Theology

An Easter Prayer

The following is a prayer for Easter Sunday, but I just found it, and I thought to gift everyone with it:

    O Lord Jesus Christ, in majesty surpassing the golden Easter dawn, Thou camest forth from the dark night of death.  Rise also upon our hearts, O Sun of Righteousness, and enable us to contemplate the glories of this sacred day, that we may praise and glorify Thee.
    Thou wast, as our Surety, delivered up to death; but, behold, Thou livest.  Thou hast conquered death and destroyed him that had the power of death, having bruised the head of the Serpent, the ancient foe of God and man.  Thou didst descend into the lowest parts of the earth, and hast spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly.
    Hail, Lion of the tribe of Judah, by whom the captive is taken away from the mighty, and the prey of the terrible is delivered!  O Thou Conqueror of death and Captain of our salvation, the battle and the victory were Thine; but Thou hast shared Thy conquest with us, and clothed us with Thy triumph.  Thou wast made the first-fruits of them that sleep.  Because Thou, our Redeemer, livest, we shall live also.  And when Thou hadst overcome death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven for all believers.  Thou, the true Paschal Lamb, which wast offer for us, hast taken away the sin of the world, and by Thy rising again hast restored to us innocence and everlasting life.  Therefore we are glad, and rejoice in Thy goodness, and bless and praise Thy holy name.
    O Thou Prince of Life, we beseech Thee, comfort us with the forgiveness of our sins, and abide continually with us, that in all our conflicts we may retain the Easter joy. Fulfill in us with power the work of faith; cause us to rise with Thee in true repentance from our natural death of trespasses and sins and to put away the old leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always walk with Thee, and serve Thee in pureness of living and truth.  May Thy Spirit put into our minds holy desires, and quicken us in all our duties, that through Thy power resting upon us we may overcome the world and the terror of death, and at Thy coming to judge the world appear with Thee in glory, being like Thee, and having our bodies changed into the fashion of Thine own glorious body.
    Bless Thine inheritance, O Lord; govern Thy people; lift them up forever.  Defend and maintain Thy Church till the end of days.  Give us shepherds who shall take heed unto themselves and the whole flock; and let all pastors and teachers hold fast the form of sound words of faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
    Into Thy hands, O Lord of lords, we commit our land and all civil authority everywhere.  Endue all rulers and magistrates with wisdom and justice and fear of Thy holy name, and let them punish wickedness and establish peace, that the righteous may flourish and Thy name be glorified.
    Regard in compassion all who are undergoing the changes and trials of this fleeting world; all who are oppressed by lawless might; all who are suffering for truth and conscience’ sake; all who are beset with temptations to sin; all who are sinking under the weight of disease; all who are ready to despair of Thy grace; all who are troubled by the fear of the grave; all who are entering into the valley of the shadow of death; and do Thou be in them the hope of glory, and at Thy appearing may the trial of their faith be found unto praise and honor.
    Now unto Thee, who art able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of Thy glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.
Amen.  (Liturgy & Agenda for Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book: CPH 1936)

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