Last week during the Instructed Eucharist Rev. Eric introduced a new, shared resource for our weekly worship: The St. C's Prayer Journal. It's intended for everyone - including you! Read Rev. Eric's description and invitation below. PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
The Creed unites us with our ancestors in the faith and with each other - just like our prayers. Every Sunday we offer the Prayers of the People; not just the priest, but all of us. During our Sunday worship we always pray for these six categories: the Church, the world, the nation, the local community, the suffering, and the dead. If there is any single moment at church we’re meant learn something - even more than the sermon - it’s here: prayer. The gathered Church is our teacher, our trainer, our guide. In fact it's so important that we call our entire service book, The Book of Common PRAYER.
One of the important things we learn at church is that our prayers don’t begin with us. Our feelings and concerns matter, yes, but even more important than any of those, our prayers are first a response to God’s Word. Every Sunday we only pray after we’ve first heard God speak to us; only after we’ve first heard God's word to us in Scripture and Song. And just like none of us would probably think to pray for all of our brothers and sisters in different countries of the world - let alone our neighbors right here in Massachusetts - so God’s Word in Scripture also reminds us, leads us, trains us and shapes our individual hearts for prayer.
Because prayer is such an important part of our worship, we’re introducing a new resource for everyone. Every Sunday we’re going to have a Prayer Journal at the back of the church. Every Sunday when you arrive you’ll find it near the Guest Register and it’s meant for you to write down your prayers. Please, let me invite you to use it. It’s not meant to repeat the prayers already listed in our bulletin (all of that is going to stay the same). This is a journal to offer prayers that you’ve brought with you - concerns or celebrations, big or small. It’s a concrete way every single Sunday to include each of our voices in our gathered, common prayer. Not only that, but the more we hear prayers from each other, the more we’re reminded that Christian prayer doesn’t depend on us alone; our individual feelings or even what we think is most important. Christian Prayer exists before us, it’s bigger than any single one of us, and the worshiping congregation is the heartbeat and the center from which we pray. Amen.