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HOLY TRINITY & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES

DAILY PERSONAL/FAMILY DEVOTIONS

Welcome to our devotions page.  You're encouraged to make use of the devotional setting/Lutheran devotions provided below.  You will find 5 daily devotional settings for family, personal or group use.  They include a Psalm, Bible reading(s), devotions options, Creed, Lord's Prayer, prayers, hymns (morning/evening), etc. (See next paragraph)  Daily devotions are a great way to receive and grow in God's Word in-between the weekly Sunday Divine Service.  So by all means, do make faithful Christian use of them!

Following the 5 devotional settings, you'll find some great material to plug in to the settings themselves, or for stand-alone use: 1) a number of prayers for use throughout the day, 2) a fine, historic prayer of the Church called the Litany, 3) morning and evening hymns and 4) the Small Catechism by Rev. Luther. (Settings also contain key Biblical Canticles [songs of the Church], such as the Magnificat of Mary, the Benedictus of Zechariah, the Nunc Dimittis of Simeon as well as the Te Deum Laudamus.)  A quick note on the 5th setting: Simply click on it and you'll be taken to the website "Around the World: Theology for the Curious Christian," or "whatdoesthismean.org."  It contains a great daily devotional setting, all the goods included.  Enjoy!

A key aspect of the Christian life is prayer to God, so let these devotional settings help cultivate your prayer life in the Lord.  On prayer, please take the following to heart: "We should pray for everything we need which is to the glory of God, and for both our own and our neighbor’s welfare, temporal (life-long needs pertaining to the body) and spiritual (our eternal welfare in the faith).  When we pray we distinguish between temporal and spiritual benefits.  For the former we always ask, “If You will, O Lord,” while for the latter we ask without condition, trusting that God will always grant us His eternal salvation.  We also pray in order to praise God for His greatness and to thank Him for His many blessings.” (What Do Lutherans Believe?  W. Snyder, 42)

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MORNING/EVENING FAMILY/PERSONAL DAILY DEVOTIONS, SETTING 1

† IN THE NAME OF JESUS †

The sign of the cross † may be made in remembrance of one’s Baptism.

INVOCATION
LEADER:
In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Spirit.
ALL: Amen.

L: Listen to my prayer, O God, and do not ignore my plea;
A: hear me and answer me. (Psalm 55:1-2)

L: Morning, noon and evening
A: I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice. (Psalm 55:7)

L: Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you;
A: He will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

PSALM: PSALM FROM THE REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY PSALM

HYMN (OPTIONAL; SEE HYMNS BELOW)

SCRIPTURE READING(S): REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY (PSALM, OT, NT READINGS) <OR> DAILY OT/NT READINGS FROM CTSFW <OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY BIBLE READING (PRINTED COPIES AVAILABLE AT CHURCH) 

DEVOTIONS: HIGHER THINGS "REFLECTIONS" <AND/OR> "CRUMBS" DAILY DEVOTIONS BY LUTHERAN PASTOR CARL ZORN <AND/OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <AND/OR> FIVE MINUTES A DAY WITH LUTHER <AND/OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER

CATECHETICAL SECTION (OPTIONAL; SEE SMALL CATECHISM BELOW)

APOSTLES’ CREED

SUFFRAGES (PRAYER PETITIONS)
L:
 I cry to You, O Lord;
A: my prayer comes before You. (Psalm 88:13)

L: My mouth is filled with Your praise,
A: and with Your honor all day long. (Psalm 71:8)

L: O Lord, hide Your face from my sins,
A: and blot out all my iniquities. (Psalm 51:9)

L: Blessed are You, O Lord God of our fathers,
A: and greatly to be praised and glorified forever. (Psalm 145:3)

L: Blessed be the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
A: We praise and magnify Him forever. (Psalm 34:3)

L: Blessed are You, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven
A: and greatly to be praised and glorified and highly exalted forever.

L: The almighty and merciful Lord bless and preserve us.
A: Amen.

L: Be pleased, O Lord,
A: to keep us without sin. (Jude 1:24)

L: O Lord, have mercy upon us.
A: Have mercy upon us.

L: O Lord, let Your mercy be upon us.
A: As our trust is in You.

L: Hear my prayer, O Lord.
A: And let cry come unto You.  Amen. (Psalm 102:1)

LORD’S PRAYER

ADDITIONAL PRAYER(S) (SEE THE PRAYERS RIGHT BELOW DEVOTION SETTINGS)

BENEDICAMUS AND BENEDICTION
L:
 Let us bless the Lord.
A: Thanks be to God.

L: The Lord bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.
A: Amen.

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EVENING FAMILY/PERSONAL DAILY DEVOTIONS, SETTING 2

† IN THE NAME OF JESUS †

The sign of the cross † may be made in remembrance of one’s Baptism.

