Posts tagged “Prayer

Closing Prayer: 2018 Rose Dinner

Posted on January 20th, 2018

I was honored to give the closing prayer at the Rose Dinner, the banquet held in conjunction with the March for Life. It was a tremendous privilege to be among the nation’s pro-life leaders. In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of all things seen and unseen. You created the world from nothing; You called Life into being by Your Word; and You made our first father Adam from the earth. You opened his side and fashioned a wife for him, bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. You blessed their marriage and called them to be fruitful and multiply.…

Sermo Dei: Reminiscere 2017

Posted on March 13th, 2017

“That was a nice prayer.” When people say that to me, I know I’ve failed. Prayer is not supposed to be nice. Prayer is confident desperation, shouted in the dark, or whispered while trembling. Our prayers are too nice. In fact, they are so polite, they are rude. What else do you call it when our prayer before meals is rattled off like an auctioneer? Do you say the Lord’s Prayer with the enthusiasm of a funeral director reading the phone book? Are your private prayers basically a Hail Mary pass – it probably won’t work but you might as well try it? Enough with polite, respectful, “nice” prayers! They betray an uncertainty that God is listening or will answer our prayer. This Canaanite…

Sermo Dei: Epiphany 4, 2014

Posted on January 29th, 2017

Following Jesus means following Him into the storm. The men with Jesus (Epiphany IV gospel, Matthew 8:23-27) are not unused to ships, wind, and the swelling of waves. But the storm that assails the followers of Jesus surpasses all they have experienced. Following Jesus means following Him into the storm. The Lord Jesus allows the storm. He allows the disciples to despair. He allows them to fear for their lives. Why? All so they might learn to cry out to Him, to seek His help. Why does Jesus allow the storm? Why does the Lord allow the storms that bellow against you? Is God too harsh? No. He treats us with far greater softness than we deserve. Turbulence is a gift. Turmoil makes you…

Sermo Dei: Rogate 2015

Posted on May 10th, 2015

God doesn’t need our advice. He knows what you need. So why does He command us to pray? God commands us to pray not so that He will know what you need, but so you will. We really only have one prayer, and the first words of that prayer drive us back to our identity. Saying Our Father reminds us that we have a Father to whom we are accountable, but also a Father who promises to hear us, provide for us, protect us. Little children need to check in with their parents regularly. It may be just a quick hug – “pick me up and then immediately put me down again” – but they need that connection and reassurance that everything’s okay. I suppose…

Sermo Dei: Rogate 2014

Posted on May 25th, 2014

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!   This morning we take up a topic with a dirty word. I’m sorry, but I must use it, although it causes reviling, provoking angry and bitter responses. I console myself that since Luther used earthy language of the common man, I too may be bold. So cover the ears of your children, and steady yourselves, for the dirty word is: Religion. Nobody wants to be religious today, and the original meaning of the term perhaps reveals why. The word means to be bound to something, and thus to be obedient. The modern spirit cannot bear the idea of being bound to anything, for we wish to be free and autonomous, laws unto ourselves. Yet…

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…