Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, August 1, 2015
Worthy are You, O God!
A new month, a new book for prayer. As July came to a close, I wondered which book I ought to choose for my August meditation and prayers. For those who are new to this blog, during each month of 2015 I have been using different, helpful books and different kinds of prayer for each month. However, as I contemplated August, I felt more and more strongly about using a website. True, it incorporates a prayer book for the twice-daily readings, but it is a website.
My friend Josh Thomas is the Vicar at www.dailyoffice.org. He founded that website in 2004, and it has been going (and growing) strong ever since. A lay Commissioned Evangelist with a national preaching license in the Episcopal Church, Josh does a marvelous job at keeping up that website, with all manner of artwork, photos, videos and explanatory notes. Oh, and he includes the Morning and Evening Prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, too. Every day.
I found that website around 2009, when I was working overnight shifts as a chaplain here in Chicago. I found I could pray through the evening prayers Josh posted, center myself in just a few minutes, and then be ready to go—for whatever was needed. Could be a patient actively dying in ICU, a page from the Emergency Department, or a critical call from Labor and Delivery. (Those were just about the worst. Never a good emergency page from L & D.)
Josh and I have since become friends. Now, I am a pastor at a small church, and the website dailyoffice.org is continuing to stretch and grow. I found I wanted to revisit Evening Prayer again, in the month of August. I mentioned it to Josh earlier this week, and he was all for it. “Go for it,” or words to that effect, was what he said. So, I will! Gladly, and with excitement.
The words that struck home to me from Saturday’s Evening Prayer were “Lord, hear our prayer; And let our cry come to you.” Yes, I prayed alone. Yes, it was just me and the computer. However—I know a little bit about how many people use the dailyoffice.org website each day, or on a regular basis.
I also know these two short lines from the Prayer, “Lord, hear our prayer; And let our cry come to you” represent the Church. It’s me, in agreement with many, many other people. Throughout the United States, and throughout the English speaking world. I realize that I am praying here in my living room, in the Chicago suburbs. (And yes, it is hot tonight!) Others might be in the rural Dakotas, Kentucky or Texas. Or, internationally, in Lima, or Rio de Janeiro, or Yellowknife.
It ultimately does not matter. Each of us is a child of God. Complexion, national origin, ability or disability. Whether each of us comes to God as a daily habit or not. Dear God, thank You for the website dailyoffice.org. Strengthen and preserve Vicar Josh, and all connected with this site. Thank You for the miracles of the computer and the Internet, and bless us as we gather. Separately, as well as together.
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(also published at www.matterofprayer.net