my merciful Redeemer

image / falco / pixabay
 
O Lord, I am you clay. You are my potter and skilled master.  Because you pronounce me a sinner, I accept your word.  I sincerely acknowledge and confess the godless condition which shows itself in my flesh and my entire nature.  I do so that you may be glorified and I humiliated.  As with all others, I am sin and death; you are life and righteousness.  Together with all people I am the worst evil; you are and remain the highest good.  I acknowledge and confess all this.  I am led to this confession not by my reason, which would rather cover up and disguise this godless condition, but through your law and promises, I want your honor to stay and increase.  
 
Lord, I am your sin; you are my righteousness.  Therefore I am glad and have victory without fear.  For my sin cannot outweigh or overpower your righteousness.  Neither will your righteousness permit me to be or remain a sinner.  Your Spirit, O Lord, must make and keep me alive.  Blessed are you, O faithful God, my merciful Redeemer.  In you alone do I trust.  Amen.
 
Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546, German Reformer
 
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I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
 

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blessings of home

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
 
O God, bless those who have no homes.
Bless those who have to live away from home
  in lodgings and boarding-houses and hotels.
Bless those who have been left alone,
  and who are solitary now.
Bless those who are searching or waiting for a house.
Specially bless young couples who have to live in furnished rooms,
  or with relatives, and who have never had the chance
  to be alone together and to have a home of their own.
Bless those who keep house for other people,
  and who have no house of their own.
Bless old people who are coming to the end in some institution
  which is very comfortable but which is still not home.
Help us who have the blessing of a good home
  to keep an open heart and an open door
  to those less fortunate than ourselves.
This we ask for your love’s sake. Amen.

from the Audenshaw prayers, UK
 
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Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, 
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

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to you I commit my trust

image / Duccio di Buoninsegna / Public domain / Wikimedia Commons
 
Loving and tender providence of my God,
    into your hands I commend my spirit;
 to you I abandon my hopes and fears,
    my desires and repugnancies,
    my temporal and eternal prospects.
To you I commit the wants of my perishable body;
 to you I commit the more precious interests
    of my immortal soul
    for whose lot I have nothing to fear
    as long as I do not leave your care.
Though my faults are many, 
    my misery great,
    my spiritual poverty extreme,
        my hope in you surpasses all.
It is superior to my weakness,
    greater than my difficulties
    stronger than death.
Though temptations should assail me,
    I will hope in you;
 though I break my resolutions,
    I will look to you confidently
        for grace to keep them at last.
Though you should ask me to die,
    even then I will trust in you,
    for you are my Father, my God,
    the support of my salvation.
You are my kind, compassionate and indulgent parent,
    and I am your devoted son,
    who casts myself into your arms and begs your blessing.
I put my trust in you,
    and so trusting, shall not be confounded. Amen.
 
St. Claude de la Colombière, 1641-1682, French Jesuit priest and ascetic
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When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

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bless the vaccines

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
 
Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the countless ways you show us your love. 
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us 
    and giving people (those we call brilliant) a spec of your brilliance 
    to create vaccines that ‘help our bodies develop immunity to the virus’. 
We ask you to bless the vaccines to our bodies, 
    for those who are already fully vaccinated 
    and for those who will be getting them. 
We pray we will not be adversely affected – long and short term, 
    and, if it is in our best interests, 
    to only experience mild or no symptoms after receiving the vaccine. 
Thank you for all the volunteers and medical community 
    that are tasked with administering the vaccines. 
We confess our FAITH IS IN YOU and not the vaccine. 
So, we also pray for those who do not feel led to get one, 
    that you would also give them immunity and keep them healthy. 
We trust in You and your Word!

We pray this prayer in the lovely name of Jesus!
Amen!

Paula Cianci, family friend

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Psalm 91:3-6  

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

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sharing Thanksgiving

photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash  
 
Thanksgiving!  What a wonderful holiday! 
How fitting it is, Gracious God, that we have a day set aside
    to give thanks for all the blessings we have received.
Our ancestors declared a day of worship to celebrate 
    simply having enough to survive;
    we give thanks for bounty well beyond the necessities of life.
We are blessed to be among those who have not only enough,
    but enough to share.
We rejoice at your blessing, Maker of All,
    and pray that your spirit will lead us in an ardent effort
    to see that the whole world shares in your abundant gifts.
 
Walter C. Sutton
 
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Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.