Posts tagged “Prayer

Prayers before the March for Life

Posted on January 22nd, 2014

We come to you Father with praise and thanksgiving, not as we ought, but as we are able. We beg you to accept and bless the prayer we offer you. Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us your forgiveness. Lord, in your mercy, R.  Remember, Lord, Your one, holy, Christian and apostolic church. Watch over her and guide her. Grant her peace and unity throughout the whole world. Grant her to speak with one voice and act with unity of purpose upholding Your gift of life, and working for an end to the scourge of legalized murder. We pray especially for Matthew and John, and all the leaders of our Synod; for all pastors, and every servant of the Church. Grant…

Sermo Dei: Psalm 77

Posted on September 4th, 2013

The experience of the righteous in this life is varied. Some days are joyous, others are difficult. Some ways are easy, other paths arduous. But chiefly, the righteous suffer. St. Paul had his thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to harass him. Job experienced the death of his children, the scorn of his wife, the rebuke of his friends, and the wasting away of his flesh. His days were spent on the dunghill, and his nights filled with bitter weeping. Abraham and Sarah spent years in barren sorrow. Isaac and Rebekah grieved over their wayward children. Jesus said that His followers should expect tribulation in this world. And St. Paul told Timothy that everyone who desires to live godly will suffer persecution.…

Sermo Dei: The Vigil of Pentecost 2013

Posted on May 17th, 2013

Your birth from below says that you are a child of Adam, therefore a child of wrath, a child of hell. Your birth from above says that you you are a child of God. For “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Your conscience says that you have not lived as you should, and therefore your childhood is renounced. The Spirit, however, witnesses to you not about your works but Christ’s work. The Spirit is called the Helper because you are helpless. It’s okay to feel your helplessness, to acknowledge your helplessness, even to embrace your helplessness. For then the Helper can give His help. And that help is in teaching you that you can say Abba!…

Praying for women on Mothers Day

Posted on May 11th, 2013

Pastor Michael Schuermann has an excellent piece on pastoral considerations for Mothers Day. You can read it here. Since we are using as the Prayer of the Church the Great Litany of St. John Chrysostom during Eastertide at Immanuel, I will be inserting the following bids: For all mothers, let us pray to the Lord. For all women with child (especially ______), let us pray to the Lord. For all women who long to have children, but cannot, let us pray to the Lord. For all women who have lost a child, let us pray to the Lord.

[Sermo Dei] Rogate: Praying with Jesus (John 16:23-33)

Posted on May 5th, 2013

“In the world you will have tribulation.” Hardly surprising information to anyone who has lived a little while in this broken, fallen world. Yet there is comfort in acknowledging it: “In the world you will have tribulation.” If Jesus says this to His holy Apostles, should we expect things for us to be smooth sailing, success and perfection? In the world you will have tribulation – and thus we find tribulation, trouble and turmoil, everywhere we turn. And wherever the Gospel of Jesus is preached, there especially will be tribulation. The longer we follow Jesus as a disciple, the closer we draw near to Him, the greater the tribulation in our own heart, in our own mind, in our own flesh, in our own…

[Sermo Dei] Reminiscere: Wrestling with God (Lent 2, Genesis 32:22-32)

Posted on February 24th, 2013

As a little boy, I was in a big hurry to get home from church on Sunday mornings, because All-Star Wrestling came on at noon, where I would watch the likes of Jesse “The Body” Ventura, who later body-slammed his way into the governor’s mansion in Minnesota. The low-brow theater of so-called professional wrestling casts a simple good-versus-evil motif. The wrestling match depicted in today’s Old Testament reading could not be more different, for Jacob encounters God, who is good, wearing the mask of evil. God makes Himself Jacob’s enemy, and in the time of Jacob’s greatest need comes on the scene to fight Jacob. Everything in Jacob’s life has been preparing him for this moment. He was named “Jacob,” meaning “deceiver” or “supplanter”…

Praying when faith totters

Posted on February 4th, 2013

More Luther on God’s reason for deferring an answer to prayer: This is how we, too, should learn to ask and hope for help whenever there is misfortune and faith totters. For we have the promise of the Gospel; we have Baptism, absolution, etc., by which we have been instructed and strengthened. We have the command by which we are ordered to pray; we have the spirit of grace and of prayer. But as soon as we have begun to pray, our heart is troubled and complains that it is accomplishing nothing. Therefore one must learn that if you accomplish nothing by asking, you should add searching, that is, you should seek; if that, too, seems to be useless, and God conceals and hides…

Why God waits to answer prayer

Posted on February 2nd, 2013

He does not give what His saints seek on the surface of their hearts and with that foam of words, but He is an almighty and exceedingly rich Bestower who gives in accordance with the depth of that sighing. Therefore He lets prayer be directed, grow, and be increased; and He does not hear immediately. For if He were to answer at the first outcry or petition, prayer would not increase but would become cold. Therefore He defers help. As a result, prayer grows from day to day and becomes more efficacious. The sobbing of the heart also becomes deeper and more ardent until it comes to the point of despair, as it were. Then prayer becomes most ardent and passionate, when it seems…

The tears of saintly women

Posted on February 1st, 2013

Luther compares Rachel to Hannah and Monica, saintly women whose vocations led them to tears: Thus Hannah, the mother of Samuel, also despaired of offspring and could not be conscious of her sobbing and of that desire for offspring in the inmost depths of her heart. But God, who searches the heart, understands the ineffable sobbing, which can neither be felt nor expressed with any words. Augustine also tells the story of his mother Monica, who lamented for nine years and deplored the downfall of her son because he had gone over to the sect of the Manichaeans. But her only request from God was that her son might be converted and become a Christian, and for this reason she wanted to betroth a…