I want to thank everyone who helped with and participated in last week’s virtual Synod Assembly. Thank you for your many kind and encouraging words. As I shared in the opening words of my homily, “though we long to gather for a Synod Assembly in person, gathering virtually is better than failing to gather at all.”
A few of you have asked about the closing prayer that I prayed at the end of our virtual Synod Assembly. Here are the words of that prayer.
O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the[DB1] ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us, and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This beautiful prayer is included in the Evening Prayer (Vespers) Service in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal (see pages 309-319). My introduction to this prayer came while I was serving at St. John’s, Stony Ridge. We prayed this prayer during our mid-week summer evening services. I always looked forward to that small, intimate service followed by a time of fellowship at Swig in Perrysburg.
I have since learned that this prayer has a history prior to Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006). Reverend Doctor Philip Pfatteicher, a Lutheran pastor and liturgical scholar, who died earlier this year, attributes this prayer to an Anglican Prayer Book that was published in London in 1941.
This lovely prayer has also been set to music. Take a moment to view this 3:37 minute video of the Martin Luther College Choir singing, “Lord God, You Have Called Your Servants”
As we continue to seek God’s guidance and direction in the days and weeks to come, I encourage you to add this beautiful prayer to your daily prayer practice.