Tag Archives: straying feet

Make the Door of God’s House a Gateway to God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 10, 2015

University of Chicago snowgram, 2-1-15

Make the Door of God’s House a Gateway to God

Doing. “What doing?” Years ago, I remember my toddler daughter asking me, or her Auntie Sue, or her Grandma. That little piping voice, so curious. “What doing?” So interested in everything. I ask myself today: What am I doing? What—more importantly—am I doing for God? And, on God’s behalf?

Today’s prayer is about Doing. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 211, pages 73-74) [1] I am going to put the whole prayer here, because it touched my heart in so many places. It moved me in such interesting ways.

“O God, make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and strife.

“Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling-block to children, nor to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempter’s power.

“God make the door of this house the gateway to Thine eternal kingdom.”

The editor of the Book of Prayer mentions this prayer being inscribed on the door of St. Stephen’s Church, Walbrook, which is located inside the City of London. Bishop Thomas Ken is listed as author. The prayer is also found in the King’s Chapel Prayer Book (from King’s Chapel, one of the oldest churches in Boston).

So, yes. This prayer has a pedigree. But, this prayer is also inclusive, welcoming, encouraging, and strengthening.

Inclusive, because all humans need love and fellowship. Welcomed, because envy, pride and strife ought to be dis-invited. Encouraged, so that all who stray feel the warmth and love of Christ. Strengthened, since God and God’s power are more than enough to banish the tempter’s power.

Dear Lord, gracious God, help me to focus on the ideas behind this prayer, and not simply mouth the words. Help me follow through with the actions written here, and be filled with Your presence and Your love and mercy for all of these, the least of these. In Your mercy, Lord, hear my prayer.


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[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 73-74.