As part of my morning routine, I have recently began the liturgy of using the Book of Common Prayer to help guide my prayers and thoughts. The book is not commonly used in Baptist circles but it is used by many other Christian denominations to help guide all involved in a common prayer. As Baptists, we typically like to have unscripted and conversational prayer, which is good and allows us to be who we are in God’s Kingdom. What I found powerful about prayers in this book is that they are prayers that are said daily by vast amounts of people all over the world. It gives me the sense that we are all in this together, as Christ’s Community, and that we are not on our own. There is a community of saints that surrounds us daily who pray these prayers and seek God’s wisdom and spiritual discernment through these prayers.
This of course can be done through unscripted and conversational prayers which are just as powerful in providing us God’s wisdom and spiritual discernment. We can come together in groups and pray together as we will with our community this Wednesday, August 24th, 2016. At the same time, is it not powerful to know that the prayers that I speak here every morning are the same prayers my brothers and sisters in the southern hemisphere are speaking as well, to the same God, and that these prayers are some of the prayers that people have spoken for thousands of years? Thinking through this really puts our time in perspective. There is a lot of comfort knowing that those who prayed the same prayers in the past were dealing with the same fears, worries and anxieties that we are feeling now.
These prayers draw us away from our own voice and place us in a community of other believers who are praying together in a single voice to God. Powerful! All prayer can be powerful but one thing we forget is that though we are individuals, we are individuals that make up a body, a community of believers. When we pray together, we all come closer to God and can change the world through His power.
Join us this Wednesday, August 24, 2016, in the sanctuary of the Mulberry campus, we are having a community-wide prayer gathering from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We are inviting people from our community to join us as we pray for the community and for our world. We will be united as one voice to God and to show His love to all we encounter.
Here is a prayer for a city from the Common Book. With all of the tragedies the cities around the world have faced, we can pray for them by name. I inserted San Antonio but you can enter any city that comes to your mind.
Prayer For a City
we praise you for all you have done.
Help us with all that you want us to do.
Come, Holy Creator,
and rebuild the city of San Antonio
so that we do not have to labor in vain without you.
Come, Holy Savior
and heal all that is broken
in our lives and in our streets.
Come, Holy Spirit
and inspire us with the energy and willingness
to rebuild San Antonio to your honor and glory.