Why Are Dusty Old Prayers Relevant to My Life?
July 13, 2021 | Andrew Zakhari
Anyone who has been a follower of Jesus is familiar with dry spells in prayer and with the difficult task of trying to develop a consistent prayer life that connects to God with spiritual vitality. Five years ago, I found myself in yet another dry spell. I was aware of the value of liturgical prayers (sometimes called collects), but I never thought that old dusty prayers (from hundreds of years ago) could be a source of great spiritual help and richness in my life. Liturgical prayers are prayers in written form developed by the church over the centuries that both encapsulate biblical truth about God, express in the simplest of words our great needs, and put forth humble confidence that God is both willing and able to meet our requests.
Here are three reasons to consider making liturgical prayers (like the ones found in the Book of Common Prayer) as a staple in your spiritual life:
- You don’t have to search for words to pray.
Many people have the issue of finding “the right” words to pray and give up on praying before they even get a few words out. Liturgical prayers provide biblically sound, time-tested words of prayer before God that are appropriate for any set of circumstances. Many of the words and phrases found in collects are taken from Scripture.
- Your prayers are connected to the prayers of other believers all over the world.
If you pray liturgical prayers (like the ones found in morning and evening prayer in the Book of Common Prayer), then you are praying in agreement with Christians from all over the world. Our prayers may be expressed in the privacy of our homes, but they are joined to the body of Christ.
- Your prayers are connected to the historic church.
The prayers found in the Book of Common Prayer have been prayed for hundreds of years, some of them well over a thousand years (some of these prayers are attributed to St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom who lived in the 4th Century). Such long lasting prayers (even going back as far as Biblical times) confirm that the church has an enduring family history. More than just being part of our local church, we are part of God’s great church body in history that goes back for thousands of years.
If you want to learn more about liturgical prayers and how they can help your spiritual life, please consider attending our virtual book club on The Collects of Thomas Cranmer. Tuesday, July 20th @ 7:00 p.m. Contact the church office for the Zoom link.