Tag Archives: Evening 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

Pray, Celebrate, Keep Coming Back

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, August 29, 2015

keep life simple

Pray, Celebrate, Keep Coming Back

Once more, I prayed through the Evening Prayer from www.dailyoffice.org on my laptop this evening. Just like last Saturday, I noticed one piece of the service, in particular. In the Collect for Saturday: “Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day, our joy may abound in the morning as we celebrate the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

I particularly noticed this sentence last week, it seems, out of the clear blue sky. Last week, I subbed for a pastor friend of mine, who was on vacation. And, celebrated Communion. This week, I led a Communion service at my church. A special Communion—or, Eucharist Service, for people who have a Christian concept of God as their Higher Power.

Higher Power? Isn’t that a Recovery concept? Well, yes, it is.

This Communion Service was (and is) for those in Recovery and for those who find the 12 Steps useful in their personal lives. And, who also have a Christian concept of God as each one understands God. (I have led this service on three occasions, and we’re planning for a fourth, next month, on Saturday, Sept. 26.)

The Paschal mystery part of the prayer? That part intrigued me, again.

As someone who finds the 12 Steps useful to my way of living life, I tried to incorporate these principles and way of life into an ecumenical Communion service. All the while, the Paschal mystery was bubbling away, on the back burner of the stove in my mind.

I remember what I found out last week. The Paschal mystery hearkens back to the narrative of manna in the wilderness. God was faithful in supplying the manna for huge numbers of the nation of Israel! As well, God is faithful in expressing love, caring and help for all those who are on the path of Recovery.

I’m keeping it simple. One day at a time.

@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

Praying with the Gentle and Lowly

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, August 27, 2015

God greater than our problems

Praying with the Gentle and Lowly

Another night of Evening Prayer, another night of reading through these helpful phrases. Some directly biblical, and others not. As I read down the prayers and passages, I came across this, from Matthew 11:

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I think Jesus is so good and loving and giving. Imagine, to be able to say to His audience that He will come alongside, He will pull with you—with me, and help us to bear the load. It doesn’t matter what our burden is, because Jesus is bearing it with us. Alongside of us.

What is a yoke? Since most people in my area don’t work closely with animals any longer, I dare say they are often a little fuzzy on the meaning. A yoke is similar to a large collar, fitted to the necks of the animals pulling the plough, or another piece of farm equipment. Usually quite heavy.

Whether we think of the yoke of the Pharisees—the self-righteous straightjacket of legalism the Pharisees impose—or any other kind of yoke that’s difficult to bear, we can exchange that damaging, discouraging yoke for Jesus’ one. He will give us the strength to continue, one day at a time.

Thank You, God. You are so awesome! Thank You for coming alongside of me and so many others. Help us be aware that You are pulling right there, with us. And sometimes, You even take the role of the stronger animal, the best at pulling the heavy burdens.

@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

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

Be Present, O Merciful God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 25, 2015

mercy and grace crossing

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.”’ [1]

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.

@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] http://www.dioms.org/digital_faith/events/3160983

Have Mercy Upon Us, Lord

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, August 24, 2015

kyrie notes

Have Mercy Upon Us, Lord

I rummaged around the Church of England’s prayer and worship website this evening. Lo and behold, I found several fascinating tidbits. Like, the part about Evening Prayer, also known as Compline. Or, one of the Divine Offices (or, services).

“The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness before the rest at the end of the day.” [1] Quiet, completion. Sounds like just the ticket to me.

I was particularly wondering about a centuries-old section found in many prayers and services: the Kyrie. Yes, I have been meaning to look into this part of the Evening Service (which I view at http://www.dailyoffice.org ). The part about the Kyrie Eleison. Webster’s definition of KYRIE: ‘a short liturgical prayer that begins with or consists of the words “Lord, have mercy.”’

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Repeated three times with a variation, this ancient prayer encompasses the deepest cry of many hearts.

Just as the Apostle Paul mentions in Romans 8, sometimes we have no words when we pray. And, sometimes the Holy Spirit prays for us, and interprets those groanings for us. And, sometimes, the Kyrie does the same thing. I know I have used the Kyrie in just that way, all the way down to groaning and groveling on the floor. (Or, the chair, or wherever I was sitting.)

Thank You, Lord, for coming to my rescue in time of great need. Thank You, Lord, for sending the Holy Spirit to interpret my groanings that are too deep for words. And, thank You, Lord, for listening to me whenever I need You, whenever I am feeling rotten or scared or anxious. Thank You for listening.

@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/join-us-in-daily-prayer/introduction-to-daily-prayer.aspx

Wonderful, and Not-So-Wonderful Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 23, 2015

no borders to prayer

Wonderful, and Not-So-Wonderful Prayer

Ever experience a sparkling summer day? Gorgeous weather, low-key happenings, enjoyable experiences. All around, my husband and I had an absolutely sparkling day. Enjoyable in every way.

Except—my effervescence deflated once I got on line this evening and started reading the news. Reading about people becoming seriously ill. (I’m praying for you, Mr. Carter.) People injured and dying all over the country. Wildfires, crashes, a devastating typhoon, internationally.

I turn to God, in horror. I run to God, in dismay. I clutch to my heart this versicle and response (the beginning part of the Evening Prayer): “O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.” God, as countless people have, throughout the centuries, I cry to You.

As I reflect on the words of this prayer from www.dailyoffice.org – I think of re-entry into the world. The folks from that online congregation had their first ever retreat this past weekend, at a retreat center in Indiana. What a greeting the participants will receive as they come back to their daily lives.

As I pray for these serious situations mentioned from around the country and even around the world, so I pray for those who have been nourished and strengthened by joining in a retreat together. I thank God for Vicar Josh and for all who worship using the Daily Office website. God be with us all, regardless of circumstances.

Thank God that God will be with each one of us, no matter who we are, no matter where we are. No matter whether we had an enjoyable summer’s day, or a serious challenge come up in the middle of the day. Or evening. Or middle of the night. Thank You, God, for Your presence, always with each one of us.

@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