Day of Prayer

Our governor has declared today, March 29, to be a special day of prayer for our state and for our nation, particularly in regard to the current virus pandemic. In response, I offer three timely prayers as written in The Lutheran Hymnal (published in 1941). I considered modernizing the pronouns and verbs, but chose to leave them as written.

Prayer for the sick: “Almighty, everlasting God, the eternal Salvation of them that believe, hear our prayers in behalf of Thy servants who are sick, for whom we implore the aid of Thy mercy, that, being restored to health, they may render thanks to Thee in Thy Church; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.”

A second prayer for the sick: “O Lord, look down from heaven, behold, visit, and relieve Thy servants for whom we offer our supplications; look upon them with the eyes of Thy mercy; give them comfort and sure confidence in Thee, defend them from the danger of the enemy, and keep them in perpetual peace and safety; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.”

This third prayer might spark some thought and conversation: In time of great sickness: “Almighty and most merciful God, our heavenly Father, we, Thine erring children, humbly confess unto Thee that we have justly deserved the chastening which for our sins Thou hast sent upon us; but we entreat Thee, of Thy boundless goodness to grant us true repentance, graciously to forgive our sins, to remove from us, or to lighten, our merited punishment, and so to strengthen us by Thy grace that as obedient children we may be subject to Thy will and bear our afflictions in patience; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.”

I posted these on Facebook an hour ago. It will be interesting to gauge the reactions. J.

4 thoughts on “Day of Prayer

  1. Number three is not without current criticism. I think, however, it will get God’s attention and approval. My thoughts. I will be interested in the responses you receive. I guess most folks who choose Prayers One and Two will not be as likely to respond. Interesting.

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    • I posted them separately and got the most likes and the only comments on the first prayer. I wish the writer of the third prayer had made a careful distinction between chastening and punishment, as we know that Christ bore our full punishment on the cross. But equating a time of great sickness (or a storm or an earthquake) with judgment and the need for repentance is entirely appropriate. J.

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      • At least a time for evaluation of oneself – and one’s community, or any sphere of influence. In the light of eternity, we price it costs to “wake us up” is seen as love. Some kind of roadblocks need to be thrown out to slow us down. Then some might consider their eternal choice. It is rather easy to deny death unless it is put starkly in one’s path.

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      • Yes. Earlier generations dealt with plague and flu and other communicable diseases, often with quarantines and confinement. Maybe some among us thought that medicine and science could keep such things from happening again. The Lord has decided to show us where our faith belongs. J.

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