johannes gegeben, und durch ihn das fröhliche Wort und den seligen Finger hast kommen lassen, welcher auf Christum, das Lamm Gottes, gewiesen, daß wir wissen, wo wir Seligkeit und ewiges Leben finden sollen, daß wir wider die Sünde und Tod Trost und Erlösung haben, und Gottes Güte und Gnade uns in Ewigkeit trösten mögen. Das verleihe Gott uns allen. Amen.

John the Baptist

The Christian Church remembers St. John the Baptist on his ‘birthday,’ June 24, and also on the commemoration of his death, August 29.

Lord God, dearest Father,
through St. John the Baptist
you have pointed us all
to our one true comfort,
that Jesus Christ, Son of Mary,
is the true Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
May we always rejoice in his preaching
and find our comfort in it,
and finally receive eternal blessedness
with John the Baptist and all believers;
through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 293#2. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Herr Gott, lieber Vater, der du durch den heiligen Taufer Johannen, uns Allen zu Trost hast bezeugen lassen, daß Jesus Christus, Marien Sohn, das wahre unschuldige Lamm Gottes sei, welches der ganzen Welt Sünde tragen sollte; gib uns, daß wir allezeit solches seines Zeugnisses uns von Herzen freuen und trösten und endlich mit Johanne dem Täufer und allen Gläubigen die ewige Seligkeit erlangen mögen, durch den selbigen deinen Sohn, u.

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

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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.

St. Matthias, February 24

On February 24, the Christian Church remembers St. Matthias. Shortly after the Ascension of Our Lord, Matthias was was chosen to replace Judas.

Almighty God,
you chose your faithful servant Matthias
to take part in the ministry and apostleship
from which Judas fell in sin.
Preserve your church from false apostles,
and always bless us with faithful ministers
of your Word and sacraments;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881

The Presentation of Our Lord (February 2)

The Presentation of Our Lord is observed on February 2, and remembers how the baby Jesus was presented at the temple when he was forty days old. This ancient church festival is also called The Purification of the Virgin Mary and CandlemasThe event is recorded in Luke 2:25-38. This prayer for the Presentation by Veit Dietrich quotes Simeon’s song. 

Lord God, heavenly Father,
you prepared your Son to be our Savior,
that he should be the light for the gentiles
and the glory of your people Israel.
Enlighten our hearts
that we may know your grace
and fatherly will toward us in Christ,
and that we may have your protection
against sin, damnation and Satan,
through Christ,
and in him be forever blessed.

Source: Veit Dietrich

St. Titus, Pastor and Confessor

St. Titus, Pastor and Confessor
January 26

Titus was an early Christian missionary and Church leader, a companion and disciple of Paul the Apostle, mentioned in several of the Pauline epistles including the Epistle to Titus. He is believed to be a Gentile converted to Christianity by Paul and, according to tradition, he was consecrated as Bishop of the Island of Crete. He is commemorated on January 26.

Almighty and eternal God,
we thank you for the knowledge of your dear Son.
Since Satan fights against us at all times
and seeks to keep such knowledge away from us,
govern and guide us by your Holy Spirit
so that we remain in this knowledge and be forever blessed,
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Source: Veit Dietrich (Prayer for St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles, June 29)

The Conversion of St. Paul

Lord God, heavenly Father,
you graciously called St. Paul
from being a sinful persecutor
to be a follower and a faithful witness.
Give us your grace
so that we may take to heart your Word and warning
and have humble sorrow over our sins
and receive forgiveness,
and find comfort in your grace and mercy
through Christ alone,
and be blessed forever.

Source: Veit Dietrich

Source of this version: Freely modified from Summaria Christlicher Lehr, Veit Dietrich, 1548.