The Book Of Common Prayer

By , March 22, 2014

“Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.
May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.”
Psalm 88:1-2 (NIV)

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My four and a half year old grandson was being fed supper that I had prepared for him. He knows that in our home we always stop before eating to “thank Jesus” for our food. I had prepared his supper earlier than ours because I was delivering him home to his mother and wanted him to eat before he left for home.

After putting his food in front of him I turned to get his drink. He asked if he could eat a piece of food before I said grace. I told him that was fine as Jesus knows that sometimes we are really starving. Placing his cup in front of him we bowed our heads and I gave thanks. As soon as I finished and said “Amen” he corrected me. I had forgotten to say something to Jesus I always say when my grandson eats with us. “Grampa” he said, “you forgot to thank Jesus that Colton could be with you today.” Then he bowed his head and said what I had missed.

One of the easiest spiritual exercises is sometimes the most difficult. Prayer is so simple that a child barely able to speak can offer a very beautiful and powerful prayer to our Creator. On the other hand, a seasoned saint—who has had an active prayer life for decades—can struggle for just the right words in a crisis.

While my wife and I are not Anglicans, we derive great pleasure from the prayers in the Anglican Book Of Common Prayer. My wife treasures one of these books given her by her parents for Christmas when she was only 9 years old. Today I have found much pleasure in reading some of the prayers contained in it that were written by godly men of another age.

Prayer is always appropriate and many of us should engage in this exercise more often than we do. As parents we never tire of hearing the voice of our beloved child when they ask for help or express their love for us, so our Father in heaven delights when we approach Him in Jesus’ name and speak to Him of our needs and our devotion to His cause.

Many years ago a dear elderly Anglican man to whom I had ministered for several years prayed the following beautiful prayer in my presence. As I recall he also had it printed and framed  and hung on a wall in the tiny bed sitting room that he called home. Perhaps you will find it as warm-hearted and delightful as I did that day when my friend last prayed it in my presence before he left for his home in heaven.

O Lord, support us
all the day long of this troublous life,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
the busy world is hushed,
the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,
a holy rest, and peace at the last;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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