Sunday, March 6, 2016

When Troubles Come....

The Book of Common Prayer 2011

Our family has been going through a very difficult time since early November. I'm not going to get into the details at this point, but let's say that God has given us many lessons on being people of faith and prayer over the last several months.

God has given me great solace in my devotionals, namely The Book of Common Prayer 2011 and The Divine Hours trilogy by Phyllis Tickle which is partially based on The Book of Common Prayer. The beauty of both books is that Scripture is laid out to be prayed several times per day. I pray Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline from the BCP 2011, and then I pray the Morning Office, the Midday Office, and the Vespers Office from The Divine Hours. In addition, I'm also praying my way through the classic My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

So around 9:00 A.M., I read and meditate on the day's reading from My Utmost for His Highest, pray The Morning Office from The Divine Hours, and then pray through the morning's selection from the Psalter in the BCP 2011 which is in the English Standard Version (ESV) translation of the Scriptures. Later in the morning, I'll pray Morning Prayer with Benjamin as part of our "Opening" for starting our day of home education which includes reading the Old Testament and New Testament readings for Morning Prayer as indicated in the Lectionary of the BCP 2011.

As lunch begins around 12:30 PM, I pray the Midday Office from The Divine Hours as well as pray through my prayer list on my Prayer Popper Android app.

And before bed, I pray through the Vespers Office from The Divine Hours and then the evening daily portion of the BCP 2011 Psalter, plus both Evening Prayer and Compline, also from the BCP 2011. And the Vespers Office often contains a hymn in place of the Scripture readings that are usually included in the Morning Office and Midday Office. And these Scriptures from The Divine Hours have been really speaking directly to my heart.

Earlier this week, I came across this Concluding Prayer of the Church from Wednesday's Midday Office in The Divine Hours:

O Lord my God, to you and your service I devote myself, body, soul, and spirit. Fill my memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten my understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and may all the desires of my heart and will center in what you would have me to do. Make me an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to my care, and let me by my life and speaking set forth your true and living Word. Be always with me in carrying out the duties of my salvation; in praises heighten my love and gratitude; in speaking of You give me readiness of thought and expression; and grant that, by the clearness and brightness of your holy Word, all the world may be drawn to your blessed kingdom. All this I ask for the sake of your Son my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime, page 160)

And that same evening, Wednesday, in The Vespers Office, I came across this hymn:

Oh, Love, How Deep
Attributed to Thomas a Kempis

Oh, love, how deep, how broad, how high,
Beyond all thought and fantasy,
That God, the son of God, should take
Our mortal form for mortal’s sake!

He sent no angel to our race,
Of higher or of lower place,
But wore the robe of human frame,
And to this world himself he came.

For us baptized, for us he bore
His holy fast and hungered sore;
For us temptation sharp he knew;
For us the tempter over threw.

For us he prayed; for us he taught;
For us his daily works he wrought,
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not himself but us.

For us by wickedness betrayed,
For us, in crown of thorns arrayed,
He bore the shameful cross and death;
For us he gave his dying breath.

For us he rose from death again;
For us he went on high to reign;
For us he sent his Spirit here
To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

All glory to our Lord and God
For love so deep, so high, so broad;
The Trinity whom we adore
Forever and forevermore.

~Latin, 15th Century

So it is with God's Word, prayer, hymns filling us "Up to the brim, and even above the brimwith Scriptural truths, and the prayers of His beloved people who encourage us when another setback strikes and celebrate with us when all seems (temporarily, at least,) well.

Wishing you all a blessed Lord's Day,

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