Category Archives: Let us Pray

Links to daily prayer with occasional comments

Evening Prayer Jan 1, 2019

A new year begins yet again, resolutions will be made and broken, the 24 hour news cycle will continue to beat on our brains and worry our souls, commercials will continue to convince us our life is incomplete without the latest and greatest widgets. The beat goes on, as they say.

What will we do differently? Eat less carbs, exercise more, drink more water and less alcohol? All good goals of course. Let me suggest something, however. Pray. Pray more. Pray often. Figure out the best way that works for you – daily offices of course being my suggested practice but I know that does not work for everyone. Pray. Pray first and pray last. Then the rest of it finds a proper place in your life and your priorities.

It works. Pray for me to do the same.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name, when Jesus was brought to the temple 8 days after birth to be circumcised and named. We used to call this the Feast of the Circumcision, but people got a bit queasy about that title. It is also the first day of 2019 of course. May your year be blessed with joy and grace. If I can pray for you, please let me know.

The Collect for today:

Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Plant in every heart….

Morning Prayer 11/2/18

All Souls Day or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed.

All Souls Day follows All Saints Day (Nov 1) and the vigil of All Saints (Halloween). Like many parishes, St. Simon’s will remember All Saints Day at our weekend services following Nov 1st, and we are guilty of mashing together All Saints and All Souls. For me, following the New Testament understanding that all those who have died in Christ are saints, but also recognizing those who have a special remembrance in our calendar of Lesser Feasts is a juggling act worth the juggle. We will name in church all those we have lost since the previous All Saints Day as well as allowing time for people to name their loved ones who are part of the Faithful Departed. We celebrate their lives and sing for ALL the saints who from their labors rest.

Today begins our Craft Fair at St. Simon’s, come shop if you are in the area! Over 100 booths of homemade crafts, great Christmas shopping opportunities along with our world famous Cajun Pickles!

Then tonight we are joining with a multitude of faith groups in a prayer vigil for those lost in the mass murders at the synagogue in Pittsburg, to pray and remind each other of the way of love in the midst of a world that seems to has lost that way at times. We will be at the Landing in Ft. Walton Beach at 5pm,

For to your faithful people, O Lord, life is changed, not ended; and when our mortal body lies in death, there is prepared for us a dwelling place eternal in the heavens.

Morning Prayer 10/30/18

I love the reading from Ecclesiasticus today – in fact have really enjoyed going through this seldom looked at book from the Apocrypha. This passage on “Wisdom” is mystical and beautiful. It reminds us of the chosen people of Israel, a good reminder during these times of mourning for the horrible murders in the synagogue. But also describes the special place of Jerusalem, and as I will be leading a group of 36 to the Holy Land in a few weeks, reading this gets me really excited about the trip.

A reading from Ecclesiasticus 24:1-12

Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist. I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud. Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss. Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway. Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose territory should I abide? “Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent. He said, ‘Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel receive your inheritance.’ Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be. In the holy tent I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion. Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my domain. I took root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage. 

Morning Prayer 10/12/18

A beautiful, cool morning with all of our thoughts and prayers to those just east of us who are waking up in the middle of a nightmare. Help is coming! Hope will return!

As someone who was on ground zero during and long after Katrina, I can resonate so well with what the victims of Michael must be feeling. Mexico Beach reminds me so much of the stretch from Waveland to Long Beach, literally it is like an atomic bomb hit and destroyed everything as far as you can see. The recovery from such takes years.

Right now the best thing anyone can do is let FEMA and first responders do the search and rescue, help people to shelter, and provide their immediate needs for food, water, etc. With roads impassable, miles of downed power lines, and need for the first responders to have access, volunteers need to wait just a bit before descending on them. And if and when you go, please make sure that a) you are in touch with someone who is coordinating relief and recovery so you have somewhere to go and something to do and b) you are completely self sustaining, including your own water, food, gasoline, tools, etc. This will be a marathon of years. We sustained the volunteer community at Camp Coast Care for four years, which is really remarkable but also speaks to the vastness of the disaster. This looks to be similar. Find people to partner with. I will post such info as soon as I can get it. I know our Bishop is traveling today to the area and I am sure will have updates for us soon as well. Please pray for him and the diocesan staff who will be consumed (rightfully so) with this work for months and months to come.

In my constant prayers are my clergy colleagues in the area. If any of you read this, please know I am here for you in any way you need. Looking to do church Sunday? I can come, if I can get in, in the afternoon and bring everything you need for Eucharist. I am letting Bishop Russell knows this as well and I am sure there are several others who would do the same. It is important to gather what people are there for worship and communion, I can not tell you how important that was to our folks after Katrina took our church and community away.

Keep praying folks. Let the Daily Offices give you a structure and the words of the Psalms especially give you hope. Psalm 126 was the Psalm we kept praying at St. Patrick’s until we moved into our new building. “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then we were like those who dream. Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy”. For those in the Michael impacted area, it doesn’t feel like this will happen for you. It will. And that day will be glorious.

Evening Prayer 10/08/18

Switched to Evening Prayer for today, using the Mission St Clare app. As Hurricane Michael bears down on us, the opening Versicle and Response certainly struck home:

O God, make speed to save us.

O Lord, make haste to help us.

My prayers are with all in the path of this storm. Be safe y’all and keep praying!

In the St. Simon’s Cycle of Prayer: Monday –Pray for clergy, staff, vestry, and wardens. Pray for our parish to exhibit Christ’s love to all, to strive to know Christ and make him known. 

Of course the storm may impact my ability to post for a bit. Keep on with the offices and please post comments. Below is a prayer offered in these circumstances, you may want to include it in your own prayers these next days.

Prayers during a Hurricane

At this time of apprehension in the face of the unknown, let us bring our prayers to God, our strength and our redeemer.

In the face of peril and apprehension, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

In the face of mighty winds, thunderous sounds, strong rains, and surging waves, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

In the face of complete uncertainty, as well as concern for our loved ones, here or elsewhere, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

For the strength that God alone can give us, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

For all that it takes to keep our children calm and safe, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

For faith that can move mountains and remove all fear, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

For trust in God’s loving presence in our midst, even at this very hour, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

For trust that in life and in death, God will not abandon us, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy

Almighty God, we poor creatures place our lives into your hands that you might protect and guide us according to your will;

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear, our prayer.

Be our light in the darkness, our hope in the storm, our peace in the chaos, our trust in the unknown;

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear, our prayer.

Mighty are your works, O Lord, and mighty is your saving hand. Turn your ear to our petitions and supplications; Lord, in your mercy,

Hear, our prayer.

God has spoken his holy word of blessing and promise. God will indeed watch over and guide those for whom we pray. Amen.

(adapted from a variety of sources)