photo by Bill Fairs on unsplash
March 2022 Letter
One of the great strengths of the Church of England, since its inception nearly 500 years ago, has been its prayerbook. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer wrote some cracking prayers. Those prayers have provided the words which have helped generations of English-speaking Christians to pray heartfelt, spiritually mature, linguistically beautiful, straightforward prayers to the Lord.
This Lent we have a Teaching series on prayer with a focus on good prayers out of the book. If you have a favourite prayer, come and tell us about it at church. Hopefully there will be a spot in many of our services when a church member stands up, comes out to the front, tells us about their favourite prayer and why it’s a favourite, then leads us in praying it.
There are lots of good prayers in the Prayerbook. For a start there are some of the prayers used over the centuries in Morning and Evening Prayer. Then there are the Collects: special prayers for each Sunday of the year. In the 1662 prayerbook, these were often just the right length to memorise and use again and again during the week. Also they were usually very good examples of turning a seasonal festival or biblical passage into a meaningful prayer, relevant to people’s daily living.
The sermons and Growth group studies will focus on some of the classic prayers of the Prayerbook Holy Communion service. We will celebrate their good sense, robust language and good theology. And so we will help one another in our weekly worship together, to pray with more feeling and understanding. And also we wish to encourage everyone’s daily prayers.
Lent is meant to be a season in which we express regular repentance and lament for our sins, in order that our relationship with God may be alive, and that we be blessed as those who mourn. We shall look at the prayerbook Confession and the prayer of Humble Access, as part of our Lent spiritual discipline.
Well chosen liturgical prayers can make for a faithful nourishing prayer life. Our year 2000 Common Worship prayerbooks are a little unwieldy to use as a handy prayer resource. But with a bit of guidance as to where the best material is located, could make a big difference in our personal prayers at the beginning and end of the day.
Yours in Jesus’ name,
Main photo by Bill Fairs on unsplash