INVOCATION
LEADER:
In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Spirit.
ALL: Amen.

COMMON RESPONSORY (SEE SEASONAL RESPONSORIES BELOW)
L:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. 
       
A: The Light no darkness can overcome. (John 8:12; 1:5)

L: Stay with us Lord, for it is evening,
A: and the day is almost over. (Luke 24:29)

L: Let Your light scatter the darkness
A: and illuminate Your Church.

PHOS HILARON (JOYOUS LIGHT)
Joyous light of glory of the immortal Father; heavenly, holy, blessed Jesus Christ.  We have come to the setting of the sun, and we look to the evening light.  We sing to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: You are worthy of being praised with pure voices forever.  O Son of God, O Giver of life: the universe proclaims Your glory.  Amen.

PSALM: PSALM FROM THE REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY PSALM

HYMN (OPTIONAL; SEE HYMNS BELOW)

SCRIPTURE READING(S): REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY (PSALM, OT, NT READINGS) <OR> DAILY OT/NT READINGS FROM CTSFW <OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY BIBLE READING (PRINTED COPIES AVAILABLE AT CHURCH) 

DEVOTIONS: HIGHER THINGS "REFLECTIONS" <AND/OR> "CRUMBS" DAILY DEVOTIONS BY LUTHERAN PASTOR CARL ZORN <AND/OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <AND/OR> FIVE MINUTES A DAY WITH LUTHER <AND/OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER

CATECHETICAL SECTION (OPTIONAL; SEE SMALL CATECHISM BELOW)

APOSTLES’ CREED

LORD’S PRAYER

ADDITIONAL PRAYERS

LUTHER’S EVENING PRAYER
A: I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night.  For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me.  Amen.

L: Visit our dwellings, O Lord, and drive from them the snares of the enemy.  Let Your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace, and let Your blessing be on us always, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
A: Amen.

BLESSING

L: The almighty and merciful Lord, the Father, the † Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless and preserve us.
A: Amen.

OR     

L: The Lord bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.
A: Amen.

ADVENT RESPONSORY
L:
The Spirit and the Church cry out:
A: Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

L: Those who await His appearing pray:
A: Come, Lord Jesus.

L: The whole creation pleads:
A: Come, Lord Jesus.

CHRISTMAS/EPIPHANY RESPONSORY
L:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. 
A: The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it. (Matthew 4:16; John 1:5)

L: On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 
A: We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son Who came from the Father. (Matthew 4:16; John 1:14)

L: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given.
A: In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:4)

LENT RESPONSORY
L:
Now is the time of God’s favor;
A: now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

L: Turn us again, O God of our salvation,
A: that the light of Your face may shine on us. (Psalm 67:1)

L: May Your justice shine like the sun; 
A: and may the poor be lifted up. (Psalm 37:6; Psalm 113:7)

EASTER RESPONSORY
L:
Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:20)
A: Alleluia!

L: We are illumined by the brightness of His rising.
A: Alleluia!

L: Death has no more dominion over us. (Romans 6:9)
A: Alleluia!

BENEDICTION (BLESSING)
L:
The grace of our Lord † Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
A: Amen.

Adapted from the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book, CPH, 1912

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MORNING FAMILY/PERSONAL DAILY DEVOTIONS, SETTING 3: THE ORDER OF MORNING SERVICE (MATINS)

LEADER: O Lord, open my lips. 
ALL: And my mouth will declare Your praise. (Psalm 51:15)

L: Make haste, O God, to deliver me;  
A: make hast to help me, O Lord. (Psalm 70:1)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;   as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.  Praise to You, O Christ.  Alleluia.  Advent: Praise to You, O Christ, King Who comes to save us.  Lent: Praise to You, O Christ, Lamb of our salvation.

INVITATORY (CALL TO WORSHIP)
L:
Blessed be God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
A: O come, let us worship Him. (Psalm 95:6)

VENITE (O COME)
A: O come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving, let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise.  For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods. The deep places of the earth are in His hand; the strength of the hills is His also.  The sea is His, for He made it, and His hand formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
(Psalm 95:1-7)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.       

PSALM: PSALM FROM THE REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY PSALM

HYMN (OPTIONAL; SEE HYMNS BELOW)

SCRIPTURE READING(S): REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY (PSALM, OT, NT READINGS) <OR> DAILY OT/NT READINGS FROM CTSFW <OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY BIBLE READING (PRINTED COPIES AVAILABLE AT CHURCH) 

After the reading(s):
L: O Lord, have mercy on us.  
A: Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORY
L:
Forever, O Lord, Your Word is firmly set in the heavens.
A: Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. (Psalm 119:89; Psalm 26:8)   

L: Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.
A: Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. (Luke 11:28)

L: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
A: Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. 

