By Martin Luther; adapted from prayers found in Luther’s Prayers translated by Charles Kistler (1917)
Heavenly Father, we know that we are not worthy to come to you in prayer. But you command us to pray and promise to hear us. You have even taught us the words to say, and so, we will be obedient. Relying on your gracious promise, we come in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and pray with all Christians on earth, as he taught us to pray;
OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN. Teach us, O Lord, to be mindful of our souls and our heavenly destination. Let us not limited by our ties to this earthly home, nor be deceived into thinking we are merely children of this world. Give us the faith to remember that you are our Father in ‘heaven’ and that we are your ‘heavenly children’… And then, casting off all hatred, envy, and discord, help us love one another as your true and devout children, coming to you together, saying not ‘My Father,’ but ‘Our Father.’
HALLOWED BE THY NAME. Gracious Father, grant us your grace so we may live in such obedience to you, that your holy name may be hallowed in us. Turn aside every false doctrine and all sinful living in which your worthy name is blasphemed and profaned. May all that we think, speak, have, and do give praise and honor to your name.
THY KINGDOM COME. Cleanse us from all sin, and give to us a high regard for all things that are pure. Deliver us from discord, strife, and warfare, and grant us the virtue, peace, unity, and quiet rest of your kingdom. Strengthen us so that neither anger nor any other bitterness can defeat your kingdom within us. By your grace, may we be filled with a pleasant disposition and all kindness and goodness. Preserve us from undue grief and sorrow, and let the joy and pleasure of your grace and mercy come to us.
THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. O Father, give us the grace to let your will be done in us. Even if it hurts us, continue to correct, strike, burn, sting, and whatever else you desire. May your will be done and not ours. Defend us from ourselves; and hinder us, if by our own will and conceit we intend to do that which opposes your will. Your will alone is good, even when it seems evil to us. Our will may be evil, even when it appears good to us. May your will be done.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. Lord, we know that we cannot produce for ourselves even a crumb of daily bread, neither can we guard ourselves against need or misfortune. Therefore, we will pray as you invite us to pray, and we will hope to receive what you promise; you who takes my need to heart and helps before I think of asking. If it pleases you to grant my request, let it be done according; if not, let it remain undone… Guard us against all greed and anxiety for the body, and give us the faith to rely on you for all that we need… And if you would test us a little by withholding your blessings for a while, then may your will be done. We pray, then, that you would give us strength and patience.
AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US. Almighty God, relieve our consciences now and in the hour of death from the terror of our guilt and the fear of your judgment. Let your peace come into our hearts so that we may await your judgment with joy. Be not severe in your judgment of us or no one will be found righteous. Teach us not to trust nor find comfort in our own good works, but only to yield ourselves solely and firmly to your infinite mercy. Let us not lose courage because of our sinful and guilty lives, but let us esteem your mercy as higher, broader, and stronger than all our being.
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION. We are weak and weary, O God, and the temptations of the devil and the world are great and many. We pray that you keep us strong and faithful, so that we do not fall into temptation and sin. Give us the grace to remain steadfast and fight bravely to our end; for without your grace and help we can do nothing.
BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. O dear God and Father, this miserable world is so full of sorrow and misfortune, so full of dangers and uncertainties, so full of unfaithfulness and wickedness, that we might indeed become weary of life and desirous of death. But you, O Lord, know our weakness, and so we pray that you help us pass safely through these many evils. And when the time comes, grant us a gracious end and a blessed departure from this vale of tears, that we may not be terrified nor disheartened by death, but with firm faith commend our souls into your hands.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN.
The Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV):
(Jesus said), “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”