A Prayer in Times of Danger

Almighty and Everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth the right hand of Thy Majesty, to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.

from UCLA service book

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General Prayer of UCLA

ALMIGHTY and most Merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: We give Thee thanks for all Thy goodness and tenders mercies, especially for the gift of Thy dear Son, and for the revelation of Thy will and grace; we beseech Thee so to implant Thy Word in us, that, in good and honest hearts, we may keep it, and bring forth fruit by patient continuance in well doing.

Most heartily we beseech Thee so to rule and govern Thy Church universal, that it may be preserved in the pure doctrine of Thy saving Word, whereby faith toward Thee may be strengthened, and charity increased in us toward all mankind.

Send forth Thy light and Thy truth unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Raise up faithful pastors and missionaries to preach the Gospel in our own land and to all nations; and guide, protect and prosper them in their labors.

Bless, we pray Thee, the institutions of the Church; its colleges, its seminaries, and all its schools; that they may send forth men and women to serve Thee, in the Ministry of the Word, the Ministry of Mercy, and all the walks of life.

Let the light of Thy Word ever shine within our homes. Keep the children of the Church in the covenant which Thou hast made with them in Holy Baptism; and grant all parents grace to bring them up in faith toward Thee and in obedience to Thy will. Grant also health and prosperity to all that are in authority, especially to the President (and Congress) of the United States, the Governor (and Legislature) of this Commonwealth, and to all our Judges and Magistrates; and endue them with grace to rule after Thy good pleasure, to the maintenance of righteousness, and to the hinderance and punishment of wickedness, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. All who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity, especially those who are in suffering for Thy truth’s sake, comfort, O God, with Thy Holy Spirit, that they may receive and acknowledge their afflictions as the manifestation of Thy fatherly will.

And although we have deserved Thy righteous wrath and manifold punishments, yet, we entreat Thee, O most Merciful Father, remember not he sins of our youth, nor our many transgressions; but out of Thing unspeakable goodness, grace and mercy, defend us from all harm and danger body and soul. Preserve us from false and pernicious doctrine, from bloodshed, from plague and pestilence, from all calamity by fire and water, hail and tempest, from failure of harvest and from famine, from anguish of heart anguish of heart and despair of Thy mercy, and from an evil death. And in every time of trouble, show Thyself a very present Help, the Saviour of all men, and especially of them that believe. Amen.

Congregational Confession of Sin from the ULCA

Minister: ALMIGHTY GOD, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto Thee, that we are by nature sinful and unclean, and that we have sinned against Thee by thought, word, and deed. Wherefore we flee for refuge to Thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Thy grace, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Congregation: MOST Merciful God, Who hast given Thine Only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us, and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins: and by Thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of Thee, and of Thy will, and true obedience to Thy Word, to the end that by Thy grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Minister: ALMIGHTY God, our Heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us, and hath given His Only Son to die for us, and for his sake forgiveth us all our sins. To them that believe on His Name, He give power to become the sons of God, and bestowed upon them his Spirit. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Grant this, O Lord, unto us all. Amen.

“Radically ordinary hospitality may resemble the social-gospel practices of liberal churches and non-Christian mercy communities, for radically ordinary hospitality engages in some of the same practices: we gather people in close, we feed and clothe the poor, we accept people where they are, we care for the needs of the body, and we seek to restore the dignity of each human being. But here is the big difference: radically ordinary hospitality practiced by biblical Christians views struggling people as image bearers of a holy God, needing faith in Christ alone, belief in Jesus the rescuer of his people, repentance of sin, and covenant family within the church. Bible-believing Christians do not believe that a shave and a meal help people in the long run-or atone for the sin nature of us all.” – Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

Turning from Self to Christ, Necessary for Obedience

“We cannot will ourselves into the deep obedience that God requires. We can’t obey until we ourselves have received this grace and picked up our cross. We can’t obey until we have laid down our life, with all our false and worldly identities and idols. We can’t obey until we face the facts: the gospel comes in exchange for the life we once loved.” -Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

 

Leprosy in the Bible

“When Jesus walked the earth, leprosy was the worst of all plagues. Not only was it a filthy, deadly disease from which no one recovered, but its contagion spread arbitrarily and wildly, rendering beloved family members outcasts and wanderers in the beat of a heart. Like Frankenstein’s creature, the leper’s skin no longer covered his sinews and muscles. With a pop of white pus, a beloved family member overnight became abhorrent. Lepers—moral and social outcasts, isolated, rejected, feared, despised—banded together in pain, waiting to die, bereft of hope. Leprosy was a medical plague with legal warrants for arrest and disbandment. The ceremonial law deemed the leper morally and physically unclean. Leprosy was more than an infectious skin disease. It rendered the person who embodied it unfit to be part of a healthy community and unable to join in the worship of God. When Jesus walked the earth, leprosy was thus a repulsive corporealization of original sin. It was not caused by a particular sin or behavior. Rather, it pointed to our sin nature, the walking time bomb inside each and every one of us. The only solution was containment of the leper and protection for the yet healthy. Whole chapters of the law—Leviticus 13 and 14— are devoted to how to contain the contagion and restore the healed leper. This disease could transform a beloved father or mother into a despised outcast overnight. One day you could enjoy belonging, touch, recognition, value. The next, you were as good as garbage.” -Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

Butterfield, Rosaria Champagne. The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World (Kindle Locations 334-343). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Butterfield, Rosaria Champagne. The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World (Kindle Locations 332-334). Crossway. Kindle Edition.