DEVOTIONS: HIGHER THINGS "REFLECTIONS" <AND/OR> "CRUMBS" DAILY DEVOTIONS BY LUTHERAN PASTOR CARL ZORN <AND/OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <AND/OR> FIVE MINUTES A DAY WITH LUTHER <AND/OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER

CATECHETICAL SECTION (OPTIONAL; SEE SMALL CATECHISM BELOW)

APOSTLES’ CREED

CANTICLE: TE DEUM LAUDAMUS (WE PRAISE YOU, O GOD)
A: We praise You, O God; we acknowledge You to be the Lord.  All the earth now worships You, the Father everlasting.  To You all angels cry aloud; the heavens, and all the powers therein; To You cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Your glory.  The glorious company of the Apostles praise You.  The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise You.  The noble army of Martyrs praise You.  The holy Church throughout all the world does acknowledge You; The Father of an infinite Majesty; Your adorable, true and only Son; Also the Holy Spirit the Comforter.  You are the King of Glory, O Christ.  You are the everlasting Son of the Father.  When You took upon Yourself to deliver man, You humbled Yourself to be born of a virgin.  When You had overcome the sharpness of death, You opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.  You sit at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father. We believe that You shall come to be our Judge.  We therefore pray You to help Your servants, whom You have redeemed with Your precious blood.  Make them to be numbered with Your saints, in glory everlasting.  O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your heritage.  Govern them and lift them up forever.  Day by day we magnify You; And we worship You Name forever and ever.  Grant, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.  O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.  O Lord, let Your mercy be upon us, as our trust is in You.  O Lord, in You we have trusted;  let us never be confounded.

KYRIE ELEISON (LORD, HAVE MERCY)
A: Lord, have mercy upon us.  Christ, have mercy upon us.  Lord, have mercy upon us.
(Mark 10:47)

LORD’S PRAYER

COLLECT OF THE DAY

ADDITIONAL COLLECTS/PRAYERS

L: The Lord will give strength unto His people.
A: The Lord will bless His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

COLLECT FOR GRACE
L:
O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, You have safely brought us to the beginning of this day.  Defend us this day with Your mighty power and grant that, throughout it, we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, but that all our doings, being ordered by Your governance, may be righteous in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
A: Amen.

BENDICAMUS
L:
Let us bless the Lord.
A: Thanks be to God.

BENEDICTION
L:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. (2 Corinthians 13:14) 
A: Amen.

Adapted from the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book, CPH, 1912

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EVENING FAMILY/PERSONAL DAILY DEVOTIONS, SETTING 4: THE ORDER OF EVENING SERVICE (VESPERS)

LEADER: O Lord, open my lips. 
ALL: And my mouth will declare Your praise.
(Psalm 51:15)

L: Make haste, O God, to deliver me;  
A: make hast to help me, O Lord.
(Psalm 70:1)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.  Praise to You, O Christ.  Alleluia.  Advent: Praise to You, O Christ, King Who comes to save us.  Lent: Praise to You, O Christ, Lamb of our salvation. 

PSALM: PSALM FROM THE REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY PSALM

HYMN (OPTIONAL; SEE HYMNS BELOW)

SCRIPTURE READING(S): REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY (PSALM, OT, NT READINGS) <OR> DAILY OT/NT READINGS FROM CTSFW <OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER DAILY BIBLE READING (PRINTED COPIES AVAILABLE AT CHURCH) 

After the reading(s):
L: O Lord, have mercy on us.  
A: Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORY
L:
Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth.
A: Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 86:11; 119:105)  

L: Unite my heart to fear Your Name, that I may walk in Your truth. (Psalm 86:11)
A: Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

L: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
A: Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

DEVOTIONS: HIGHER THINGS "REFLECTIONS" <AND/OR> "CRUMBS" DAILY DEVOTIONS BY LUTHERAN PASTOR CARL ZORN <AND/OR> AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN <AND/OR> FIVE MINUTES A DAY WITH LUTHER <AND/OR> PORTALS OF PRAYER

CATECHETICAL SECTION (OPTIONAL; SEE SMALL CATECHISM BELOW)

APOSTLES’ CREED

CANTICLE: MAGNIFICAT (MY SOUL MAGNIFIES THE LORD) OR NUNC DIMITTIS (NOW DISMISS US) OR BENEDICTUS (BLESSED BE THE LORD)
A: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden.  For behold, from this day all generations will call me blessed.  For the Mighty One has done great things to me, and holy is His Name; and His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.  He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the lowly.  He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.  He has helped His servant Israel in the remembrance of His mercy as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His Seed forever.
(Luke 1:46-55) 
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

OR

Lord, now You let Your servant go in peace; Your Word has been fulfilled.  My own eyes have seen the salvation which You have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal You to the nations and the glory of Your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

OR

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to His people and redeemed them.  He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of His servant David.  Through His holy prophets He promised of old that He would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.  He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant.  This was the oath that He swore to our Father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship Him without fear, holy and righteous in His sight, all the days of our life.  You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way, to give His people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.  In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:68-79) 
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;  as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

KYRIE ELEISON (LORD, HAVE MERCY)
A: Lord, have mercy upon us.  Christ, have mercy upon us.  Lord, have mercy upon us.

