You Lift Up Our Heads

O Lord,
even though many say
there is no help for us in our God,
you are our defender.
You lift up our heads.
Increase our hope
and surround us with your perpetual mercy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Mozarabic collect.

Source of this version: Freely modified from Oremus, ed. Paul Zeller Strodach.

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Enlighten Our Eyes

Enlighten our eyes, O Lord,
that our faith may be fixed upon you,
and our souls may take counsel
in the sweetness of your love,
and your fear implant
true penitence in our hearts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Mozarabic collect.

Source of this version: Freely modified from Oremus, ed. Paul Zeller Strodach.

Let the Brightness of Your Spirit Illumine Us

O Lord,
let your mercy be upon us,
and let the brightness of your Spirit
illumine our inward souls,
that he may kindle our cold hearts
and enlighten our dark minds;
who abides with you in glory forever.
Amen.

Source: Mozarabic collect.

Source of this version: Ancient Collects, and Other Prayers, ed. William Bright, 1902, also in Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953.

Guide Our Nation in the Way of Your Truth and Peace

Image result for freedom of religionO God,
you led our ancestors
to this land
where they found
refuge from oppression
and freedom to worship you.
Always guide our nation
in the way of your truth and peace,
so that we enjoy
the blessing you have promised
to the people whose God is the Lord;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Paul Zeller Strodach, 1917, slightly modified from the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, 1917

Guard Our Hearts

Almighty God,
our heavenly Father,
you feed the birds and clothe the flowers,
and you care for us as a father for his children.
Guard our hearts against faithlessness and anxiety.
By your Holy Spirit, help us
to live to the hallowing of your name,
the coming of your kingdom,
and the doing of your will,
so that we may cast all our cares on you
and in unwavering faith, trust in you;
through your Son,  Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Austria, 1571. Translation by Paul Zeller Strodach for Common Service Book.

Source of this version: Modified from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church,  United Lutheran Church in America © 1918, #30

“You feed the birds and clothe the flowers” is a reference to Matthew 6:26-28

“To live to the hallowing of your name…” is a reference to Matthew 6:9-13

“cast all our cares on you” is a reference to 1 Peter 5:7

“Faithlessness and anxiety” in the original is “distrust and vain over-carefulness”

This prayer is very similar to a prayer in A Book of Collects in Two Parts by John Wallace Suter, Freedom from Anxious Care:

ALMIGHTY GOD, who dost feed the birds and clothe the flowers, and who carest for us as a father for his children; Graciously guard us, we beseech thee, against distrust and vain over-carefulness, that casting all our care on thee, we may abide in thy love, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord.