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may pass our time quietly and secure from our enemies, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, our Lord. Amen.
And now, O Lord, we realize and confess with thankfulness of heart, that Thou didst give us our early and latter rains in due season, and didst keep faithful watch over our harvests each year. Thou hast watered our ridges abundantly, and hast settled the furrows thereof: Thou didst make it soft with showers: Thou didst bless the springing thereof. Thou hast given increas to our grain and growth to our land. Thanks, honor, praise, and glory be unto God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
We also pray Thee, beloved God and Father, from the inmost of our hearts, give unto us Thy Holy Spirit, that we may receive with thankfulness what Thou hast bestowed upon us, and sanctify it with Thy Word and prayer. Grant that these temporal blessings be devoted to Thy honor and applied to the support of ourselves and our churches and schools, including our needy neighbor, and at the same time that the harmful and despicable love of money and the cares of this life be most diligently avoided. Protect this place and the whole country from the dangers and distress of war, from hostile invasions and devastations. Give
to our beloved government the spirit of wisdom, of counsel, of power and strength. Confirm and preserve among us the peace we value. Let us pass the days of our sojourning in true knowledge of Thy holy name and in Thy fear; also in health of body, peace, and unity, and finally do Thou grant unto all of us eternal salvation, for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior's sake. Amen.
Prayer on Mission Festival
O ALMIGHTY GOD, Thou didst create the world and all that is therein, and hast made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth: Thou art not far from every one of us; for in Thee we live and move and have our being. Thou who in times past didst suffer the Gentiles to walk in their own ways, but now commandest men everywhere to repent and with Thy grace dost visit the hearts of the Gentiles: We pray Thee, let the light of Thy countenance shine upon us, that Thy salvation may bud forth at all places, and the honor of Thy name extend to the ends of the earth. Look down from heaven upon the distress of so many people (nations), who are still
sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, ignorant of their divine origin and lying under the cruel tyranny of the devil. The light that lighteth all men that have come into this world, hath not risen for them. They are walking in the vanity of their minds. Their mind is shrouded in darkness. They are estranged from the life that is of God, by reason of the ignorance that is in them and the blindness of their hearts. The God of this world has blinded their minds, and the common enemy of souls has captured them according to his pleasure.
Do Thou grant, O merciful God, that we profit from the misfortune of others to our salvation, and on the one hand deplore the miserable condition of blindness, wherewith Thou hast smitten the heathen, but on the other hand apply the light given us of grace to better purpose for our sanctification. Let the light of the Gospel rise unto those that as yet are far from Christ, the true sun, and are groping in the dense darkness of idolatry. Do Thou, by the attractive voice of the Gospel bring these scattered sheep back into Thy spiritual fold. Give unto us shepherds that do not rule harshly and severely over the sheep nor devour their substance and clothe themselves with their wool, but who minister unto the weak in the spirit of love and gentleness, who restore the sick, bind up the wound
ed, bring back the erring, seek the lost, and in their life and walk present themselves as living examples for the flock. And since the Gospel message of the love of God as revealed in Christ is the only means of reconciling men with God and returning the lost sheep to the fold of Christ: Do Thou grant that all who go forth to preach the Gospel to the heathen, proclaim this word of reconciliation with wisdom from on high, that they overcome all obstacles with undaunted courage, and, setting aside all selfish ends in administering so sacred an office, that they seek naught else than the honor of Thy name and the advancement of Thy kingdom. Grant that they clearly recognize the mystery of the cross to be the center of our evangelical doctrine, and not pretend to know anything among the Geniles, save Christ Jesus and Him crucified, but extol Him as the hope of glory and the fountain of salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. Amen.
FROM CASPER NEUMANN'S "CREAM OF PRAYERS'
Prayer of Thanks
O LORD GOD FATHER, Son and Holy Ghost, Thou art the almighty God of heaven and earth,
and in Thee we live, move and have our being. Thou didst decree that man should live of bread and for that reason didst, at the beginning, make the earth fruitful by Thine almighty word; and after the days of the flood, Thou dids promise that, while the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest should not cease. Behold, O Lord, this law of Thine, once established, still obtains; Thou dost continue to crown the year with Thy goodness. Thou causest grass to grow for the cattle, and grain for the good of man. Thou bringest forth bread out of the earth and dost fill our hearts with joy and gladness. How wisely Thou didst arrange all things, O Lord! And how great Thy goodness towards us is, who are not worthy of Thy bread. And how wonderfully infinite Thine omnipotence is in greatly multiplying the seed that decays in the soil. And it is this Thy unsearchable wisdom and Thine unspeakable goodness, grace, and omnipotence, which visited our land also this year. Men had sown their seed in hope, and Thou hast hitherto blessed the fruits of the field and hast permitted us to see the times when every one reaps and garners into his barns what Thou hast given. O Lord, Thou God of riches, all that men harvest is indeed Thine, for we cannot, of ourselves, cause anything to spring forth out of the earth, so if we get much or little, it is nevertheless more than we