LORD’S PRAYER

L: O Lord, hear my prayer.
A: And let my cry come to You. (Psalm 102:1)

COLLECT OF THE DAY

ADDITIONAL COLLECTS/PRAYERS

L: The Lord will give strength unto His people.
A: The Lord will bless His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

COLLECT FOR PEACE
L:
O God, from Whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 
A: Amen.

BENDICAMUS
L:
Let us bless the Lord.
A: Thanks be to God.

BENEDICTION
L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. (2 Corinthians 13:14) 

A: Amen.

Adapted from the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book, CPH, 1912

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AROUND THE WORLD: THEOLOGY FOR THE CURIOUS CHRISTIAN, SETTING 5 (MORNING/EVENING DAILY DEVOTIONS)

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MORNING/EVENING/OTHER PRAYERS

MORNING

Dear Lord Jesus, Who, as the truly patient Lamb of God, did suffer for me the most shameful death upon the cross and with Your precious blood did redeem me from all my sins, from death and from the power of the devil, give me the assurance of this redemption through Your Holy Word, govern my heart with Your Holy Spirit, preserve me with Your divine love, and hide me this day, both in soul and body, in Your holy wounds.  Wash me clean from all my sins, teach me to live a life of good works, and finally lead me from this world of sorrows to Your eternal joy and glory, O most faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, my only Comfort, Hope and Life.  Amen.

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You.  For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.  Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me.  Amen. (Luther's Morning Prayer)

Almighty God, merciful Father, Who created and completed all things, on this day when the work of our calling begins anew, we implore You to create its beginning, direct its continuance, and bless its end, that our doings may be preserved from sin, our life sanctified, and our work this day be well-pleasing to You.  Keep safe our going out and our coming in, and let Your blessing remain with us throughout this day.  Preserve us in Your righteousness, and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new to us every morning, and though we have not deserved Your goodness, You abundantly provivide for all our wants of body and soul.  Grant us Your Holy Spirit, that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing, cheerful obedience; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Come, very Son of truth and love, come in Thy radiance from above, and shed the Holy Spirit’s ray on all we think and do today. Amen. (TLH 550:2)

MIDDAY/AFTERNOON 

Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, at this hour You hung upon the cross, stretching out Your loving arms to embrace the world in Your death. Grant that all people of the earth may look to You and see their salvation; for Your mercy’s sake we pray.  Amen.

Heavenly Father, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts to direct and rule us according to Your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us form all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

TABLE PRAYERS

Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest, and let Thy gifts to us be blessed.  Amen.

Lord God, heavenly Father, bless us and these Your gifts which we receive from Your bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Heavenly Father, bless this food, to Thy glory and our good.  Amen.

Feed Thy children, God most holy, comfort sinners poor and lowly; O Thou Bread of Life from heaven, bless the food Thou here hast given!  As these gifts the body nourish, may our souls in graces flourish till with saints in heavenly splendor at Thy feast due thanks we render.  Amen. (TLH 659) 

Our hands we fold our heads we bow, for food and drink we thank You now.  Amen.

EVENING/BEDTIME 

Dear Lord Jesus, O patient Lamb of God, O holy Sacrificial Offering for all my sins, and not only for my sins, but for the sins of the whole world, I heartily thank You for graciously keeping my body and soul under Your protecting care this day.  And I ask that You would graciously pardon and forgive all the sins which I have committed this day, both through the weakness of my sinful nature and the temptations of the evil one, all of which sorely oppress my heart and conscience.  Cover me this night with the wings of Your grace and grant that my body may sleep in safety while my soul watches for Your glorious coming in Judgment, ready to enter Your blessed Kingdom of Glory.  Grant this, O Lord, for the sake of Your suffering and death.  Amen.  

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night.  For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.  Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me.  Amen. (Luther's Evening Prayer)

Merciful Father, Whose guiding hand has brought us to the completion of this day, we humbly implore You to stay with us and shelter us in the quiet hours of the night so that we, who are wearied by the chances and changes of this passing world, may rest in Your changeless peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Gracious Lord, we give You thanks for the day, especially for the good we were permitted to give and to receive. The day is now past, and we commit it to You. We entrust to You the night and rest in Your peace, for You are our help, and You neither slumber nor sleep.  Drive from us all the snares of the enemy.  Be our light in the darkness, and in Your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night.  Let Your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let Your blessing be on us always.  Hear us for the sake of Your Name.  Amen.

