I’ll be honest. Today, I’m more exhausted than you know. And when I’m this tired, there’s only one common sense thing to do – pray. So this morning, I want to share two of my favorite prayers with you.
The first and last selections are morning and evening prayers recorded in Luther’s Shorter Catechism. The second selection is the opening of St. Augustine’s Confessions. Both remind me of a simple, yet universal truth for the Christian. It is this: whatever you are doing – whether it be studying the Word, working at a school or business, being a mom or dad, being a husband or wife, fighting to protect others, loving one another, giving your best effort when you’re on the verge of collapse, or just struggling to live a God-glorifying life, do it all in His strength, not your own. And always remember – always remember – that what we do is done in His service. Yes we work to please our teachers, bosses, families, and friends, but at the end of the day, this whole thing called “life” is all done for Him. He gave us everything when He gave us the gift of His Son and the Holy Spirit. How then can we not be willing to work day in and day out in His service?
“Lord God, give us the strength to you Your will according to Your ways, in Your strength, for Your Son, and through Your Spirit. Amen.”
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Morning Prayer: “I give Thee thanks, heavenly Father, through Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, that Thou hast protected me through the night from all harm and danger. I beseech Thee to keep me this day, too, from all sin and evil, that in my thoughts, words, and deeds I may please Thee. Into Thy hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let the holy angel have charge of me, that the wicked may have no power over me. Amen.”
From Augustine: “Great are you, Lord, and greatly to be praised. Great is Your power and infinite wisdom. You awaken us to delight in your praise, for you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. What are you, then, my God? What but the Lord God? Most high, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful , yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong; stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old; all renewing, yet bringing age upon the proud, and they do not know it; ever-working, ever at rest; still gathering, yet lacking nothing; supporting, filling, overspreading; creating, nourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. You love without passion, are jealous without anxiety; are angry, yet serene; change Your words, Your purpose unchanged; receive again what you find, yet are never lost; never in need, but rejoicing in gain; never covetous, but exacting interest. You pay debts, owing nothing; remit debts, losing nothing. And what have I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? Oh, that I might rest in You! Oh, that you would enter my heart and inebriate it. … only let me see Your face.”
Evening Prayer: “I give thanks, heavenly Father, through thy dear Son Jesus Christ, that Thou hast this day graciously protected me. I beseech Thee to forgive all my sin and the wrong which I have done. Graciously protect me during the coming night. Into thy hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let the holy angel have charge of me, that the wicked may have no power over me. Amen.”