Scripture teaches us to bring our needs daily to our Heavenly Father in Christ’s name. To help families and children understand this important truth, Martin Luther wrote two short prayers for individuals and families to use in the morning and evening before going to sleep. Now the simplicity and devotion of Luther’s Morning Prayer and its companion, Luther’s Evening Prayer, have been put to music by John A. Behnke.
Share Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers in Worship
Both of these pieces have voicing for unison or two-part with the option of involving the congregation. Because the voicing is flexible, consider teaching the songs by having the choir sing them a few times before adding the congregation.
“Luther’s Morning Prayer” can be included as a part of the prayers on Sunday morning.
“Luther’s Evening Prayer” makes a perfect inclusion to upcoming midweek Advent or Lent services.
Learn and Share with the Congregation
Because these two prayers are so similar, the music, likewise, also is similar. Once your choir or congregation has learned one piece, the other one will be quite easy to learn as well. It’s also important to note that both Luther's Morning and Evening Prayers are included in several services in Lutheran Service Book:
- Service of Prayer and Preaching (pg. 260)
- Responsive Prayer 1: Suffrages (pg. 282)
- Responsive Prayer 2 (pg. 285)
- “Morning” and “Close of the Day” sections in Daily Prayer for Individuals and Families (pg. 294)
You may want to use these musical versions to provide some variety when these services are used during corporate worship.
Focus on Prayer in October
During the month of October, invite the congregation to begin and end each day singing Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers. These two prayers can be incorporated as a catechism tool at church and at home—and as part of a time of devotion. The Daily Prayers for Individuals and Families are especially friendly for at-home settings and also help keep families using the hymnal.
For families who opt for other devotions, touch base with them to make sure they have a copy of Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation. This ensures that families still can practice the words of Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers and can commit them to memory.
On Reformation Sunday, consider having the children in your congregation sing the two songs during worship. Not only does this help children learn and remember the words, but it is also another way to remind the congregation to bring all their cares and concerns to our Heavenly Father.