Prayer, or What I'm Up To
If you haven't noticed, I won't keep you in suspense about what I am up to: I decided simply to work my way through the prayers in the BCP (The 1979 Book of Common Prayer for use in the Episcopal Church to be exact) pretty much in order. During July 4th week I did skip ahead to use the national prayers section, but otherwise, I simply started at the beginning of the "prayers and thanksgivings" section and am posting the prayers in order.
There are a couple of reasons for this. One, I just wanted to do this systematically for a change instead of skipping around. It helps me remember just what is in the prayer book.
And two, I was interested in seeing what might come up through this exercise that I thought might be the work of the Holy Spirit.
Sure enough, a couple of people complimented me on choosing the prayer for those who suffer for the sake of conscience on Monday morning after the trial of George Zimmerman was concluded this weekend, an event that has provoked a lot of strong feelings among the people I know. But I didn't choose that prayer for that day. It simply was the one that was up next.
But it was appropriate, for sure.
I love our prayer book. We have so many wonderful prayers, some which were written for this edition of the book but many that are much, much older. Some of them date back to the 16th Century. I love that people have been praying these prayers together for hundreds of years. And I love that our newer prayers address our more modern (and post-modern) concerns as well.
And I love how the Spirit moves through our lives and in our world. To a certain extent, there is nothing new under the sun, and so we are beset by the same kinds of unhappy and even tragic events as well as the same kinds of joys as people have been experiencing for ever. Prayers that may have been written and prayed with a particular event in mind in another age are still appropriate for the events of our own time.
So I invite you to "play along at home." Now that you know that we are working our way through the BCP, I hope you will take note of the prayers you didn't know and also will take a little time to wonder and connect the prayer posted with what's going on in the/your world. Maybe there's not a connection today or tomorrow; maybe you'll find a connection another day. Or maybe the prayer will be just what you need just when you need it.
As always, comments are welcome any time. Thanks for praying along with me.