Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 17, 2015
Martha and Mary (Luke 10) by He Qi
Daily Prayers? Or Everyday Prayers?
O, God! What intentional prayers these are! And, how ordinary, everyday. Not extra special or out of the ordinary, at all. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Give Us This Day” (Prayer 330, page 102)  The prayer is in a section entitled Daily.
This prayer has the subscript “Prayer of Chinese Christian women.” I know just a little about the extreme difficulties Chinese Christians have had, over most of the last one hundred years. My dear prayer partner for several years is a naturalized American citizen, born in mainland China. I feel a tenderness and appreciation for many things Chinese, and for the many different cultural, ethnic, sociological and geographic expressions that can be found in that fascinating, vast, multi-varied country.
This prayer contains some everyday activities, and then mentions appropriate, moving words to bring that particular activity into close focus. And, into God’s special care. I’ll mention a few.
“Prayer when washing clothes: I pray Thee, Lord, to wash my heart, making me white as snow.” O, Lord! Such a straight-forward prayer. So honest, forthright. Digging down deep into my chest and grabbing my heart. Lord, indeed. Make me white as snow.
“Prayer when posting a letter: I pray Thee, Lord, to add to me faith upon faith, that I may always have communication with Thee.” Lord, I can tell this was from an earlier time, since letters are not as common as they once were. But, isn’t a clear line of communication a desire that transcends time? Didn’t people in the first century wish to communicate with You clearly? So do the people of the twenty-first century, as well.
“Prayer when watering flowers: I pray Thee, Lord, to send down spiritual rain into my heart, to germinate the good seed there.” Gracious God, how clearly these ladies cry out to You! And not just to You, but for Your spiritual rain to water their dry, thirsty lives. How moving!
“Prayer when boiling water for tea: I pray Thee, Lord, to send down spiritual fire to burn away the coldness of my heart, and that I may always be hot’hearted in serving Thee.” Lord, such a common activity! So, so many people from that area of the world boil water for tea. Such an ordinary thing to do, to take place in this.prayer of everyday things. Yet, my heart is often cold. I do need God’s help in warming it up!
Dear Lord, thank You for these common sense prayers. I could see myself in each one of them. Gracious God, help me to keep my eyes on You. That way, You’ll help me stick with my path. Thank You, God, for Your loving presence with me, all throughout the day. (And night, too.)
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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind. @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er
 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 102.