O Lord, Hedge Up My Way

Launcelot Andrews (1555-1626)
O Lord,
hedge up my way with thorns,
that I may find no path
for following vanity.
Hold me in
with bit and bridle,
lest I fall away from you.
O Lord, compel me
to come to you:
to bruise the serpent’s head,
to remember my life’s end,
to cut off opportunities for evil,
to be alert,
not to sit idle,
to shun what is evil,
to cling to what is good,
to look at no worthless things,
to bring my body into subjection,
to devote myself to prayer,
to search my heart with penitence.

Source: Adapted from Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) for A Collection of Prayers from The devotions of Lancelot Andrewes (The Hedge of the Law).

For Patience

christ-in-gethsemane-hofmann-w500O God,
by the meek endurance
of your only Son
you beat down the pride
of the old enemy.
Help us rightly
to treasure in our hearts
what our Lord has borne
for our sakes,
that following his example
we may bear
all our troubles
with patience;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Missale Romanum (16th Century?), English translation freely modified  from Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, # 29.

Original in Latin:

Deus, qui Unigeniti tui patientia antiqui hostis contrivisti superbiam: da nobis, quaesumus, quae idem pie pro nobis pertulit, digne recolere; sicque exemplo ejus, nobis adversantia aequanimiter tolerare. Per Dominum… Amen.

Comfort and Strengthen Your People

In response to a prayer request.

comeuntomeHeavenly Father,
comfort and strengthen your people.
Send your Holy Spirit
and move us to believe
the promises in your Holy Word
that you do not leave
or forsake your people,
even when they suffer
from illnesses, weaknesses,
and oppression by the powers of darkness.
By his holy life,
death and resurrection,
your Son Jesus
has already overthrown
the powers of the devil.
Strengthen our faith in Jesus,
who alone can win the victories over sin,
Satan and temptation,
that we may share in his victory
and enjoy his glorious freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, for N. and A Collection of Prayers.

Shield Us from the Devil’s Cunning and Terror

devil-1566853_640Lord God, heavenly Father,
since that evil spirit, the devil,
always prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking to devour us,
you want to shield us
by your dear holy angels
from all of his cunning and terror,
for your dear Son’s sake.
Through your Holy Spirit,
give us repentant hearts,
that we may serve you
in all soberness and vigilance;
through Jesus Christ,
your dear Son,
our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Pommersche Agende

Source of this version: Translated for A Collection of Prayers. German source: Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #592.

Original in German:

Herr Gott, himmlischer Vater, wir bitten dich, weil der böse Geist allzeit als ein brüllender Löwe um uns hergehet und suchet, ob er uns verschlingen könne, du wollest uns um deines lieben Sohnes willen mit den lieben heiligen Engeln wider alle feine List und Gewalt beschirmen, und uns durch deinen Geist bußfertige Herzen verleihen, daß wir in Mäßigkeit und Nüchternheit dir dienen mögen, durch Jesum Christum deinen lieben Sohn, unsern Herrn. Amen. Pommersche Agende

Prayer for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

O Lord our Strength,
increase in us a true love of your holy name,
that we trust in your grace,
fear no earthly evil,
set our hearts on no earthly good,
and finally rejoice in your full salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 20 #1 (Epiphany 4)

“O Lord our Strength” is a reference to  Psalm 28:7, possibly also to Psalm 46:1

“set our hearts on no earthly good” is a reference to  Colossians 3:2

“rejoice in your full salvation” is a reference to  Psalm 13:5Psalm 35:9Psalm 51:12Psalm 95:1,

Relieve Us by the Comfort of Your Grace

Almighty God,
grant that we who deserve to be afflicted for our evil deeds
may mercifully be relieved by the comfort of your grace;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Sacramentary, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Source of this version: Translation © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

This translation is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

Keep Us both Outwardly and Inwardly

O God,
you see that we have no strength in ourselves.
Keep us both outwardly and inwardly.
Defend us from all adversities which hurt the body,
and cleanse us from all evil thoughts
which afflict the mind;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Sacramentary, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Second Sunday in Lent

Source of this version: Translation © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

This translation is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

“which afflict the mind,” the Latin word mentes can also be translated as “soul.”