“The Gifts: His Preservation, His Direction”


The Book of Common Prayer was totally new to me when I first went to St. John’s. I had heard of it, but never heard anything from its pages, or so I thought. Having been raised and baptized in a tradition that frowned upon prewritten prayer, this was one of those things that was, I guess you’d say…questionable. It was sort of, in my mind, like the “vain repetitions” that Jesus spoke concerning and criticized.

Perhaps like me, you’ve heard that prayer is supposed to come from your heart. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t. But what if your heart is so burdened or clogged up or trampled upon…or just slowly turning to stone…that you don’t have any words to pray from your heart? When it doesn’t seem worth the energy?

This is where I was. This is why I am gradually learning the real treasures that can be found in “The Book Of Common Prayer,” and not only from there, but from other collections of prayers as well from other Christian traditions.

Today, I thought it might be good to share this prayer with you from “The Book Of Common Prayer.” It’s one that I latched onto right away and committed to memory. It’s a special form of prayer called a “Collect” and after thanking God for bringing us (not just me, but all of us) safely to a new day, it asks for two of His Gifts: His Preservation and His Direction.

Hopefully you will find this prayer meaningful and will receive new insights each time you read it as I do. So rather than giving you any of my commentary on what His Preservation and His Direction mean to me, perhaps it is best for you to listen to what God’s Spirit is saying to you as you read these prayerful words.

The graphics in this series have a real “Old School” feeling but that sort of fits. (A reader had commented positively along these lines some time ago.) Like the others in this series, I wanted it to be something that you could print and post on your refrigerator or even in your cubicle at work. (On most systems, I believe, you can select and print just the image without these other words.) I picked a chicken and a sunrise because…Well, did I ever tell you about my chickens?!?

Thanks so much, everyone!

5 thoughts on ““The Gifts: His Preservation, His Direction”

  1. John,
    That brought back some fond memories. The Book of Common Prayer is an awesome, inspired collection of prayers and services. If read and acted upon by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, they will not become vain repetitions.
    Don

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For some the idea of prewritten prayer is bad because to them it is empty, but isn’t all prayer empty words? Prewritten or fired off in the moment, it is our willingness to see God as holy and gracious, merciful and perfect, our humble acceptance that He is God and we are not, that gives our words depth.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I like this comment a great deal! One of the things that I wonder about, and perhaps others do as well, is finding a balance between extreme formality (using lots of “Thee’s” and “Thou’s” with a “Thine” or two for good measure) and extreme casualness (sort of like “Hey, God. Big Dude. What’s up?”) I like how you’ve pointed out that it’s the heart attitude that is of primary importance. Thanks!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The Book of Psalms is a bunch of prayers. Originally they were the words of songs, but the music is lost now. What remains are the prayers.

    We are supposed make our own prayer, but the apostles asked Jesus how to pray. So He them an example and told them to avoid vain repetition. The point of prewritten prayers is to give us something to think about as we seek guidance, ask for help for ourselves and others, and thank God for His blessings, to make our conversations with God a little less awkward.

    Liked by 1 person

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