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Category Archives: Prayer

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Altarpiece of the Church Fathers: St Augustine...

First off, Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone out there has a wonderful day with family or friends. Or both. Be sure to catch the latest in the Hobbit Read-Along, titled “Happy Hobbit Thanksgiving,” over at jubilare. It’ll put a smile on your face!

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Speaking of read-a-longs, there’s another one developing over at “Read the Fathers.”┬áThis one is a seven-year project to read seven pages a day of the early church fathers. It’s a great opportunity to read some of the foundational writings of the Christian faith. It starts on the first Sunday in Advent (December 2, 2012.)

Check out the link. I plan on participating and hopefully I’ll be disciplined enough to read my daily seven pages. Evidently there will be a forum where readers can discuss the material covered each day. Learning and fellowship. Sounds good, no?

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Oh God our Father, we would thank thee for all the bright things of life. Help us to see them, and to count them, and to remember them, that our lives may flow in ceaseless praise; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

J.H. Jowett, 1846 – 1923

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Notices, Prayer, Quotations

 

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Books You Read To God

I like prayer books. I have at least a dozen of them, probably more. I have Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish and even a Billy Graham, Evangelical prayer-book. Yes, there is an Evangelical prayer-book, though it’s not a standardized one intended for corporate worship.

My wife and I attend an Anglican church that uses the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. It is designed for both liturgical and personal use, as are the Roman Catholic, Jewish and Lutheran ones. Not all prayer books are meant for liturgical use. I have several that are designed for personal devotion and meditation, and some that are simply collections of prayers through the ages.

Of course, I have many books that are ABOUT prayer, including Richard J. Foster’s “Prayer.” I’ve lost count of how many of those I own.

I’ve always felt that prayers were a type of poetry. Some of the most beautiful words I’ve read were arranged in prayer to God. Offerings, if you will. In reading these various prayers, I often find myself actually praying, which is a good thing!

There are some, I know, who are skeptical of using prayers that are written out and arranged for corporate or personal use. These prayers may seem to be mechanical or “canned.” However, if read with a real awareness of the words, these prayers are actually teachers which can lead us into deeper communication with God. They can widen the areas we speak to God about and help us to become better pray-ers.

I will share some of these prayer-books with you in future posts.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Prayer, Reading, Words

 

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The Senior Citizen Prayer

The Virgin in Prayer

The Virgin in Prayer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months back I found a marvelous book titled “The Complete Book of Christian Prayer,” (Continuum Publishing, 1995). It contains almost 500 pages of prayers from the first century to the present. Since I’m closing in on 60 years on this earth, I found this prayer to be especially relevant:

Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am getting older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody: helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

- Source unknown, 17th century

If this prayer is really from the 17th century, somebody has updated the language a bit. I don’t mind, though. I intend to recite this prayer often.

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in History, Prayer, Quotations

 

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