Addressing the Father

Collect for the First Sunday After Easter

ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Being Children of God

In this week’s Collect, we address God as “Almighty Father” for the first time in the Church’s year. Jesus’ death on the cross enables us to approach the throne of grace, as Jesus has already gone before us. He is our forerunner and we approach God in His steps. We are restored as children to the Father, a father who loves us. It was the Father who sent His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).” Jesus made our reconciliation with the Father possible. “Christ hath died, and become the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2.2). Sin separates us from God. Jesus’ act on the cross removes sin, and therefore, removes the separation between God and us. Because of Jesus, we can call God “our Father.”

Lion of JudahFurther, in the Collect we pray, “Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth.” Our new life in Christ begins right now. As God’s children, we are obedient. Jesus is our exemplar for obedience to God.

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11.)

Our Old Testament lessons for Morning Prayer during this season are in Exodus. There, we read about Israel’s time in the wilderness. God repeatedly attempts to bring them to obedience. Pray that by the justification of the blood shed by Jesus on the cross, we may also be God’s obedient children.

Pray For Those in Danger

COLLECT for The 3rd Sunday after Trinity
O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

We do not initiate prayer ourselves. It is God through his Spirit who puts the desire to pray within our hearts. Our role in prayer is to will to serve God who wishes to use us to his glory. Jesus is central to all our prayer. St. Augustine once said, “Christ prays for us as a priest, prays in us as our Head, is prayed to, by us, as our God. Let us recognize, therefore, our voices in him, and his voices in us.”

In this week’s collect, our request is that we “may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities”. We do not pray for God to keep is from danger, rather to KEEP US in our dangers and adversities.

Whatever may happen to us, we should have faith that God will make good out of any situation, if we offer it to him. This is the meaning of Psalm 9: “There shall no evil happen unto thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

St. Peter Released from Prison

St. Peter Released from Prison

I cannot help but think about St. Peter in Acts chapter 12. He was in danger and adversity. He was in danger of losing his head to Herod, who was finding pleasure in killing Christians. In the passage, he was sleeping. He did not seem to be terribly worried about his own safety.

The house of Mary, the mother of John, was praying, and God answered their prayer. Peter was delivered from danger. Those praying, barely believed this, thinking that Peter was a ghost when he came to their house, but he was indeed free. In the case of Peter, as with us, God’s angels prevented evil from happening to him. God turned a bad situation into good.

This week, remember to pray for those who are in harms way. Remember to pray for your enemies. Remember to pray for those in civil authority. Remember to pray for those who are lost to the world, the flesh, and the devil. Remember that God sets captives free, and God answers prayer.