THE PRAYERS,  Christmas Eve, Cycle B (December 24, 2020) Christmas Day (December 25, 2020)


Christmas Eve, Cycle B (December 24, 2020)

Christmas Day (December 25, 2020)


O come, let us adore Christ our Lord, and kneel before him with our prayers.

A brief silence

O Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: enflesh yourself in your Church. Let all its words and deeds “speak you,” the Living Word. Let the Church be a star of hope, burning in the world’s darkness. By its deeds of mercy, draw many to kneel in awe and wonder before you, and there find life.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O loveliest blooming rose, adorn the suffering of your persecuted followers with the beauty of your love. Be their refuge and Lord. Gladden their hearts. Shine so brightly in their lives that their tormentors turn to you in repentance and faith.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

O mighty king and gentle friend, be all that and more to this congregation. Let us know, proclaim, and share you as heaven’s gift and treasure. Caress us with your blessing. Heal our hearts. Let all our words and deeds help families, friends, and neighbors to love and praise you.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Jesus, our Emmanuel, you lay your glory aside “to raise each child of earth.” Bring light and life to those who do not know you or believe that you are God, veiled in human flesh. Give them eyes to see your divine love, and hearts to enthrone you as Lord, God, and King.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Heaven-born Prince of Peace, reconcile all peoples and nations, all races and tribes, under your glorious and gentle rule. Lift up all whose forms bend low beneath life’s crushing load. Free them from all that afflicts them. Make us all, from greatest to least, children of your light, and partakers of your peace.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


O Savior of our fallen race, bestow a measure of your peace to all who stand in harm’s way, protecting others, in this death-shadowed world. Renew their courage; purify their hearts; and use their labors to bring hope and healing in communities fractured by hatred and violence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Savior, child of Mary, you felt our human woe. Bring healing, peace, and hope to all who suffer and to all who mourn, even on this holy and joyful night. O Sun of Righteousness, rise upon them with healing in your wings!

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Savior, King of Glory, you have triumphed over our ancient foes: sin, evil, and death. Thank you for your love, which guarded, guided, and kept our loved ones in your care until their life’s end. And now, Lord Jesus, dearest friend: Bring us at length to heaven and into your endless day. With all whom you have redeemed, let us praise, adore, and delight in you; for with your Father and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign forever and ever and unto the ages of ages.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Be near us, Lord Jesus; and hear when we pray. Stay by us forever and love us always. Bless all your dear children in your tender care. And fit us for heaven, to dwell with you there. AMEN.

Devotion for Monday, December 14, 2020

“You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?  This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you” (Galatians 5:7-8).

When you know that you have been saved by grace through faith, what causes you to backslide?  Look at the root and do not be led astray by the tug of this age.  Some say: “make right what has gone wrong.”  But scripture says: die to sin, death, and the devil.  Jesus alone saves, so let Him do the saving.  Our part is learning to listen and live as He instructs us to live.  Be guided by His goodness and mercy.

Lord, teach me to listen.  Show me how to live as You would have me live.  Help me to resist those places where my heart is tugged by the legalistic thoughts of this world.  Guide me in Your goodness to see through these things and live in Your presence, in the present, doing what is pleasing to the Father.  Lord, You alone have saved me; help me to live in that salvation.

Lord Jesus, You have given the words of eternal life.  You know all that is needed and You have paved the way for all who believe, Keep me on the narrow track of life, the life for which You died.  Keep me close to You that I may understand more fully the goodness You are pouring into me.  Help me now and always to see through this world’s temptations to be Yours forever.  Amen.

Devotion for Sunday, December 13, 2020

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).

What is important?  We often are caught up in doing what we think is important, when the Lord has already told us He wants us to love Him and one another.  Have you been caught up in legalism?  Have you worried about what you are or are not doing?  Leave those things behind and come into the grace of Christ and live the love He asks for us to live.  Come then in trust and obedience.

Lord, teach me to love that I may not be caught up in the insanity of this age which is always doing evil and then denying You.  Guide me away from the wrangling of what I should or should not be doing and into the love You have given me.  Lead me in the way of love that I would now and always abide in You and You in me.  Lord, You know what I need.  Help me to come into Your love.

Lord Jesus, You are the way and life.  You have come to set us free from the impossible, to live with not only what is possible, but what will be in eternity.  Guide me, O Lord, in the way of love and teach me how to live life in the freedom You grant by faith.  Help me, O Lord, to become whom You are making me to be.  Guide me in the way of life both now and forever.  Amen.

Devotion for Saturday, December 12, 2020

“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness” (Galatians 5:4-5).

The tendency to rely upon one’s self runs strong in our rebellion.  On the one hand we will take from others, but on the other, we will not take what we need from the Lord.  You and I need grace and apart from grace we remain in our sin.  Come then and take the gift given freely of the grace Christ won from the cross on behalf of all who believe.  Live in new life and not the old of bondage.

