Over the past thirteen or so years, I have become a student of written prayers. The church has a long history of written prayers and of encouraging her people to recite those prayers frequently. In the Anglican Church, The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is one of the places we find a great treasure of written prayers meant to be recited. The BCP has helped develop and direct my prayer life in ways that seemed impossible.
One of the prayers I found in the BCP that genuinely got a hold of me and has yet to let go is a closing prayer from Morning Prayer. It is a prayer I never seem to plumb the depths of or fail to see a new facet. The language of the prayer sketches all kinds of word pictures in my mind (plants reaching toward the sun; a child and parent embracing; tulips pushing through a spring snow), and the message of the prayer seems to capture the stark beauty of God’s desire to restore all things. It is a prayer that brings our missional, relational, and incarnational God face to face with us and our place in God’s grand story unfolding in our midst.
I share it with you in hopes that you will take time and find in this prayer a depth worth pursuing and praying on a frequent basis.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretch out your arms on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you, for the honor of your name. Amen. (BCP p. 101)
What do you see in this prayer? Do you have a prayer that has a hold on you?