Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, October 1, 2015
Depending on God – in Prayer
October the first. A new month, a clean calendar page—and another method of praying in this Year of Everyday Prayers. That’s me praying every day, just to be crystal clear.
And now, for something completely different. I am turning to The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. I’ve chosen to pray this month with the section entitled “Prayers of Christians: Personal and Occasional.” These are prayers covering almost 2000 years, prayers from all over the world.
These prayers are also arranged in the framework of the Lord’s Prayer, from Matthew 6:9b-13. Focused on “Our Father,” today’s prayer is about dependence. (Prayer 137, page 53) 
Martin Luther wrote this prayer of dependence. I was so struck with the opening: “Behold, Lord. An empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.” Good God!—such honesty. Such a straight-forward way of asking You to fill him with whatever You had for him, today. (Or, on the day that he prayed this prayer.)
Lord, do I have that same honesty? Honest enough to be up front with You? You know me so much better than I can possibly know myself. But can I be honest enough to bring you myself? As flawed and broken as I am, and ask You to fill me? But, that’s not all. Martin calls himself “an empty vessel.” I think he had the idea that he wanted to be used by You. (And not in a bad, manipulative way, either.) Rather, used like a trusty tool, or a favorite baking dish. Something useful, greatly appreciated, and even well loved.
Dear Lord, with Martin I ask You to fill me, an empty vessel.. Fill me with the love You radiate to others. Fill me with the kindness You display. Fill me with the caring You show in abundance. Fill me with the willingness to serve. Dear Lord, gracious God, fill me with all that You wish to give me. And, lastly, with Martin I pray that You strengthen my faith and trust in You. Amen.
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 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 53.