February 8, 2021
Good afternoon,

There are many prayers in the Bible. The whole 150 Psalms are prayers of some kind, with emotions in all of them. There is Elijah in the cave. There is Jacob wrestling with the angel. The prophets often talk with God, mostly when they are frustrated. Jesus goes off to pray in all the Gospels. He teaches his friends the Lord’s prayer. In the last supper, in the Gospel of John, Jesus prays for the safety of the disciples. Paul almost in every letter to the early church says that he is praying for them. And at the end of the letters he offers a benediction. Finally, the Revelation of John is a conversation that John has with our Lord, a prayer ?

Yet, we have trouble praying. We say we do not know the words. Prayer is conversation. Most of us are pretty good at talking. God wants to hear our words, I think. But, even when we cannot find the words, God knows what is in our heads. So, we can be quiet as well. How do you pray most often ?

Then, there are all the prayers of people since the Bible. The saints, both men and women. All those pastoral prayers. All the poets who write as if God is listening. We can use all of these words, when we cannot find our own. Sometimes, others say exactly what we are thinking. In the Mennonite Church we have a new resource called ” Together in Worship “. And we have a new hymnal called Voices together that has many prayers in the back. And, finally, our hymnbooks are always our prayer books.

Let us now be in prayer….
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me.Christ,
as a shield overshadow me
.Christ under me; Christ over me;Christ beside me; on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
Lowly and meek, yet all powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
In the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
Lowly and meek, yet all powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me on my left and my right
.—from St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer.