Prayers We Need

We all need help praying. One of the things that has helped me is using The Book of Common Prayer. I recently began using it more regularly again. At the start of the BCP you will find the Daily Office, brief services for individuals or groups that are a combination of prayers, canticles, readings, and Psalms and other Scriptures. The Daily Office is divided into morning, midday, evening, and compline. There is also a family (shorter, simpler) version in the 2019 edition of the BCP. Right now, I am doing the morning and compline (night) office.

This morning I was doing the Daily Office, and the collect for today, Thursday, goes like this:

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide us and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Some may think that such prayers are overly formal. Yet look how down to earth it is. With this prayer, we are asking God to help us to remember that whatever else is going on during our day that he is with us, watching over us and present to us. It’s a reminder that, yes, I can forget during the day that God is near, that in him I do live and move and have my being.

But I don’t — I really don’t — want to go about my life without an awareness of the presence of God, to live and make decisions and to relate to others as if he weren’t there.

But I can. Because I am sinful. Because I cannot remain aware of God’s watchful care with my own power. Guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit. In other words, I need God to remind me of God. So it’s a reminder, too, that I cannot live as I should with the perspective I ought to have, apart from the work of God in my life.

By this prayer I am reminded I am a creature. Being a creature means having a Creator — a heavenly Father who actually cares for me.

Of course, I can pray this way because of Christ — because through the Son I can enjoy fellowship with the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. And this fellowship is not something that’s restricted to Sundays or special occasions. It is available every day. Praying this sort of prayer opens me up — makes my heart and mind and life — available to such fellowship, to participation in the eternal and joyful fellowship that is at the heart of the Triune God.

So this prayer reminds me of the nature of God and the good news.

I need such prayers because I don’t always have such words on my own.

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