Jesus, tender Shepherd,   hear me; bless Thy little lamb tonight: Through the darkness be Thou near me, keep me safe till morning light.  All this day Thy hand hast led me, and I thank Thee for Thy care; Thou hast clothed me, warmed and fed me; listen to my evening prayer.  May my sins be all forgiven; bless the friends I love so well; take us all at last to heaven, happy there with Thee to dwell.  Amen. 

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay close by me forever and love me, I pray.  Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and take us to heaven to live with Thee there.  Amen. (Away in a Manger: 3)

Lord Jesus Who dost love me, O spread Thy wings above me, and shield me from alarm.  Though Satan would devour me, let angel guards sing o’er me: “This child of God shall meet no harm.”  Amen. (Now Rest Beneath Night’s Shadow: 4)

Now the light has gone away; Father listen while I pray, asking Thee to watch and keep and to send me quiet sleep.  Jesus Savior wash away all that has been wrong today; help me every day to be good and gentle, more like Thee.  Let my near and dear ones be always near and dear to Thee; O bring me and all I love to Thy happy home above.  Now my evening praise I give; Thou didst die that I might live.  All my blessings come from Thee; Oh, how good Thou art to me!  Thou my best and kindest Friend, Thou wilt love me to the end.  Let me love Thee more and more, always better than before.  Amen. (Now the Light Has Gone Away)

GENERAL PRAYERS

[FOR THE CHURCH]  Merciful God, we humbly implore You to cast the bright beams of Your light upon Your Church that we, being instructed by the doctrine of the blessed apostles, and being delivered from all adversity and error, may walk in the light of Your truth, serve You in safety and freedom, dwell in Your peace and finally attain the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[GRACE TO RECEIVE GOD'S WORD]  Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning.  Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them that, by patience and the comfort of Your Holy Word, we may embrace and always cling to the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[LIFE AS A BAPTIZED CHILD OF GOD]  Merciful Father, through Holy Baptism You called us to be Your own possession.  Grant that our lives may evidence the working of Your Holy Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindess, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and discipline, according to the image of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Amen.  

[FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT]  O Lord God, heavenly Father, we give You thanks that of Your great goodness and mercy Your only-begotten Son became incarnate to redeem us from sin and everlasting death.  Enlighten our hearts by Your Holy Spirit, that He may rule and direct us according to Your will, comfort and strengthen us in all our temptations and afflictions, defend us from all error, and lead us into all truth so that we, being steadfast in faith, may increase in all good works and in the end obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[FOR DIVINE GUIDANCE]  Almighty and ever-living God, You make us both to will and to od those things that are good and acceptable in Your sight.  Let Your fatherly hand always guide us and Your Holy Spirit always be with us to direct us in the knowledge and obedience of Your Word.  In all our works begun, continued and ended in You, have us glorify Your Holy Name and finally, by Your mercy, obtain eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[THANKSGIVING TO GOD]  Lord God, heavenly Father, from Your hand we receive all good gifts and by Your grace we are guarded from all evil.  Grant us Your Holy Spirit that, acknowleding with our whole heart Your bountiful goodness, we may now and evermore thank and praise You for your loving-kindness and tender mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[CHRISTIAN VOCATION]  Heavenly Father, grant Your mercy and grace to us in our many and various callings.  Grant us patience and strengthen us in our Christian vocation of witness to the world and of service to our neigbhor in Jesus' Name; throug the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[AGAINST THE LOVE OF MONEY]  Almighty God, heavenly Father, You have called us to be Your children and heirs of Your gracious promises in Christ Jesus.  Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may forsake all covetous desires and the inordinate love of riches.  Deliver us from the pursuit of passing things that we may see the Kingdom of Your Son and turst in His righteousness and so find blessedness and peace; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[NEWNESS OF LIFE IN CHRIST]  Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon ourselves the armor of light now in the time of this mortal life in which Your Son, JEsus Christ, came to visit us in great humility, that on the Last Day, when He shall come again in glorious majesty to judge the living the and the dead, we may rise to immortal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[LIKENESS TO CHRIST]  O God, by the patient suffering of Your only-begotten Son You have beaten down the pride of the old enemy.  Now help us, we humbly pray, to rightly treasure in our hearts all that our Lord has of His goodness borne for our sake, that following His blessed example we may bear with patience all that is adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[FOR STEADFAST FAITH]  Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, beleiving in Him, we have everlasting life.  Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we would remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen,

