O God, you form the minds of your faithful people into a single will. Make us love what you command and desire what you promise, that among the many changes of this world, our hearts may ever yearn for the lasting joys of heaven; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
In this prayer, we recognize that every element of our Christian faith and life must rest upon God and be worked by God. It is God who...
...forms the minds of his people into a single will,
...makes us love what he commands,
...makes us desire what he promises, and
...teaches us to yearn for the lasting joys of heaven.
In contrast, this world goes through many changes. While that is not always bad, to rest one's faith on anything in this world proves unwise and even deadly. Nothing in this world is permanent. Nothing in this world offers a solid foundation. Some of those things we trust in (jobs, family, friends, et al.) can be ripped from us suddenly and tragically. When that happens, those who trusted in these things find that their life has been groundless. It is a frightening and perilous place to be.
Our Lord forms our minds into a single will. He transforms our hearts and minds so that they reflect his heart and mind. He causes us to renounce our trust in worldly things, even if those things are great blessings. He shows us that his promises are the only solid ground on which our lives rest. Only his word brings eternal salvation and security. Only his will is truly and eternally good.
So, when we pray this prayer, we pray against ourselves and this world. We pray that God would kill our misplaced trust in what we see and feel and would redirect our trust and lives to conform with his words and promises. It is sometimes a painful lesson, but the cross is not meant for our comfort. It is meant to kill us and to point us to Jesus. And there, in Christ alone, will we find full salvation and eternal security.