One body.. with Lutherans around the world
On 31 October 2022, during the rebroadcast of the Reformation service on Channel Two of Polish Television, there will be a reference to the Thirteenth General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in the prayer spoken by a dozen people and constructed on the basis of the theme: 'One body, one Spirit, one hope'.
The prayer is also an example of reconciliation in the parish, as it is read by representatives of different groups and backgrounds.
Good and gracious God, one year before the General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Krakow, we entrust to you all that makes up the motto of the Assembly. One body, One Spirit, One Hope. Help us to find the meaning of these words together with millions of Lutherans around the world.
For a long time our world has not been as divided, conflicted and full of hatred as it is today. And yet you constantly remind us to seek unity and reconciliation. Against the logic of this world. We thank you for this call. We want to become one body! Holy Spirit, bring us together.
Lord, help us to rediscover the value of living in community. Give us the joy of praying together, the relief of reconciliation at the Lord’s Supper, help us to respect the freedom and dignity of each and every person. Grant that we may always and everywhere enjoy the moment of encounter between two human beings. Holy Spirit, unite us.
It is so easy for us to talk about unity in diversity. It is more difficult to undertake the daily work of understanding one another. Lord, give us the strength and courage to forgive, to love our enemies, to break down the walls and boundaries of hatred. Let us discover the power of second chances. Holy Spirit, bring us together.
We are sorry that we constantly want to arrange the world in our own way, and so rarely ask: " Lord, what do You want us to do?". Forgive us for not consulting You about our plans, dreams or strategies, for going forward without thinking, ignoring the signs. We want to walk with You and walk in You. Holy Spirit, unite us.
We need the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, because it is difficult for us to make decisions. Not everything is black and white, it is not so easy to distinguish good from evil, a wolf from a sheep, the truth from falsehood. Lord, send us your Light to guide us from the beginning to the end. Holy Spirit, bring us together.
Thank you Lord, that we can be your instruments here and now. We give thanks that we can work miracles even through seemingly insignificant gestures, small steps, simple decency. We give thanks that it is not beyond our strength. Help us to believe this. Holy Spirit, unite us.
Hope is again like a drop of refreshing water falling on dry, barren ground. We are in need of more drops, we are panting for streams of water. Lord, You are the Fountain - give us to drink and teach us to share this Water of Life. Make us welcome one another, take a risk for You and for our neighbour. Holy Spirit, bring us together.
Lord, forgive us that we so often kill hope in others, allow ourselves to be swept away by hatred, intrigue, jealousy, greed and depravity. We are ready to sell everyone and everything, we succumb to illusions, we forget honesty, responsibility and joy. We want to bring hope into homes, families, workplaces, communities, cities and countries. Holy Spirit, unite us.
Hope has called us here today. Lord, grant that we may see the desire for hope in the eyes of children, the sick, the grieving, the lost, the battered by life, the wronged, the abandoned, the lonely, the despairing, those fleeing war, those seeking a better place, those persecuted, those excluded. Lord, give us strength, courage and wisdom and help us to nourish this hope. Holy Spirit, bring us together.
One Body, one Spirit, one Hope. With these words, guide us. Through these words unite us. Amen.
The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland will host the Thirteenth Assembly of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) from 13 to 19 September 2023, in the city of Krakow.