[FOR A RIGHT KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST]  Almighty God, Whom to know is everlasting life, grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Way, the Truth and the Life, that following His steps we may steadfastly walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[FOR DELIVERANCE FROM SIN] We implore You, O Lord, in Your kindness to show us Your great mercy, that we may be set free from our sins and rescued from the punishment that we rightfully deserve; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[FOR AID AGAINST TEMPTATION] O God, You justify the ungodly and You do not desire the death of the sinner.  Graciously assist us by Your heavenly aid and cotinously shield us with Your protection, so that no temptation may separate us from Your love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord, in Whom we have forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.  Govern our hearts by Your Holy Spirit, that in our daily need, and especially in all time of temptation, we may seek Your help and, by a true and lively faith in Your Word, obtain all that You have promised; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[FOR PURITY] Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, cleans the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify Your Holy Name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[FOR FAITHFULNESS] Lord God, we thank You that You have taught us what You would have us believe and do.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit, for the sake of Jesus Christ, ot hold fast to Your Word in hearts that You have cleansed, so that we may be made strong in faith and perfect in holiness and be conforted in life and death; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[GRACE TO LOVE AND SERVE GOD] O God, through the grace of Your Holy Spirit You pour the gifts of love into the hearts of Your faithful people.  Grant Your servants bodily and mental health so that they may love You with their whole heart and with their all their strength perform that which is pleasing to You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[FOR THE SICK] Heavenly Father, Ruler of all things, Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, healed all manner of infirmities and cured all manner of diseases.  Mercifully help Your servant NAME in body and soul and, if it is Your will, free HIM/HER from HIS/HER sickness that, restored to health, HE/SHE may with a thankful heart bless Your Holy Name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

[HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST] Almighty, everlasting God, Your Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death.  Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ may increase daily, and that we may hold fast to the hope that on the Last Day we shall be raised in glory to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

†     †     †

THE LITANY

L: O Lord,                                                                         A: have mercy.
L: O Christ,                                                                       A: have mercy.       
L: O Lord,                                                                         A: have mercy.
L: O Christ,                                                                      A: hear us.
L: God the Father in heaven,                                          A: have mercy.
L: God the Son, Redeemer of the world,                       A: have mercy.
L: God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier,                                  A: have mercy.          
L: Be gracious to us.                                                       A: Spare us, good Lord.
L: Be gracious to us.                                                       A: Help us, good Lord.  

L: From all sin, from all error, from all evil; From the crafts and assaults of the devil; from sudden and evil death; From disease and famine; from war and bloodshed; from sedition and from rebellion; From lightning and storm; from all calamity by fire and water; and from everlasting death:
A: Good Lord, deliver us.

L: By the mystery of Your holy incarnation; by Your holy nativity; By Your baptism, fasting, and temptation; by Your agony and bloody sweat; by Your cross and passion; by Your precious death and burial; By Your glorious resurrection and ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter: 
A: Help us, good Lord.

L: In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our prosperity; in the hour of death; and in the day of judgment:
A: Help us, good Lord.

L: We poor sinners implore You
A: to hear us, O Lord.

L: To rule and govern Your holy Christian Church; to preserve all pastors and ministers of Your Church in the true knowledge and understanding of Your wholesome Word and to sustain them in holy living; To put an end to all schisms and causes of offense; to bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived; To beat down Satan under our feet; to send faithful laborers into Your harvest; and to accompany Your Word with Your grace and Spirit:
A: We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

L: To raise those who fall and to strengthen those who stand; and to comfort and help the weakhearted and the distressed:
A: We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

L: To give to all peoples concord and peace; to preserve our land from discord and strife; to give our country Your protection in every time of need; To direct and defend our president and all in authority; to bless and protect our magistrates and all our people; To watch over and help all who are in danger, necessity, and tribulation; to protect and guide all who travel; To grant all women with child, and all mothers with infant children, increasing happiness in their blessings; to defend all orphans and widows and provide for them; To strengthen and keep all sick persons and young children; to free those in bondage; and to have mercy on us all:
A: We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

L: To forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers and to turn their hearts; to give and preserve for our use the kindly fruits of the earth; and graciously to hear our prayers:
A: We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

L: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
A: we implore You to hear us.

L: Christ, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world, A: have mercy.
L: Christ, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world, A: have mercy.
L:
Christ, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world, A: grant us Your peace.

L: O Christ,                                                                      A: hear us.
L: O Lord,                                                                        A: have mercy.
L: O Christ,                                                                      A: have mercy.
L: O Lord,                                                                        A: have mercy. Amen.

†     †     †

HYMNS/MORNING

O BLESSED, HOLY TRINITY
1. O blessed, holy Trinity, Divine, eternal Unity, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, this day Your name be uppermost.

