A Prayer That Got Hold of Me

BY Doug Jones

May 23, 2012


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?

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2 comments on “A Prayer That Got Hold of Me

  1. The collect for purity is the one that sticks with me.

    Almighty God, to You all hearts are open, all desires known, and from You no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  2. Peter – definitely one of those prayers (like many from BCP) that “sticks with me,” as well. Words that come early in the move toward eucharist – preparing us to be worthy participants in the privilege of partaking in that meal.

    Any further reflection on that prayer from your perspective?

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