Swedish Christmas Prayer

church_of_sweden_2856028423629Merciful God, loving Father,
we give you thanks and praise
that you have mercifully fulfilled
the word of your promise to the patriarchs
and sent your only Son to become man
for our salvation and blessedness.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
eternal praise be to you,
that you, being rich, for our sakes became poor,
that we through your poverty might become rich;
that you have become our brother,
that we with you might become the children of God.
Grant that you may be born in our hearts,
just as you, though you are Lord of lords,
have for our sakes become a child,
so give us the right childlike mind.
You are the brightness of the Father’s glory
and image of his person,
renew us in your holy likeness.

Heavenly Light,
lighten us through the darkness of this world.
Eternal Life, give us life in you.
Great Prince of Peace, grant us your peace,
and keep us ever in your kingdom,
that we may praise and magnify you in your glory:
you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Swedish Rite: a translation of “Handbok för svenska kyrkan” by Eric Esskildsen Yelverton, 1921, Litany Prayer for Christmas Day, p. 52-53

A General Prayer (Christmas)

Blessed Immanuel, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, we thank you for taking on yourself our nature, coming down from heaven and becoming fully human, and making us partakers of the divine nature. You revealed to us the loving heart of your Father. You brought us peace and quenched his divine anger against us. By your blessed birth we are made new creatures. You are our great High Priest through whom we have access to the Father. Enable us, O blessed Lord and loving Immanuel, to confess your appearing in the flesh, always to be mindful of your great love and humiliation, most heartily to rejoice and comfort ourselves in the same, and evermore partake of its power. Open our hearts and lips that with the holy angels we may ever praise and magnify you. Finally take us into your heavenly kingdom, that we may praise and serve you there, forever and ever. Amen. Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel. Blessed be his holy name. Let the whole earth be full of his glory. Amen.

wilhelm_loeheSource: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith by Wilhelm Löhe, Christmas Prayer 6, p. 124-125

A General Prayer (Advent)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, you came into the world in the name of your Father to be a King, to justify many, and to save your people from their sins. You came to your own, and your own people did not receive you. You came to us poor Gentiles and still visit us in your Word and Sacrament. O Lord Jesus, Son of David, precious Savior, only Hope for humanity, blessed are you who comes in the name of the Lord.

In you our hearts rejoice and all that is within us is glad because of your help and deliverance. You are the one who was to come and we will not look for another. Abide with us and fill our hearts daily with your presence.

By your Spirit dwell in us that we may praise your holy name, as did your disciples and the people of Jerusalem when you entered in triumph. O blessed Savior, as you kept your people faithful in ages past, keep us steadfast to death. When you return again at the end of the world to deliver us from all evil, grant that we may await with joy the time of our redemption, watch and pray that we may escape those things which will then come to pass, and finally stand before the Son of Man. All these blessings we ask for the sake of your infinite love. Amen.

wilhelm_loeheSource: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith  by Wilhelm Löhe, Advent Prayer 1, p. 120-121

A General Prayer (Advent)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, we give you thanks for the comfort you have given us in the gift of your dear Son Jesus Christ, whom you sent to be a King and Savior to redeem his people from their sin and to deliver them from the might of Satan and the power of everlasting death. Give us your Holy Spirit to enlighten, govern, and sanctify our hearts, that we may confess him as our King and Savior, and always cling to him. Give us a true and living faith so that we may not be offended at his humiliation, Word and Kingdom, which the world esteems so lightly; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Accept also, O Lord, the prayers of your faithful people for the well being of your holy Church throughout the world. Govern and sanctify it, with all its pastors and ministers, by your Holy Spirit, that we may be kept by your Word in true faith and fervent love toward you and one another.

Grant also health and prosperity to all who are in authority, especially, the president of our nation and the governor of our state,* that they may rule over us according to your will to maintain righteousness and hinder and punish of wickedness, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.

Grant also that our enemies may cease their enmity and be inclined to walk with us in meekness and in peace.

All who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor or any other trouble, especially those who suffer for your name and for your truth’s sake, comfort, O God, with your Holy Spirit, that they may receive and confess their afflictions as the manifestation of your Fatherly will.

Cause also the fruits of the earth to prosper, and give us all other things you would have us ask for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

wilhelm_loeheSource: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith  by Wilhelm Löhe, Advent Prayer 1, p. 119-120

* “the president of our nation and the governor of our state” should be modified to fit the circumstances of a country’s national, provincial or district authorities.

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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For Those in Authority

O merciful Father in heaven,
all rule and authority in the kingdoms of the world comes from you
and you hold in your hand all the might of humanity.
You have instituted the governing authorities that exist
for the punishment of those who do wrong
and for the approval of those who do good.

Look on your servants,
the President of the United States,
the governor of this state,
our judges and officials,
and all the rulers of the earth.
May all who have authority
work as your servants
and use their authority according to your will and command.
Enlighten and defend them by your name, O God.
Give them wisdom and understanding,
that under their peaceful governing
your people may be guarded and directed
in righteousness, quietness and unity.
God of our salvation, protect and prolong their lives,
that we, with them, may declare the praise of your name;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Modified from Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, Board of Publication of the United Lutheran Church in America, Philadelphia, 1919, p. 226 #74

Also in The Lutheran Hymnal, Concordia, St. Louis, 1941, p. 104 #25

This prayer has several references to Romans 13:1-7.

“Under their peaceful governing… …righteousness, quietness, and unity” is a reference to 1 Timothy 2:2

 

Lord’s Prayer as a Paraphrase for Use in Worship

This Prayer of the Church, based on the Lord’s Prayer, is adapted from Luther’s Deutsches Messe in which he recommends, “After the sermon shall follow a public paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer … in this or a better fashion.” (LW Vol. 53, p. 78-79). The words of the Lord’s Prayer are printed in italics. Since this prayer includes the Lord’s Prayer in it, the Lord’s Prayer need not be used elsewhere in the service.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH / LORD’S PRAYER

M: Dear friends in Christ, since we have come in the name of the Lord to receive his holy Supper, I invite you to lift up your hearts to God and pray with me as Christ has taught us and graciously promised to hear us.

M: God, our Father in heaven, look with mercy on us, your needy children on earth. Grant us grace, so that your holy name be hallowed by us and all the world, through the pure and true teaching of your Word; graciously turn from us all false doctrine and evil living, by which your precious name is being blasphemed and profaned. Lord, in your mercy,

C:  Hear our prayer.

M: Your kingdom come to us and expand, that all transgressors who are blinded and bound in the devil’s kingdom be brought to know Jesus Christ, your Son, by faith, and that the number of Christians may grow. Lord, in your mercy,

C:  Hear our prayer.

M: May we be strengthened by your Spirit to do and to respect your will, both in life and death, in good times and bad, and always to break, slay, and sacrifice our own wills. Lord, in your mercy,

C:  Hear our prayer.

M: Give us our daily bread, preserve us from greed and selfish cares, and help us to trust that you will provide for all our needs. Lord, in your mercy,

C:  Hear our prayer.

M: Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, so that our hearts may rest and rejoice in a good conscience before you, and that no sin may ever frighten or alarm us. Lord, in your mercy,

C:  Hear our prayer.

M: Lead us not into temptation but help us by your Spirit to subdue our sinful desires, despise the sinful world and its ways. Lord, in your mercy,

C:  Hear our prayer.

M: Lastly, O heavenly Father, deliver us from all evil of both body and soul, now and forever. Lord, in your mercy.

C:  Hear our prayer.

Special prayers and intercessions may follow.

M: We trust, O Lord, in your great mercy that you will hear and answer us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C:  Amen.

Source: Martin Luther

Source of this version: Modified from Luther’s Works, American edition, Vol. 53, p. 78-79