Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
full oft in fast and prayer with thee;
our spirits strengthen with thy grace,
and give us joy to see thy face.
Last week we sang the above words in our recessional hymn, a poetic request asking the Lord to enable us to join Moses, Elijah, Daniel, and John the Baptist in fasting and prayer during the forty days of Lent. In addition to our own offerings, there are many guides available to assist you in these important spiritual disciplines. Here are a few of them:
· Resources for Lent: The Anglican Church of North America offers a range of resources, from joining with the Good Samaritan in sharing kinship with the vulnerable ones, to resources for children and families practicing Lent together.
· Lent Playlist: This playlist offers “songs that have stirred in us both a greater recognition of our own need and a deeper hope for the restoration that is to come.” Not all the music on this list is explicitly Christian, but the selections provided by the Rabbit Room are indeed evocative. The Rabbit Room also offers a Lenten Journal and Liturgy Writing Guide worth considering.
· Sacred Space: This free app “guides you through a session of prayer, in six stages, including preparing your body and mind, and culminating in reflection on a scripture passage chosen specially for the day.” This contemplative prayer format is also available online.
Among my top recommendations is to join in the longstanding Anglican practice of praying The Daily Office. God’s people have long responded to the call to pause and pray morning, noon, and night (Psalm 55:17). Drawn from the practice of the ancient Church, our Book of Common Prayer 2019 provides liturgies for each of these “hours.” The longer forms are found on pages 11, 33, 41, and 57. Shorter forms are found beginning on page 67. You can also download each of these from the BCP 2019 website.
Or, even simpler, go to www.dailyoffice2019.com, or download the free Daily Office App to your phone. Both of these options provide the prayers and readings in an easy-to-use format. And, as always, you can join Immanuel every Thursday at 8am, noon, and 8pm via Zoom for Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer, and Compline.
If you haven’t yet found a way to abide with Jesus this Lent, it’s not too late! Ask the Lord which discipline He’s inviting you to practice, so that He can strengthen you with his grace, and give you joy to see his face.
Your Pastor in Christ,