January 2016

January 2016

Christian Prayers: The Godly Husband

I recently came across an old Lutheran prayer book, published by Concordia Publishing House in the 1920s. I was struck by the beauty and godly spirit of the prayers contained in this tiny volume, so much so that I would like to share some of these prayers with my congregation.

First, though, a word about the use of prayer books like this. Some prayers are intended to be memorized and prayed word for word.

These would include the Lord’s Prayer, Luther’s morning and evening prayers, and the blessing before and after a meal. There are, however, much longer and more in-depth prayers intended to give us a feel for how to pray rather than to serve word for word as our own prayers. My recommendation would be to start by praying these prayers as you read them. After praying through them a few times, as the ideas and phrases sink in, you will begin to feel comfortable praying them from your heart, adapting the words and ideas to your own circumstances.

The first prayer that I will share is intended for husbands:

ALMIGHTY, Beneficent God, Thou hast Thyself instituted holy wedlock, and hast, by means of the first miracle of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, honored and distinguished it as a state pleasing to Thee, in which also many sainted fathers and prophets lived a godly life, well-pleasing to Thee. And since by Thy guidance I have entered holy matrimony, and Thou hast ordained me to be the head of a household and dost take especial delight in the following of three things: that brethren dwell together in unity, that neighbors love one another, and that husband and wife serve each other in love, I now pray Thee, from the inmost of my heart grant that I, in Christian love, harmony, and consideration live with my wife as the weaker vessel, that I accord to her the honor due her as co-heir to the grace of life eternal, that

I incline her, together with our children and domestics to a knowledge of Thee and Thine honor, doing all this in chastity and propriety. To this end do Thou bestow grace, that the members of my household follow my guidance when I direct them to what is good and godly. Prevent the evil one from introducing discord and contention, and if, through weakness of the flesh, the spirit of discord get the upper hand, grant that harmony be speedily restored. Graciously grant that I may never covet a strange spouse or woman, nor look upon her to lust after her. If it is Thy divine will, keep sickness from me and my family. And grant to me, Thine humble servant, that I be diligent in my calling, eat my bread in the sweat of my brow, and do not grow disheartened over stress of work, for Thou hast so ordained it. And bestow Thy blessing upon my substance, that it may increase without damage or loss to others. Favor me with pious servants and faithful laborers. Preserve from harm my house and my home and all Thou hast given me. Also help me patiently to bear my cross, and after this life gather us and all Christians in Thy kingdom above. Amen.

Note some of the themes found in this prayer. A godly husband asks God for a harmonious household, free of discord and strife. He prays that God would grant him chastity and decency, that the marriage bed may be kept pure. He prays for the gift of leadership, that he may serve faithfully and well as the head of his wife and of his household. He prays for the eternal salvation of all those under His care. Finally, he prays for the temporal blessings of the health and prosperity of his household, and for patience should it be God’s will to withhold those blessings for a time. We husbands would do well to incorporate these themes into our own prayers.

Next month I will share a prayer for wives. God bless the households of Holy Cross, keeping us steadfast in his Word and faith unto our end!


Pastor Neuendorf