Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Prayer

Christmas Eve - Prayers for the Divine Service (St. Paul's Ev. Luth. Church, Brookfield, IL)

P: Almighty and most merciful Father, we who cannot go to the manger have been drawn by Your grace and mercy to this altar to receive Him who is born to be our Savior. We who have not seen a multitude of the heavenly host, marvel at the words of the prophets and apostles by which You have declared to us where the Savior is to be found. Seeking Him where He promises to be found and finding Him where He comes according to His Word, we find also everlasting peace and joy.

Heavenly Father, we have often come to this altar to declare the complaints of our flesh – and because You have redeemed us, You answer us with grace and mercy. He have come before this altar with prayers at the birth of our children and grandchildren – and have likewise come at the death of our loved ones. At this altar You join together two as one flesh and You hear the vows of those who are confirmed, who are accepted as members, and who will serve as officers and board members. At this altar, we bring no gold, frankincense and myrrh, but our offerings that they may be used in service to Your kingdom. But over and above all things, we pray, O Lord, that Your glory may be declared and seen in Your salvation and in the fruits of righteousness. Lord, in Your mercy,
 
C: Hear our prayer.

P: O Consolation of Israel and Prince of Peace, grant Your peace which the world cannot give. When the devil seeks to rob us of our peace with his lies and accusations, when the world offers us its counterfeit peace achieved through self-centered glories and self-serving compromise, and when our own flesh feels no peace recalling its own guilt and shame, even the secrets of our heart which are known to You, grant that we would not pursue glory through worldly means or our own efforts, but may cling by faith to Your gracious work of redemption, by which we may enter into Your eternal glory. Grant us that peace which gives us courage to do and say what is right, which leads us to glorify and praise You in word and deed in our homes and communities. Give us that peace which is manifested in a sure and certain hope of Your eternal glory through Your only-begotten and beloved Son, born to be our Savior; Lord, in Your mercy,
 
C: Hear our prayer.

P: Heavenly Father, remember all of those who are called by Your name through holy Baptism and do not forsake or abandon them in the hour of their need. As they lie in hospital beds, grant them to know that You were laid in a manger to deliver them from every aspect of sin's cursed effects . . . For the sick and the needy during this blessed season, care packages of things that will break and wear out and grow old . . . Provide for their need in body and soul and preserve them through this life into that life which has been prepared for those who seek Your kingdom and righteousness in Jesus Christ alone; Lord, in Your mercy,
 
C: Hear our prayer.

P: Move the hearts of Your people to know the same joy as the shepherds to return to our homes glorifying and praising you for all that they have heard and seen in Your Word by faith as it was told to them. Hunger and thirst for righteousness as evidenced by their hunger and thirst for Your Word and Sacraments. Grant that our Bible classes and catechism classes may grow not for the sake of our congregation, but to the glory of Your holy name. Move the hearts of Your people to offer the sacrifices and offerings which are commensurate with Your grace and glory that the message of the angels may still be proclaimed in all the world. We pray especially this Christmas Eve / Day that You would grant strength and peace to missionaries who, for the sake of proclaiming Your Word, are isolated or far from home and family , who may be imprisoned or threatened for Your name's sake – and turn the hearts of Your enemies to believe, teach and confess Your truth and love . . . Lord, in Your mercy,
 
C: Hear our prayer.

P: These and whatsoever other things You would have us ask of You, O God, grant to us for the sake of the bitter sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, Your only Son, our Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
 
C: Amen.