Rowan Williams on Christian Prayer

What is the distinctive element of Christian prayer? Rowan Williams in his little book on the Christian life, called Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer, contends it is calling God “Father” so that the distinctive element of Christian prayer becomes: “For the Christian, to pray — before all else — is to let Jesus’ prayer happen [Read More...]

The Bible’s Most Difficult Text to Preach?

I, SMcK, vote for the Lord’s Prayer — it is so familiar, so dear, and so often said that it is impossible to bring fresh light. Here is a post by John Frye: Scot McKnight notes that the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:7-15) is an intrusion into the almost “obsessive organization” of Matthew 6:1-18. Even more, [Read More...]

O God…

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns [Read More...]

The Church’s Wisdom on Prayer

The collects of the church reveal the church’s practices and beliefs about prayer; in them we see the church’s theology of prayer come to expression. I posted about the collects last week here and included a reference to a fine book “collecting” the collects: C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F.M. Zahl, The Collects of Thomas Cranmer. There [Read More...]

Almighty God…

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who [Read More...]


The finest prayers of the church can be found in the church’s “collects.” A collect is a scripted prayer, used in public (or private) worship, written for a specific week in the church calendar, and which “collects” together the church’s petitions. What is not known is that the time-worn collects of the church have a [Read More...]

O Lord…

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now [Read More...]

O God…

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and [Read More...]

Prayers of [not for] the People

When a church is led by someone praying, often called the intercessor, the prayers are to be the prayers of the people more than prayers for the people, though the intercessor may lead the congregation to pray for people in the congregation or the wider church. In Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher, Shaping the Prayers of the People, [Read More...]

Almighty God…

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and [Read More...]