2. My soul and body keep from harm, and over all extend Your arm; Let Satan cause me no distress nor bring me shame and wretchedness.

3. The Father's love shield me this day; The Son’s pure wisdom cheer my way; The Holy Spirit’s joy and light drive from my heart the shades of night.

4. My Maker, hold me in Your hand; O Christ, forgiven let me stand; Blest Comforter, do not depart; with faith and love enrich my heart.

5. Lord, bless and keep me as Your own; Lord, look in kindness from Your throne; Lord, shine unfailing peace on me by grace surrounded; set me free.  Amen.

O SPLENDOR OF GOD’S GLORY BRIGHT
1. O Splendor of God's glory bright, O Thou that bringest light from light, O Light of Light, light’s living spring, O Day, all days illumining.  Alleluia!

2. Come, very Sun of truth and love; Pour down Thy radiance from above and shed the Holy Spirit's ray on all we think or do or say.  Alleluia!

3. With prayer the Father we implore: O Father, glorious evermore, we plead with Thee for grace and pow’r to conquer in temptation’s hour.  Alleluia!

4. To guide whate’er we nobly do, with love all envy to subdue, to give us grace our wrongs to bear, to make ill fortune turn to fair.  Alleluia!

5. On Christ, the true bread, let us feed; Let Him to us be drink indeed; And let us taste with joyfulness the Holy Spirit’s plenteousness.

6. All laud to God the Father be; All praise, eternal Son, to Thee; All glory to the Spirit raise in equal and unending praise.  Alleluia!  Amen.

WITH THE LORD BEGIN YOUR TASK
1. With the Lord begin your task; Jesus will direct it.  For His aid and counsel ask; Jesus will perfect it.  Ev’ry morn with Jesus rise, and when day is ended, in His Name then close your eyes; Be to Him commended.

2. Let each day begin with prayer, praise and adoration. On the Lord cast every care; He is your salvation.  Morning, evening, and at night Jesus will be near you, save you from the tempter’s might, with His presence cheer you.

3. With your Savior at your side, foes need not alarm you.  In His promises confide, and no ill can harm you.  All you trust and hope repose in the mighty Master, Who in wisdom truly knows How to stem disaster.

4. If you task be thus begun with the Savior’s blessing, safely then your course will run, toward the promise pressing. Good will follow ev’rywhere while you here must wander; You at last the joy will share in the mansions yonder.

5. Thus, Lord Jesus, ev’ry task be to You commended; May Your will be done, I ask, until life is ended.  Jesus, in Your Name begun be the day’s endeavor; Grant that it may well be done to Your praise forever.  Amen.

COME, THOU BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR
1. Come, Thou bright and Morning Star, light of Light without beginning; Shine upon us from afar that we may be kept from sinning.  Drive away by Thy clear light our dark night.

2. Let Thy grace, like morning dew falling soft on barren places, comfort, quicken, and renew our dry souls and dying graces; Bless Thy flock from Thy rich store evermore.

3. May Thy fervent love destroy our cold works, in us awaking ardent zeal and holy joy at the purple morn's first breaking.  Let us truly rise ere yet life has set.

4. Ah! Thou Dayspring from on high, grant that at Thy next appearing we who in the graves do lie may arise, Thy summons hearing, and rejoice in our new life, far from strife.

5. Light us to those heav’nly spheres, sun of grace, in glory shrouded; Lead us through this vale of tears to the land where days unclouded, purest joy, and perfect peace never cease.  Amen.

HYMNS/EVENING

O GLADSOME LIGHT
1. O gladsome Light, O Grace of God the Father’s face, eternal splendor wearing: Celestial, holy, blest, our Savior Jesus Christ, joyful in Thine appearing!

2. As daylight turns to night, we see the fading light, our  evening hymn outpouring, Father of might unknown, Thee, His incarnate Son, and Holy Ghost adoring.

3. To Thee of right belongs all praise of holy songs, O Son of God, Lifegiver; Thee, therefore, O Most High, The world doth glorify and shall exalt forever.  Amen.

ALL PRAISE TO THEE, MY GOD, THIS NIGHT
1. All praise to Thee, my God, this night for all the blessings of the light.  Keep me, O keep me, King of kings, beneath Thine own almighty wings.

2. Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son, the ill that I this day have done, that with the world, myself, and Thee, I, ere* I sleep, at peace may be.

3. Teach me to live that I may dread the grave as little as my bed.  Teach me to die that so I may rise glorious at the awe-full Day.

4. Oh, may my soul in Thee repose, and may sweet sleep mine eyelids close, sleep that shall me more vig’rous make to serve my God when I awake!

5. When in the night I sleepless lie, my soul with heav’nly thoughts supply; Let no ill dreams disturb my rest, no pow’rs of darkness me molest.

