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Prayer at the End of the Day
at a Church Picnic

 

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

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L. Blessed may you be, O Lord, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity.

C. Yours, O Lord, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory.

 

L. For all in heaven and on earth is yours.

C. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom: you are exalted as head over all.

 

L. Riches and honor are from you.

C. And you have dominion over all.

 

L. In your hand are power and might.

C. It is yours to make great and give strength to all.

 

L. Therefore, O God, we give you thanks.

C. And we praise the majesty of your name. (1 Chr.29:10-13)

 

Hymn: “This Is My Father's World”

     1. This is my Father's world,

         And to my list'ning ears

         All nature sings, and round me rings

         The music of the spheres.

         This is my Father's world;

         I rest me in the thought

         Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;

         His hand the wonders wrought.

 

     2. This is my Father's world;

         The birds their carols raise;

         The morning light, the lily white,

         Declare their maker’s praise.

         This is my Father's world;

         He shines in all that's fair.

         In rustling grass I hear him pass;

         He speaks to me ev’rywhere.

 

     3. This is my Father's world;

         Oh, let me not forget

         That, though the wrong seems oft so strong,

         God is the ruler yet.

         This is my Father's world;

         Why should my heart be sad?

         The Lord is king, let the heavens ring;

         God reigns on earth. Be glad!

                                             Text by M.D. Babcock

 

L. Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe,

C. for in your wisdom you have formed us.

 

L. You feed the hungry and clothe the naked.

C. We bless you and praise your name forever.

 

L. You set free those who are bound.

C. We bless you and praise your name forever.

 

L. You raise up those whose courage falters.

C. We bless you and praise your name forever.

 

L. You provide for our every need.

C. Accept our grateful praises.

 

L. You have called us from all peoples.

C. We rejoice and bless your name forever.

 

L. You bless your people with peace.

C. We bless you and praise your loving grace.

 

L. Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe,

C. for in your wisdom you have formed us.   (LBW Service of the Word)

 

L. The Lord be with you.

C. And also with you.

 

L. Let us pray. O God, you give us times of refreshment and peace in the course of this busy life. Grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Amen

 

First Lesson: Romans 8:18-27

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

The word of the Lord

C. Thanks be to God.

Silence for meditation

Psalm 8 (spoken together in unison)

O Lord, our Sovereign,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

above the heavens.

Out of the mouths of babes and infants

you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,

to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars that you have established;

what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,

and crowned them with glory and honor.

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under their feet,

all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

 

Second Lesson: St. Matthew 14:13-23

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.

The word of the Lord

C. Thanks be to God.

Silence for meditation

Hymn: “For the Fruit of All Creation”

     1. For the fruit of all creation,

         Thanks be to God.

         For his gifts to ev’ry nation,

         Thanks be to God.

         For the plowing, sowing, reaping,

         Silent growth while we are sleeping,

         Future needs in earth’s safe keeping,

         Thanks be to God

 

     2. In the just reward of labor

         God’s will is done.

         In the help we give our neighbor

         God’s will is done.

         In our world-wide task of caring

         For the hungry and despairing,

         In the harvests we are sharing

         God’s will is done.

 

     3. For the harvests of the Spirit,

         Thanks be to God.

         For the good we all inherit,

         Thanks be to God.

         For the wonders that astound us,

         For the truths that still confound us,

         Most of all, that love has found us,

         Thanks be to God.

                                             Text by F. Pratt Green

 

Responsive Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship:

 

L. Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal.

C. Have mercy on us.

 

L. Our Father in heaven,

C. hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen

 

L. I believe in God,

C. the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

    I believe in Jesus Christ, Godís only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

 

L. Show us your mercy, O Lord,

C. and grant us your salvation.

 

L. Give us the joy of your saving help again,

C. And sustain us with your bountiful Spirit.

 

L. Give peace in all the world;

C. for only in you can we live in safety.

 

L. Keep the nations under your care,

C. and guide us in the way of justice and truth.

 

L. Let your way be known upon earth;

C. your saving health among all nations.

 

L. Let not the needy be forgotten,

C. nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

 

L. Create in me a clean heart, O God,

C. and sustain me with your Holy Spirit.

 

L. Lord, hear my prayer,

C. And let my cry come before you.

 

L. The Lord be with you.

C. And also with you.

 

Prayer for Labor Day

L. Let us pray. Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ dignified our labor by sharing our toil. Be with your people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and to all of us, give pride in what we do and a just return for our labor; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (TLW)

C. Amen

 

Prayer for Our Country

L. Almighty God, you have given us this good land as our heritage. Make us always remember your generosity and constantly do your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Make us who came from many nations with many different languages a united people. Defend our liberties and give those whom we have entrusted with the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there might be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, let our hearts be thankful; and, in troubled times, do not let our trust in you fail. We ask all this through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ELW)

C. Amen

 

Luther’s Prayer for the Evening

L. We give you thanks, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously protected us today. We ask you to forgive us all our sins, where we have done wrong, and graciously to protect us tonight.  Into your hands we commend ourselves:  our bodies, our souls, and all that is ours. Let your holy angels be with us, so that the wicked foe have no power over us. (ELW)

C. Amen

 

L. Let us bless the Lord

C. Thanks be to God.

 

L. Almighty God + bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

C. Amen