A Meditation based on the Ten Commandments
and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism Explanations
Our Father in heaven, you have said, “I am the Lord your God,” and you have command us to have no other gods before you:
Lord, we pray that you give us the faith to fear, love, and trust in you above all things.
O God, you have commanded that we not take your name in vain:
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we do not curse, swear, conjure, lie, or deceive by your name; but rather, use your name to call upon you in every time of need, and to worship you with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.
O God, you command us to remember to keep the Sabbath day holy:
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we do not despise your Word or the preaching of it, but deem it holy, and gladly hear and learn it.
O God, you command us to honor our father and our mother:
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we do not despise our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but honor, serve, obey, love, and esteem them.
O God, you have forbidden us to kill:
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we never do our neighbor any bodily harm nor ever cause him any suffering, but rather, that we help and befriend him in every way.
O God, you have forbidden us to commit adultery:
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we lead a chaste and pure life in word and deed, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.
O God, you have forbidden us to steal:
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we do not rob our neighbor of his money or property, nor bring them into our possession by unfair dealing or fraud, but help him to improve and protect his property and living.
O God, you have forbidden us to bear false witness against our neighbor:
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we do not deceitfully belie, betray, backbite, nor slander our neighbor, but apologize for him, speak well of him, and seek to explain his actions in the kindest way.
O God, you have forbidden us to covet anything that is our neighbors (9th & 10th):
Lord, grant that we so fear and love you, that we do not ever seek by craftiness to gain possession of our neighbors’ inheritance, home, or anything that is our neighbors, nor obtain them under pretense of a legal right, but rather assist and serve them in keeping what is theirs.
O God, you have threatened to punish all who disobey these commandments. May we, therefore, fear your wrath and in no way disobey you.
O God, you have promised grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments.
Give us the faith, O Lord, to love you, trust in you, and gladly keep these commandments.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION:
Almighty God, I, a poor sinner confess unto you that I have sinned against you by thought, word, and deed. By your grace and for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray that you have mercy on me and forgive me.
THE WORD OF FORGIVENESS:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has had mercy upon us, and has given His only Son to die for us, and for his sake forgives us all our sins. To them that believe in Jesus, he gives the power to become the children of God, and bestows on them the Holy Spirit. Grant this, O Lord, unto us all. Amen.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 — Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 — These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 5:32-33 — So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
Lord God, I have indeed disobeyed your commandments. I have been impatient in suffering. I am unsympathetic and unmerciful. I fail to assist my neighbor as I ought. I am unable to resist sin. I do not tire of doing what is wrong. Dear Lord, pour out your grace to me so that I may obey you and keep each one of your commandments. Help me to give my heart and soul to you, even if that means I must be at odds with the world. Amen. –Martin Luther