All I have is to serve your praise – o Lord my God! Your gifts I return with the plea that you may lead and guide me to employ them according to your will and liking and thus to your honor and glory. Since everything comes from you and is also destined to return to you – order and regulate its passage according to your omniscient wisdom. I am not worthy of any of your plenteous gifts – and yet you have called and placed me as your steward of good, beautiful and pleasing talents in this world and age. Grant me, o Lord my God, the strong will, but also wisdom and strength to do with yours as you deem right, meet and salutary. Let me willingly go about my daily chores and practice as a pleasing sacrifice to your goodness and mercy. If I go about serving my brothers and sisters amongst your people with the good gifts you have bestowed so richly amongst us let me do it as your priest and servant, who loves your people as yourself. And if I go about washing the feet of your beloved pilgrims and offer hospitality to your wandering, migrating and fleeing people here on earth let me go about it without grumbling, but rather as if I was hosting you – o my beloved Lord and master. Let me do it as a pleasing sacrifice magnifying your grace, love and mercy, which has set us truly free. If I cover up the shortcomings, faults and wounds of your people with love for your sake and if I reveal them solely to my brother while concealing them from others then let me do it all as a praise song and glorification of the unique and all efficient sacrifice you made on the cross to cover all our iniquities and to forgive all our sins once and for all. If I give up all excessive desire and chose rather to live temperate, modest and sober finding pleasure in prayer and worship, then let it be acceptable in your sight and help me to dedicate myself entirely to those things, that please you and serve those, who need this service most. Oh my God, grant me to live a life pleasing in your sight. Let me be yours entirely with all I am and have. That makes me both quite poor, yet very rich – as I have given you all, but have received far more with you. I yours – you mine! O Lord, what a wonderful mystery of our lives – what a world of hidden glory and eternal sweetness.
All my life is yours and without you I’m dead. All my joy is in you, without you its just emptiness. All my peace is with you and without you there’s just strife. All my love is yours for without you nothing stays.
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Monday after the 6th Sunday after Easter: Exaudi. It is found on Pg. 202 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.