Over the past week I’ve focused #TheDailyDose on the order of service used by the Church of England for Morning Prayer. During lockdown quite a few people found it helpful to follow this service together on Facebook each morning.
Although the service is liturgical and I’m personally from a non liturgical background, I generally prefer services where people are free to pray and speak in their own words, I have found this framework helpful to focus my own devotions each day for some time. One reason for this is that the liturgy is drenched in Scripture. So I thought it might be helpful for us to have a look at the Scripture passages which are either quoted or behind the prayers and liturgy used.
In so doing, I think that we’ve seen in the structure a helpful pattern for what to include in our own prayer times. We might list the stages as follows
Confess – we begin by approaching God in repentance, dependent upon his forgiveness.
Give thanks – we express joy and gratitude for God’s goodness to us. He is our creator and redeemer.
Delight in the Gospel -we enjoy God and the beauty of the Gospel.
Respond to God’s Word – Light shines on our lives and so we are to wake up and be alert as God shows us how to live. Prayer is a two way process. We talk to God but we also listen to him as the Holy Spirit speaks through Scripture.
Declare – we saw how the Creed reminds us of the importance of declaring the truths we believe about God and the promises he has made.
Ask – All of this gives the context in which we come to God with our requests.
Bless – the order closes with a blessing such as The Peace or The Grace and our desire should not only to be blessed but to be a blessing.
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