Sunday, January 31, 2016

Prayers for the People (45)

At the 45th prayer, the subject matter of The Book of Common Prayer turns to prayers for "family and personal life." 

I loved the prayer for today, to look inward in my own heart and pray for the Lord to enkindle warm kindness and affection -- "fervent charity" -- within me and among my family members. It's easy to love people I see once or twice a week, or less. Those with whom I live day in and day out are the iron God uses to sharpen me, and that means the closest relationships receive the most regular wear and tear. 

The daily chafing between us of our human sins, foibles, and limitations challenges us to submit our thoughts and habits to Christ's commands: love, humility, respect, and self-control -- to give whether or not we receive -- daily. 

As the old saying goes, "Charity begins at home." 

45. For Families

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary
in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in
which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee,

every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride
of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance,
patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those
who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the
hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the
children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among
us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one
to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-- Online Book of Common Prayer,

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