800) Prayers for a Blessed End

Vincent van Gogh's Woman on her Deathbed Watercolor

Woman on Her Deathbed, Vincent van Gogh, 1883

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By Martin Luther, adapted from Luther’s Prayers (chapter 6), translated by Charles Kistler (1917)

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My dear God, if you so desire that this be my last hour, then let thy will be done, and I shall gladly die.  Only let your holy name be praised and glorified by my sufferings and death.  If it were possible, dear Lord, I would live longer for the sake of your people.  But if the hour has come, then do as you please, for you are the Lord of life and death.  Amen.  (#214)

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My dearest Lord Jesus, you have graciously granted me the knowledge of your holy name.  You know that I believe in you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the only true God.  You are my Savior who has shed your precious blood for me and all sinners.  Support me in this hour and comfort me with your Holy Spirit.  You are indeed the God of the weak and sinful who feel their need and anxiety.  I heartily desire your grace, comfort, and help, according to your Word which says, “Come to me all that labor and are heavy laden.”  Lord, I am in great trouble and distress.  I accept your invitation to come.  Help me by your mercy and in your truth.  Amen. (#216, #217)

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Merciful God, be gracious to me.  I know that even when I have done my best, I am still a miserable sinner and deserve nothing but your displeasure.  But regardless of my past life, I am comforted knowing that Jesus Christ has died for me, and that in Him I have the forgiveness of all my sins.  For I have indeed been baptized in your name; and, I have heard the Word through which you have called me, commanded me to believe, and assured me of grace and life.  With these blessings I will gladly die, without anxious doubts and fears about what will happen to me then.  For I now live in the assurance of the gracious promise which God has given me from heaven:  ‘He who believes in the Son of God has eternal life.’  Amen.  (#222, #228)

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O, God of all comfort, I give you thanks that you have revealed to me your dear Son, Jesus Christ, in whom I believe.  I know of no one else in heaven or on earth in whom I may have safe refuge except in Him.  Without this hope, I would be lost.  I pray Lord Jesus, let my soul be commended unto you.  O heavenly Father, although I must be torn away from this body and must leave it, I know that I shall remain with you forever, and that no one can ever take me out of your hands.  I rely on this assurance, and will gladly leave this life in it.  Amen.  (#220, #223, and #224)

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Dear Lord Christ, even though I do not fulfill your law and still have sin, and even though I am still afraid of death and hell, yet I know from the Gospel that all of your promised blessings are mine by faith.  I am sure of this, for you would not deceive me.  You will surely keep your promise.  And so now, dear Father, if it would please you, I would gladly die, for I know that you are mine.  Death cannot harm me, for it is swallowed up in victory.  Praise be to Thee, Lord God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen. (#225)

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O Lord Jesus Christ, will not this misery finally come to an end, and the glory of the children of God soon begin?  You have promised us the day in which you will deliver us from all manner of evil.  Let it come, even in this hour, if it be your will, and my death make an end of all my misery.  Amen. (#232)

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Luther’s prayer on the day of his death, Feb. 18, 1546:
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. You have redeemed me, faithful God. (#221)

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Romans 14:7-9  —  We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Psalm 31:5  —  Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

Luke 23:46  —  Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Psalm 23:4a  —  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.

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