A Guide for Daily Prayer and Meditation

                 For the Week of the Fourth Sunday in Advent – December 18 through December 25, 2022

The Lord bless you as you pray these out loud with your family. 

As you spend time in these texts, please write down questions and feedback for Pastor Thomas. 

Excerpts from the Large Catechism on the Fifth Commandment

God and government are not included in this commandment. Nor is the power to kill taken away, which God and government have. To punish evil doers, God has delegated His authority to the government, not parents…. Therefore, what is forbidden in this commandment is forbidden to the individual in his relationship with anyone else, but not to the government. (379:181)

We must not kill, neither with hand, heart, mouth, signs, gestures, help, nor counsel. Therefore, this commandment forbids everyone to be angry, except those (as we said) who are in the place of God, that is, parents and the government. For it is proper for God and for everyone who is in a divine estate to be angry, to rebuke, and to punish because of those very persons who transgress this and the other commandments. (379:182)

The commandment has this goal, that no one would offend his neighbor because of any evil deed, even though he has fully deserved it. For where murder is forbidden, all cause from which murder may spring is also forbidden. For many people, although they do not kill, curse and utter a wish that would stop a person from running far if it were to strike him on the neck. Now, this urge dwells in everyone by nature. It is common practice that no one is willing to suffer at the hands of another person. (379-380: 186-187)

A person who does evil to his neighbor is not the only one guilty under this commandment. It also applies to anyone who can do his neighbor good, prevent or resist evil, defend, and save his neighbor so that no bodily harm or hurt happen to him—yet does not do this. If, therefore, you send away someone who is naked when you could clothe him, you have caused him to freeze to death. If you see someone suffer hunger and do not give him food, you have caused him to starve. So also, if you see anyone innocently sentenced to death or in similar distress, and do not save him, although you know ways and means to do so, you have killed him. It will not work for you to make the excuse that you did not provide any help, counsel, or aid to harm him. For you have withheld your love from him and have deprived him of the benefit by which his life would have been saved. (380:189-190)

The Order of Daily Prayer and Meditation

(Alternative short orders for Daily Prayer are on pp. 295-298 in our hymnal, Lutheran Service Book)

Pray and confess out loud as much from the order of meditation and prayer as you are able or based on your family size and ages. 

The sign of the cross + may be made by all in remembrance of their baptism.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Morning Close of the Day

In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice;

In the morning I prepare a sacrifice for You and watch

The Lord Almighty grant us a quiet night and peace at the last.


My mouth is filled with Your praise,

And with Your glory all the day.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,

To sing praise to Your name, O Most High;

O Lord, open my lips,

And my mouth will declare Your praise.

To herald Your love in the morning;

Your truth at the close of the day.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Hymn of the Month: LSB 370 What Child Is This

One or more verses from the hymn of the month are sung, or another hymn may be chosen.

Verse: Matthew 1:23a

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.

Daily Lectionary

  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Old Testament Isaiah 14:24-15:9 Isaiah 16 Isaiah 17 Isaiah 18 Isaiah 19:1-15 Isaiah 19:16-25 Isaiah 7:10-14 Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 139 140 141 142 143 144 110:1-4 2
New Testament 2 Cor 7:2-16 2 Cor 8:1-15 2 Cor 8:16-9:5 2 Cor 9:6-15 2 Cor 10:1-6 2 Cor 10:7-18 1 John 4:7-16; Matt 1:18-25 Heb 1:1-6 John 1:1-18

The Catechism: The Ten Commandments – The Fifth Commandment

What is the Fifth Commandment?

      You shall not murder.

What does this mean?

      We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need.

The Apostles’ Creed is confessed

Lord’s Prayer

Prayers for Others and Ourselves

Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer based on the Fifth Commandment

I ask You, dear Father, enable us to know this holy commandment, and help us to live and act accordingly. Protect us from the destroyer who is the source of all injury and murder. Grant us Your rich grace so that the people around us shall be friendly, kind, and gentle to one another, forgive each other from the heart, and put up with each others’ faults and shortcomings in Christian and brotherly gentleness. Then we may live in true peace and unity, as this commandment teaches and requires us to do. Amen. (Martin Luther)

Morning Close of the Day

Almighty God, merciful Father, who created and completed all things, on this day when the work of our calling begins anew, we implore You to create its beginning, direct its continuance, and bless its end, that our doings may be preserved from sin, our life sanctified, and our work be well pleasing to you; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


I thank you my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen

Visit our dwellings, O Lord, and in Your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of Your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.


I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.