Sunday, June 21, 2015

Collect for the Third Sunday after Trinity

The 1549 Prayerbook

LORDE, we beseche thee mercifully to heare us, and unto whom thou hast geven an heartie desyre to pray; graunt that by thy mightie ayde we may be defended; through Jesus Christ our Lorde.

The 1662 Prayerbook

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom though hast given an hearty desire to pray, may be comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

How often do you pray daily? Do you pray, as St Paul tells us, without ceasing? True prayer is something with which we can wrestle. We don't want to treat God like a genie who will grant us our heart's desire - that is why quite a few of our petitions are answered with a firm "no" or "not yet". We don't want to come creeping or crawling obsequiously as if we had no goodness of our own - God made us good and bids us step boldly before the throne of grace remembering that He wants us before that throne. Nor do we want to fill God's ears with prattle about every little thing -a conversation must cut two ways.

There are obstacles to praying properly. There are outside distractions from which we try to withdraw in order to go into our room and shut the door. Yet there are also interior distractions. There's often a great difficulty in bringing ourselves before God. And so we must pray for the strength to pray! The devil does not want us to hear God speak to us in that still small voice that lies beyond human words which is why we end up with so much prattle resounding in our heads.

Yet all the assaults of our enemies are like the choppy surface of the ocean. Our strength lies in the depth that God gives us and where the splashing on the surface doesn't reach even though it continues unabated. If we trust God and allow ourselves to sink below the surface trusting in God to hold us  safely in Him, our prayer becomes deep and beyond words. We are not so miserable so as to be unable to find God deep within, for that is where His kingdom is.

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