Our Rich Liturgical Heritage
The Rt Revd Dr Peter Brain
The Book of Common Prayer collects are a rich treasury of prayed theology, enriching our fellowship with God. The Collects for the first four Sundays after Trinity Sunday are fine patterns of prayer.
Lord God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: mercifully accept our prayers, and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do nothing good without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (AAPB Ordinary Sunday 3).
Praying to the Lord God is possible because of his saving grace toward us in Jesus Christ. Gratitude for his mercy is a growing instinct of the believer. Knowing our weaknesses, we ask him for his daily grace.
Saving grace whets our appetite, and gives us confidence to seek his sin-conquering grace, serving grace and sufficient grace in our suffering and trials. God is ever so good to those who express their trust in him through prayer.
Lord God, the unfailing helper and guide of those whom you bring up in your steadfast fear and love, keep us, we pray, under the protection of your good providence, and give us a continual reverence and love for your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (AAPB Ordinary Sunday 12).
Our Trinitarian God has eternally existed in the loving fellowship of the Godhead who graciously worked in concert to bring us into relationship with him. God’s purpose decided before time, demonstrated by Jesus through his incarnation and atonement in time, was applied by the Holy Spirit’s regenerating work in our time. As a result, we became God’s adopted children, whom he now lovingly brings up. To keep this wonderful grace becoming proud presumption or chronic complacency, we gladly accept God’s good providence as reverent, trusting and loving children.
Graciously hear us, Lord God; and grant that we, to whom you have given the desire to pray, may by your mighty aid be defended and strengthened in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (AAPB Ordinary Sunday 28).
As dearly loved children God often gives us a desire to pray. He does this regularly through his gifts like: Bible reading, corporate worship, small group or one-on-one encouragement, suffering, testing circumstances, challenging assignments, news of another’s need or a providential kindness. When this desire is given, we are wise to turn off the TV and make time to pray. Otherwise, we may take the gifts and their giver for granted or try to handle life in our own strength or wisdom. There is no danger so great, for the child of God to take his gifts or providences for granted. These gifts remind us of his love and are ways of training us for the times we ought to pray when we have no desire to do so.
Almighty God, the protector of all who put their trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us your mercy, so that with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal that we finally lose not the things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen (AAPB Ordinary Sunday 17).
Prayer reminds us of the warfare of Christian discipleship. We need God’s daily protection because in and of ourselves we are neither strong nor holy. We so easily take our eyes off our ruler and guide. Thankfully he does not take his eyes off us. Since he must train us to be Godly children and servant’s we ask him to protect us by multiplying his mercy upon us. Because he does, his multiplying mercy inclines and strengthens our hearts to live under his rule and guidance, which will see us safely into eternity with him.