Lord, I do mix up priorities and make systems where no system needs to be.  Lead me away from the control I seek and into the freedom You have given by grace.  Guide me, O Lord, in the way of mercy and grace, giving to others as You have given to me.  Lead me in the upward way of sanctification.  Help me to learn how to follow You as Your disciple now and always.

Lord Jesus, You have come into the world that all who believe would be given the grace You purchased through the cross.  Guide me, O Lord, in the way of salvation and free me from the insistence of doing things my way.  Help me to know that in You is all hope and that apart from You is condemnation.  You have lifted me out of the mire.  Lead me in freedom that I may remain in You.  Amen.

Devotion for Friday, December 11, 2020

“Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.  And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law” (Galatians 5:2-3).

What is Paul saying?  Only this, that those who appeal to the law are under the law.  The law saves no one, but only condemns.  What then?  Only this: that He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf.  He died to sin once for all.  The “For all” means all who receive Him and walk in His grace.  Therefore, this means that You and I have been called into the new life through the grace of Christ.

Lord, You know where the obstacles are and those places where I lack belief.  Guide me, O Lord, in the eternal way of life that I may grow in Your likeness.  Help me not fall back into the bondage of the law, but live freely as one who walks with You; not free to do as I please, but free to walk pleasing the Father.  Lead me in the way You know I need to be led, O Lord.

Lord Jesus, You have breathed on us and given Your Spirit.  Help me to learn to listen.  Help me to be guided in the way of everlasting life.  Aid me to respect what You teach through the law, but never again to be under the law.  Lord, You know what the world does with these things.  Lead me in the way of peace that I would not wrangle with the world.  Amen.

Devotion for Thursday, December 10, 2020

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

For freedom is what it says.  Two things, first, you were born in slavery.  Second, Christ has set you free.  What does this mean?  It means that all protestations aside, sin is bondage and grace brings freedom.  We have the tendency to want bondage and not live in freedom.  We need to be reminded to turn this around and live into the freedom which is ours through Christ.

Lord, You have set all who believe free from the bondage of sin, which is death.  Let Your grace bubble up from the heart and be a wellspring unto eternal life.  Open eyes and ears to see and hear.  In the way of grace, let truth build its foundation that all who believe may walk in the way of salvation and not in the way of this world.  Help us all to see clearly the difference before us.

Lord Jesus, only by and through You are we able to overcome by Your grace what sin and death have brought.  Help me to stand firm in the freedom You have purchased with Your own blood that I may walk in the freedom and newness of life that You make possible.  Let me never sell my gift of grace for the pottage of this world.  Guide me to grow in the way of grace unto the eternal life You promise.  Amen.

Devotion for Wednesday, December 9, 2020

“So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman” (Galatians 4:31).

Christ has overcome sin, death, and the devil.  When you by baptism are united with Christ in a death like His, you are united with a resurrection like His.  Come then and live into the promise which is yours in Christ.  Come into the fullness of freedom and know that Jesus has accomplished for you what is needed and that it is reckoned to you as righteousness.  For all who believe He has given the power to become children of the Heavenly Father.

The way is not complex.  The Lord has done this and it is marvelous in the eyes of all who believe.  We do not overcome death, but live in the freedom grace brings.  Free not to do as we please, but free to live a new life and to live into eternity.  The invitation is clear and before us.  Will you go in the way of sin, or come and live with Jesus in love, peace, and freedom?

Lord, You have set those who believe on this course.  Help me O Lord that I may now and always abide with and in You.  Lead me in the way of everlasting life.  Guide me according to Your goodness to see that in You alone is all hope, glory, and honor.  Teach me to love as You love and to live in the freedom You have purchased with Your shed blood.  Guide me in the way of salvation.  Amen.


Dear Friends:


Have you ever noticed that among the first words of the angels to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds were the words “Do not be afraid”?


In Luke 1 the angel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.”

In Matthew 1 the angel said to Joseph, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”

In Luke 2 the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; I bring you good news of great joy for all people.”

We today have many reasons to be afraid.  In fact, many people are deathly afraid.  Between the pandemic, the economy, political unrest, and racial tension we have many reasons for fear.  Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds also were living at a time when there were many reasons for fear.  But in the midst of those times, God said to them, and God is saying to us, “Do not be afraid.”

“Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.”  Romans 8: 31 says, “If God is for us (which He is), who is against us?”

“Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”  God is saying the same thing to us.  “Do not be afraid to continue on with your life.”  It will not be the same.  It will not go back to exactly what it was.  It may never develop into a new normal.  But it will develop into a new reality, and God will be with us in that new reality.

