Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Be Present, O Merciful God
It’s a good thing God has big ears and can hear a whole lot of people praying at one time. It’s a good thing God is merciful. A number of people I know are crying out to God right now. And, it’s a good thing God is present. I mean, really here. (Or, wherever people need God to be.)
As I read through the Evening Prayer on www.dailyoffice.org tonight, I came to an abrupt halt as I read through one of the collects for the evening. Just before the private, free time of intercession. I have it handy. “Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The beginning and ending of this section gives me no problems. I can agree with every word—from the first and last parts of the prayer. But God, the part of the prayer that particularly throws me this evening is “we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness.”
Just out of curiosity, I put the sentence above into the search bar on my computer. Lo and behold, I found this, from the Diocese of Mississippi. A notice for a spiritual formation retreat. ‘Life is full of transitions. Some are chosen while others are thrust upon us. Within each of these moments of change and adjustment there come opportunities to encounter God in unique ways. This retreat will provide an occasion to explore the transitional moments in our lives and discover anew the One who abides with us in “external changelessness.”’ 
What a thought. God abides with each of us in external changelessness, even while we are going through transitional moments. Yet, we can encounter God at work, at home, in the hospital, even as we travel from place to place.
Each and every moment is so often a transition from one thing to the next. It just so happens that many people in my acquaintance are going through awful things right now. Or, their loved ones are. So difficult to bear. The weight of the knowledge and sometimes even the despair.
Yet, God’s changelessness is so much greater than the transitions you or I or your neighbors or my friends or the people across town or—you get the idea. God is forever the same. Loving, constant, faithful, caring—praise God, we can encounter this God, for real.
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Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!
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