I’ve made a New Year resolution. I’ve resolved to pray with you. I can hear you saying, “But you pray with us every Sunday and every Tuesday!” And you’d be right. The precious Book of Common Prayer is a masterpiece and we who use it individually and corporately are richly blessed by the practice. So of course, I will continue to pray with you in this fashion. But there is also something to be said for Spirit-led, extemporaneous prayer. I call it, “prayer in the moment.” That’s when a concern is made known or a joyous experience is relayed and one person (or more) spontaneously offers prayer for the circumstance or thanks for the blessing.
We Episcopalians generally tend to shy away from such praying. We’d rather find the appointed and appropriate prayer in the book. And again – there’s nothing wrong with that. The Book of Common Prayer is 85% Scripture anyway so one can hardly go wrong. But let’s not be too afraid of trying new things. Any way we pray is better than not praying at all. Someone I dearly love recently prayed in this manner: “Dear God, help us today. Love you! Bye.” I can hear ivory tower liturgists and theologians screeching at the very thought of such expression. I can also hear, to borrow a phrase from author Max Lucado, “the applause of Heaven”. Lord, teach us to pray.
Under the mercy,