Benedictions: Prayers

“The night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:12).

And thou, O most merciful Father, we beseech thee, for thy mercy’s sake, continue thy grace and favor towards us; let the sun of thy gospel never go down out of our hearts; let thy truth abide and be established among us forever. Help our unbelief, increase our faith, give us hearts to consider the time of our visitation. In faith clothe us with Christ, that he may live in us, and thy name may be glorified in us, in the sight of all the world. Amen.

(By Jewell; taken from Prayers of the Reformers compiled by Clyde Manschreck)

For the Kingdom of God

Christ, thou hast bidden us pray for the coming of thy Father’s kingdom, in which his righteous will shall be done on earth. We have treasured thy words, but we have forgotten their meaning, and thy great hope has grown dim in thy Church. We bless thee for the inspired souls of all ages who saw afar the shining city of God, and by faith left the profit of the present to follow their vision. We rejoice that today the hope of these lonely hearts is becoming the clear faith of millions. Help us, O Lord, in the courage of faith to seize what has now come so near, that the glad day of God may dawn at last. As we have mastered Nature that we might gain wealth, help us now to master the social relations of mankind that we may gain justice and a world of brothers. For what shall it profit a nation if it gain numbers and riches, and lose the sense of the living God and the joy of human brotherhood?

Make us determined to live by truth and not lies, to found our common life on the eternal foundations of righteousness and love, and no longer to prop the tottering house of wrong by legalized cruelty and force. Help us to make the welfare of all the supreme law of our land, that so our commonwealth may be built strong and secure on the love of all its citizens. Cast down the throne of Mammon who ever grinds the life of men, and set up thy throne, O Christ, for thou didst die that men might live. Show thy erring children at last the way from the City of Destruction to the City of Love, and fulfill the longings of the prophets of humanity. Our Master, once more we make thy faith our prayer: “Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth!”

(Taken from Prayers of the Social Awakening by Walter Rauschenbusch)

Draw thou our hearts

O Lord Jesus Christ, draw thou our hearts unto thee; join them together in inseparable love, that we may abide in thee, and thou in us, and that the everlasting covenant between us may stand sure forever. O wound our hearts with the fiery darts of thy piercing love. Let them pierce through all our slothful members and inward powers, that we, being happily wounded, may so become whole and sound. Let us have no lover but thyself alone; let us seek no joy nor comfort except in thee. Amen.

(By Coverdale; taken from Prayers of the Reformers compiled by Clyde Manschreck)