Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Prayer Never Prayed

I often think of Ron.  Ron left this life for life in the heavenly place a few years ago, but he is remembered as a valued friend.  We shared life in Vidalia together.  While I served the United Methodist Church, he served the Episcopalian Church.  Each week several of us met in his office for a clergy sermon group.  Ron brought me to a place of great appreciation for the written prayers of liturgical traditions.  Often he would speak of praying prayers that had been prayed by others through the generations.  He described it as stepping into a stream of prayer already flowing toward the Father.
What has triggered my thoughts about my friend is a book by Phyllis Tickle entitled, "The Divine Hours."  She writes out of the Episcopal tradition and seeks to provide for individuals the kind of liturgy which can be useful for daily worship and prayers.  There are four liturgical offices laid out for use each day.  To use them is to be brought to a place in the heart where worship can be offered to God.  One of the prayers which has been so powerful for me is a short and simple one.  It is a part of the final act of worship for the day.  The prayer is, "Lord Almighty, grant to me and those I love a peaceful night and a perfect end.  Amen."  For the last several weeks it has been the prayer I breathe quietly in my spirit as I lay down to sleep.

Not since my Mother taught me the "...if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take," prayer have I prayed about the end with such regularity.  Before finding this written prayer, I do not think I have ever prayed for myself and others a perfect end.  Peaceful nights?  Yes.  Perfect end?  No.  I wonder some nights what would make a perfect end.  Maybe such is beyond my ability to figure out, but still very much within God's ability to grant.  So, for now I will continue to pray, "Lord Almighty, grant to me and those I love a peacful night and a perfect end. Amen."


A Cup Bearer said...

I, too, have enjoyed Tickle's book for years now and the evening "call to prayer." But the one I have memorized and use DAILY now is the morning "concluding prayer." I change the "I" to "us" and pray it for those I love.

"Lord God,almighty and everlasting Father; You have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with Your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do direct us to the fulfilling of Your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen."

Maybe one day, my life will take on such a rhythm that I can get all 4 offices in every day. I'm working on it...

Yoon said...

Thank you for sharing a beautiful prayer! I will also use it tonight. Love it! :)