“Do not be afraid; I am bringing you good news.”  Into the midst of such a bad news world, we as the Church need to bring good news – good news of great joy for all people.  A Savior, who is Christ the Lord, has been born.

Thank you for standing with us as we work to be a VOICE for Biblical Truth and a NETWORK for Confessing Lutherans.  We are glad that we can count on you as we work to help people to not be afraid even in the midst of all the forces that challenge the historic Christian faith and seek to undermine traditional, Biblical moral values.

Recently I was talking with an ELCA seminarian who was saying how much he wished that there was a list of Biblically and confessionally faithful books and other resources.  I was very pleased to be able to tell him about the List of Confessional Resources, which can be found on the Seminarians page on our website,  You can find the Seminarians page by clicking on the hamburger symbol in the upper righthand corner of our website.  Seeing that list of books, commentaries, videos, ministries, and movements that have been recommended by friends of Lutheran CORE, he said, “That is exactly what I have been looking for.”

That resource is now being taken to the next level.  We have begun the process of providing video reviews of some of the books on YouTube.  Here is a link to our YouTube page:

Here is a link to the first video:

A link can also be found on the homepage of our website,  Our plan is to publish a new video review during the first week of every month.

Another new ministry that we are working on is a new medium of communication by and for younger people.  The idea here is to develop a platform which will give younger people an opportunity to express their faith and which will present the historic Christian faith in a way that is clear, relevant, and compelling for younger people.  We of Lutheran CORE want to make sure that we do our part to pass on the faith to younger generations.  Please pray for the team of younger people – including younger pastors, seminarians, and lay young adults – who have responded and/or will respond to the invitation to work on this project.  It will be fun to see how this idea unfolds and how God blesses.

Both of these new ventures are in addition to our already existing ministries of confronting the forces that are undermining the historic Christian faith, offering guidance and assistance to congregations that are or soon will be between pastors, working with congregations that are reviewing their church body affiliation, providing a system of support for orthodox ELCA pastors and seminarians, hosting our annual Spanish language and bi-lingual ministries festival, challenging the ELCA to honor its commitment to also provide a place for traditional views and those who hold them, and supporting the work of Grand View University to help raise up future leaders for the church.

Thank you for all your words of encouragement and your faithful prayer and financial support.  Please click here for a form that you can use to let us know how we can be praying for you.  Your timely gift to Lutheran CORE will help enable us to continue to be a VOICE for Biblical Truth and a NETWORK for Confessing Lutherans.

Thanking God for His presence, protection, and promises, which enable us to not be afraid,


Dennis D. Nelson

Executive Director of Lutheran CORE


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Wausau, WI 54402-1741

Devotion for Tuesday, December 8, 2020

“And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.  But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.  But what does the Scripture say?  “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman” (Galatians 4:28-29)

There are only two ways for man.  There is the way of continued rebellion and there is the way of the Lord.  Only through salvation is there a way of the Lord.  There are many who come and pretend, but only by giving yourself freely to the Lord can you freely love and serve.  This is the invitation and this is the reality of what is consistently shown in Scripture.  You have been invited.  Will you come and accept the gift of faith?

Lord, You call all to whom You speak to come and see, to follow, to learn and grow into Your likeness.  Lead me, O Lord, in the way of truth that along with all of the others who have followed the way of true freedom, I may learn what it means to not be in bondage.  Through the cross, You have freed all who believe that we may no longer walk in bondage and death, but in freedom and love.

Lord Jesus, You have accomplished these things that we may walk humbly with You and learn as You lead us.  Guide me this day that I may learn more and more what it means to not be under bondage to sin and death, but free to live, love, and serve.  Lead me in this life, Lord, that I may humbly become what You intend and prepare for the eternal life which You promise.  Amen.

Devotion for Monday, December 7, 2020

“For it is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; For more numerous are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband”  (Galatians 4:27).

Before us always are two ways, the way of the Lord and the way of rebellion.  Which will be the way you walk?  Will it be in the admonition of the Lord, or in your way?  Will it be your will, or the Father’s will.  It really does come down to this simple understanding: in the Lord there is freedom and in rebellion there is death.  Walk in the way of promise and freedom and not in the way of slavery.

Lord, we were created to serve.  We all have to serve someone.  Help me, O Lord, to know that You alone are worthy of all honor and praise.  Guide me, O Lord, that I may now and always look to You, the author and finisher of my faith, to guide me in the right way.  Let me not wander with the crowd, but come humbly into the Father’s purpose and pleasure.  Lead me in the right direction Lord.

Lord Jesus, You came not to be served, but to serve. You have set the example of what it means to live and have your being.  You have shown us that freedom is not about doing nothing, but about freely loving and serving others.  By Your example Lord Jesus, help me learn how to live.  Guide me in Your way that I may do what is pleasing to the Father day by day as I grow into Your likeness.  Amen.