Tag Archives: Book of Common Prayer

Pray. (Insert Free Intercessions and Thanksgivings Here)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 30, 2015

making prayer personal

Pray. (Insert Free Intercessions and Thanksgivings Here)

Another August evening, another opportunity to turn to http://www.dailyoffice.org and my laptop. As I prayed through the Evening Prayer tonight, I was struck by something significant. Here I’d been praying the Late Night prayer nightly for one month. And, I had never really noticed one particular phrase: “(Silence may be kept, and free intercessions and thanksgivings may be offered.)”

I don’t know why I never noticed this sentence before. I mean, I’ve followed this direction many times. Yes, of course I often offered intercessions and thanksgivings of my own. But I don’t think I ever thought deeply about this sentence before.

This prayer comes from the Book of Common Prayer, an Episcopal prayer book.  Both Episcopal and Anglican tradition use written prayers. Almost their whole service is scripted. I can appreciate that tradition! I, however, have some roots in the Evangelical and Free church traditions. (Though I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church, which also uses scripted prayers and liturgy.) My memories of prayers in the church(es) I was familiar with? All over the board. Some fervent, carefully scripted and written out. Some also as fervent, and also off the cuff.

I can do either. Go either way. Scripted or unscripted.

I went to what I now consider my go-to source for finding out more about Evening Prayer or, Compline: the website for the Church of England (see below, in the footnote).What did I find?

“The offering of intercession is as integral as praise to the nature of the services, and should not be minimized.” [1]

Nothing is said on the webpage here about scripted or unscripted, except that prayer is integral to the service. Accordingly, I wholeheartedly pray for people, places and things that I know can use my prayers and intercession. God willing, I hope to be able to continue in prayer and intercession for many.

God, You know the difficulties and challenges in all of our lives. Help us to come before You in spirit and in truth. Help each of us to lift names, emotions, feelings and situations to You. Amen!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/morneve/intro.aspx

Praying Into Celestial Brightness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Messier 92, located in the constellation of Hercules -  photo credit Hubble Space Telescope - NASA - ESA

Messier 92, located in the constellation of Hercules –
photo credit Hubble Space Telescope – NASA – ESA

Praying Into Celestial Brightness

Evening Prayer on the www.dailyoffice.org website can be similar. Each night’s prayers are much the same. But, a bit different, too. Tonight, for example.

Just before I was to pray for my personal intercessions, I got pulled up short by the prayer immediately before. It ran as follows: “Look down, O Lord, from your heavenly throne, and illumine this night with your celestial brightness; that by night as by day your people may glorify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

As I read this, I was reminded so strongly of the Apostle John’s depiction in Revelation 21:23— The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

I am not certain whether the authors of the Book of Common Prayer had this section of the book of Revelation in mind when they wrote this particular prayer, but I sure was thinking of it.

On top of that verse from Revelation 21, I also noticed a link to Isaiah 60, verses 19b and 20. Both verses mentioned that “I, the Lord, will be your eternal light; the light of my glory will shine on you. 20 Your days of grief will come to an end. I, the Lord, will be your eternal light, More lasting than the sun and moon.”

Yes, I did pray to the end of Evening Prayer, but I had a new and enlarged appreciation for this particular collect. Celestial brightness. Eternal light. More lasting than the sun and the moon.

Thanks, Lord, for leading me towards Your brightness. Thanks, Lord, for shedding additional light on my understanding. Thank You for Your light put within me. You are a Lamp to my feet, a Light to my path, and You illumine my way for my whole life long. Thanks, Lord!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Guard Us with Holy Angels

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 2, 2015

Abraham and the Three Angels - Marc Chagall

Abraham and the Three Angels – Marc Chagall

Guard Us with Holy Angels

Sunday night. Evening Prayer. God, I find myself settling down, just opening this website. The dailyoffice.org has become something I count on. Rely on. I have not made use of it every day. True. I have difficulty staying consistent with any one particular prayer book or prayer practice, for an extended period of time. However, I find I can stay focused on one book or one prayer practice when it just lasts one month. That I can do. And, I have. Since the beginning of 2015.

As I read and prayed through the Evening Prayer for Sunday, I felt especially moved by “drive far from [us] all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace;” I teach a midweek bible study each Wednesday morning. Not only were these prayers moving and helpful to me, personally, but they featured angels. And, snares of the enemies.”

Some background: several of these church members had been curious about the whole topic of angels, for years. They told me about a former pastor at our church, and about several instances where he might have taught further about it. But did he? No.

I have several books on my shelves that go into the topic of angels in depth. Accordingly, I took one that has been quite helpful to me, in the past number of years. And, I spent the month of July teaching on what the Bible had to say about angels. Good angels, evil angels. And Satan. An instructive bible study, to be sure! The Bible assumes the existence of angels. Jesus in the Gospels speaks in a matter of fact manner about their reality—both good as well as evil angels.

So, yeah. I do have a healthy respect for both good and evil angels. As I read the Evening Prayer tonight, I was vividly struck by the reference to both good angels and “snares of the enemy,” which can include evil angels. I praise God that God has triumphed over sin and the enemy in the Cross. Amen!

Dear Lord, gracious God, I come before You in gratitude and prayer. I thank You for the Book of Common Prayer. I thank You for the free use of Bible passages that may be questioned or interpreted differently, today. Lord, help me to pray the daily prayers in spirit and in truth. Thank You, dear Lord Jesus, for Your clear witness to the reality of evil angels. And especially, thank You for Your powerful resurrection from the dead, allowing us to stand firm against all powers of darkness. Protect me and my husband, my family, and all those associated with dailyoffice.org, especially Vicar Josh. In Jesus’ blessed, powerful Name we pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Worthy are You, O God!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, August 1, 2015

From dailyoffice.org - photo from Compline

From dailyoffice.org – photo from Compline

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.

Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net