by James L. Brauer
Congregations: Consider using these words in the Prayer of the Church on or before July 14, as you pray together for the Synod convention (July 20–25). Reproduction for parish use is permitted.
O Christ, when You ascended into heaven, You sent Your disciples into the world to make disciples of all nations by baptizing them and teaching them to observe everything You commanded. Bless our church body, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as it holds its 2019 convention.
O Lord, You brought great joy to the wise men when they saw the star that led them to You. Give all members of our Synod great joy in following You, that in every situation they are ready to hear Your Word, give thanks for all Your benefits and trust in Your promises.
Ruler of All, Your Word brought the universe into existence and is able to turn rebellious sinners into thankful servants. With Your Word govern and sustain every congregation, educational institution, service organization and church worker in our Synod. Guide them in their tasks of sharing the Good News of Your victory over sin, death and the devil. Help everyone who labors in Your Kingdom to be Your faithful servant.
Lamb of God, You are the Alpha and Omega and Head of Your Church. Guide those who plan the convention’s worship, business and communications, that everything done or said there would serve Your purpose of bringing salvation to every nation and people. Direct the work of floor committees as they review proposals and draft motions, that all who are involved may hear clearly, discuss calmly and prepare wise recommendations. Give all delegates, especially those who will cast votes, diligence in studying the issues at stake, wisdom in discerning Your will and charity in dealing with others, that every decision they make will honor and serve You. Send the Holy Spirit on all who are elected to positions of authority, that they will be enabled to serve with a pure heart, to seek Your guidance in all matters and to carry out their duties faithfully and well. Watch over all who travel to the convention that they may arrive safely; protect them from every harm as they labor together and as they return home.
Shepherd of the Church, You supply us with everything we need and are always with us. Continue to nourish and strengthen us with Your Word and Sacraments, and fill our hearts with gladness, so that by our labors under Your guidance, many more may be brought into Your flock.
O Jesus, we ask all this in Your name, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The Rev. Dr. James L. Brauer is emeritus professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where he served as Dean of the Chapel.
This article originally appeared in print in the June/July 2019 issue of The Lutheran Witness.