6 Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host: Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

* ere = before

O BLESSED LIGHT, O TRINITY
1. O blessed Light, O Trinity, O everlasting unity: As now the fiery sun departs, send forth Your light into our hearts.

2. To You our morning song of praise, to You our evening prayer we raise; We praise Your light in every age, the glory of our pilgrimage. 

3. All glory be to God above and to the Son, the Prince of love, and to the Spirit, One in Three!  We praise You, blessed Trinity.  Amen.

GOD, WHO MADE THE EARTH AND HEAVEN
1. God, who made the earth and heaven, darkness and light: You the day for work have given, for rest the night.  May Your angel guards defend us, slumber sweet Your mercy send us, holy dreams and hopes attend us all through the night.

2. And when morn again shall call us to run life’s way, may we still, whate’er befall us, Your will obey.  From the pow’r of evil hide us, in the narrow pathway guide us, never be Your smile denied us all through the day.  Alleluia!

3. Guard us waking, guard us sleeping, and when we die, may we in Your mighty keeping all peaceful lie.  When the last dread call shall wake us, then, O Lord, do not forsake us, but to reign in glory take us with You on high.

4. Holy Father, throned in heaven, all-holy Son, Holy Spirit, freely given, blest Three in One: Grant us grace, we now implore You, till we lay our crowns before You, and in worthier strains adore You while ages run.  Amen.

†     †     †

LUTHER’S SMALL CATECHISM

1st Chief Part of the Catechism: The Ten Commandments

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

The Second Commandment

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not murder.

What does this mean?   We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need.

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor’s money or possessions, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income.

The Eighth Commandment

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.

The Ninth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

The Tenth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not entice or force away our neighbor’s wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty.

[The text of the commandments is from Ex. 20:3, 7, 8, 12–17]

The Close of the Commandments

What does God say about all these commandments?

He says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Exodus 20:5-6)

What does this mean? God threatens to punish all who break these commandments. Therefore, we should fear His wrath and not do anything against them. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. Therefore, we should also love and trust in Him and gladly do what He commands.

2nd Chief Part: The Creed

The First Article of the Creed: Creation

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?  I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.

This is most certainly true.

The Second Article: Redemption

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?  I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.

This is most certainly true.

The Third Article: Sanctification

I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

What does this mean?  I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

This is most certainly true.

3rd Chief Part: The Lord’s Prayer

The Introduction and its Explanation

Our Father who art in heaven.

What does this mean?  With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.

The First Petition and its Explanation

Hallowed be Thy Name.

What does this mean?  God’s Name is certainly holy in itself,  but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also. 

How is God’s Name kept holy?  God’s Name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it.  Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven!  But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God’s Word profanes the Name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!

The Second Petition

Thy Kingdom come.

What does this mean?  The Kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.

How does God’s Kingdom come?  God’s Kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.

The Third Petition

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?  The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done?  God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die.

This is His good and gracious will.

The Fourth Petition

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?  God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?  Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?  We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?  God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?  We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.

The Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

What does this mean?  This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen means “yes, yes, it shall be so.”

4th Chief Part: Holy Baptism 

Part 1 of 4

What is Baptism?  Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s Word.

Which is that Word of God?  Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

Part 2 of 4

What benefits does Baptism give?  It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

Which are these words and promises of God?  Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

Part 3 of 4

How can water do such great things?  Certainly not just water, but the Word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this Word of God in the water. For without God’s Word the water is plain water and no Baptism.  But with the Word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three: “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.” (Titus 3:5–8)

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What does such baptizing with water indicate?  It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?  St. Paul writes in Romans chapter six: “We were therefore buried with Him through Baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

5th Chief Part: Confession and Absolution

What is Confession?  Confession has two parts.  First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.

What sins should we confess?  Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer; but before the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts.

Which are these?  Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments: Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm?

What is the Office of the Keys?  The Office of the Keys is that special authority which Christ has given to His church on earth to forgive the sins of repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long as they do not repent.

Where is this written?  This is what St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter twenty: The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22-23)

What do you believe according to these words?  I believe that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself.

6th Chief Part: The Sacrament of the Altar

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?  It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.

Where is this written?  The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul write: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: ‘Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.’

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it,    all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’”

What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?  These words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?  Certainly not just eating and drinking do these things, but the words written here: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” These words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: “forgiveness of sins.”

Who receives this sacrament worthily? Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training.  But that person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, for the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.

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    HOLY TRINITY & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES
    PO Box 247
    Lexington, Texas 78947
    PH: 979.773.2634
    lexington.fedor.lcms@gmail.com
    ABOUT US

    We are two conservative, confessional Lutheran churches of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, who, in faithfulness toward God, gather around His Holy Word and Sacraments.

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