805) Prayers on the Commandments

Different wording and numbering, but the same basic commands.

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Prayers by Martin Luther (1483-1546), adapted from Luther’s Prayers, translated by Charles Kistler (1917)

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(1st commandment)  Eternal God, you ask that I rely on you alone with all my heart in all things.  It is your earnest desire to be my God, and I must believe in you as my Lord, or, suffer the loss of eternal salvation.  My heart shall neither build on nor rely on anything else, whether it be property, honor, wisdom, power, purity, or any person.  Amen.  (#83)

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(1st)  I thank you, Lord, for mercifully condescending to me, a lost person, in such a fatherly way.  Unbidden, unsought, and undeserved by me, you offered to be my God, and have accepted me.  You will be my comfort, help, protection, and strength in every time of need.  Although we poor, blind creatures have sought our comfort and help in many other places; you have shown us that only in you do we have a true and lasting hope.  We will be forever grateful.  Amen.  (#84)

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(3rd)  Dear Lord, I thank you for your great blessing which you have given us in your Word and the preaching of it.  This is a treasure that no human heart can fully appreciate.  You have especially commanded that we make use of these blessings on the Sabbath Day, for your Word is the only light in the darkness of this world.  It is a word of life and comfort that brings peace and every blessing.  Where this beloved and healing Word is not found, there are, as we daily see, dreadful and horrible darkness, error, strife, death, every misfortune, and the devil’s tyranny.  From this preserve us.  Amen.  (#92)

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(4th) Dear God, you have given me spouse, child, house, and land.  I receive these as your gifts, and will care for them for your sake.  I will do what I can to make all go well.  If not all my plans succeed, I will learn to be patient and let whatever cannot be changed take its course.  When things do go well, I will give you the glory and say, ‘O Lord, this is not by my work or effort, but by your gift and providence.’  Be the head of my family.  I will be obedient to you in all humility.  Amen.  (#200)

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(4th)  I pray Lord for your blessings upon the home and the state.  Help us all to be devout, to honor our parents, to be obedient to our rulers, and to withstand the devil, refusing to follow his enticements to disobedience and strife.  Help us in our efforts to improve our homes and nation, and to preserve peace for your praise and glory, and for the promotion of everything that is good.  Grant that we may acknowledge these as your gifts and give you thanks for them.  Amen.  (#98)

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(5th)  Dear Lord, grant us your rich grace that the people with us and we with them shall be friendly, kind and gentle to one another, forgive each other from the heart, and endure each others faults and shortcomings in Christian love.  Thus, we may live in peace and unity, as this commandment teaches us and requires us to do.  Amen.  (#104)

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(6th)  Dear God, in this commandment you teach and command me to be pure, orderly, and respectful in all my thoughts, words, and deeds.  You forbid me to disgrace any other man’s wife or daughter, certainly not by any wicked deed, but also not by any idle talk that would rob them of their decency and degrade me.  Rather, I should do what I can to help them maintain their honor and respect, just as I would hope they would do for my family.  For we are responsible for each other– we should not do anything that would bring our neighbor’s family into reproach, but should do what we can to preserve their honor and goodness.  Amen.  (#105)

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(8th)  I confess and ask for your grace, because I have so often in my life sinfully spoke with malice and contempt against other people.  They depend on me for their honor and reputation, just as I depend on them for the same.  Help us all to obey this commandment, giving our neighbor the benefit of the doubt, and explaining their actions in the kindest way.  Amen.  (based on #115)

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Deuteronomy 6:4-7  —  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.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on 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.

Psalm 119:105  —  Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

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