A prayer for guidance in the work we do. Promoting the common good.
Episcopal News Service (ENS) posted “After presidential power shifts, Episcopalians ask: How should we pray” on January 23, 2017. It had the subtitle “Debating purpose, intention of praying for Donald Trump in church.” As internet posts go, this is a long post. It presents reasoned answers for both “yes” and “no.” What follows are a few quotes from the article. I encourage you to read the entire article here.
“The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1 NRSV
Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, p. 240
Image: The beginning of the Gospel of Mark in the 7th century Book of Durrow. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.
Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.
A prayer (updated) of William Laud (see The Book of Common Prayer, p. 816)
The chimes produce a mixed sound today: sometimes a violent crashing sound, sometimes a soft peaceful sound. What do you hear?
William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, d. 1645
Today (January 10th) the Episcopal Church remembers William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1633-1645). Laud’s short biography in Holy Women, Holy Men tells the truth, “Laud’s reputation has remained controversial to this day. [He is] [h]onored as a martyr and condemned as an intolerant bigot ….”
Given the current concern among some in England about “The Succession to the Crown Bill” it is informative to remember today that, “Laud believed the Church of England to be in direct continuity with the medieval Church, and he stressed the unity of Church and State, exalting the role of the king as the supreme governor.” (“William Laud” on Holy Women, Holy Men).
[Hannah] was deeply distressed
and prayed to the Lord,
and wept bitterly.
Hannah was praying silently;
only her lips moved,
but her voice was not heard
1 Samuel 1:10, 13 NRSV
The chimes, barely audible, sound like a prayer today. What do you hear?
Prayer is, then, to speak more boldly, a conversation with God. Though whispering, consequently, and not opening the lips, we speak in silence, yet we cry inwardly. For God hears continually the whole inward conversation. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215) Stromateis 7.7.
Cindy Crosby;Thomas C. Oden. Ancient Christian Devotional: Lectionary Cycle B (Search term: Proper 28). Kindle Edition.
Prayer is responding to God,
by thought and by deeds,
with or without words.
From the Book of Common Prayer, page 856
Take our tears, Lord
Take our tears, Lord: to water the seeds of prayer.
I grow weary because of my groaning
every night I drench my bed and flood my couch with tears.
My eyes are wasted with grief
and worn away because of all my enemies.
Depart from me, all evildoers
for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
The LORD has heard my supplication
the LORD accepts my prayer.
Take our tears, Lord: to water the seeds of prayer.
Claiborne, Shane; Wilson-Hartgrove, Jonathan; Okoro, Enuma (2010-11-09). Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (p. 168). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Photo: by epSos.de on Wikimedia Commons
… you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are citizens with the saints
and also members of the household of God …
Ephesians 2:19 NRSV
Today is All Saints’ Day. A great day to remember those in every ago and circumstance, known to many, known only to a few, or known only to you, who have helped (or are helping) shape your faith, your service, and your love. ~dan
The chimes are glorious with sounds today. What do you hear?
We believe … in the communion of saints …
What is the communion of saints?
The communion of saints is the whole family of God the living and the dead, those whom we love and those whom we hurt, bound together in Christ by sacrament, prayer, and praise.
“An Outline of the Faith,” The Book of Common Prayer, p. 862
The companionship of the dead
As we grow older we have more and more people to remember, people who have died before us. It is very important to remember those who have loved us and those we have loved. Remembering them means letting their spirits inspire us in our daily lives. They can become part of our spiritual communities and gently help us as we make decisions on our journeys. Parents, spouses, children, and friends can become true spiritual companions after they have died. Sometimes they can become even more intimate to us after death than when they were with us in life.
Remembering the dead is choosing their ongoing companionship.
Nouwen, Henri J. M. (2009-03-17). Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (p. 252, August 29). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I sing a song of the saints of God
I sing a song of the Saints of God sung by the Choir of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco to the tune “Grand Isle”. From the album “Hymns of Grace”~
St. John on Patmos: Wikimedia Commons