Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, March 13, 2015

Corporate and Personal Prayer - Rector's Rambling for March 8, 2015

During Lent, in addition to being especially aware of our sins and need to repent, the Church calls us to extra time of prayer and devotion.
What we are doing today, the Holy Communion Service, is a form of corporate prayer.  We pray together.  We do this also at our weekday Holy Communion Services, as well as weekday and Sunday recitation of Morning and Evening Prayer.  It is the Church as a body (the word “corporate” comes from the Latin word “corpus” for body) assembles to pray and worship together in the words of her faith, known as the Book of Common Prayer.  This is a very important element of the vitality of a parish.
But we are called to more than just that.  The Offices (Morning and Evening Prayer) can also be prayed by individuals at home or work.  Additionally, devotional books such as the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book are filled with prayers written by the saints that help to articulate our heart’s desire toward God, as well as form our hearts in those holy words written by the saints.
Other prayers, such as the Rosary, use a set of written and repetitive prayer that help us to focus our minds away from the distractions of the day and towards things heavenly.
But let us not neglect that wonderful intimate time of personal extemporaneous prayer.  This is, simply put, lifting our hearts and minds to God and just having a conversation with Him.  It is in this time of personal interaction that we deeply enter into that relationship with the God who is personal, and personally loves us and died for us.
Use all these types of prayer to grow!
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be said every day in Lent, after the Collect appointed for the day, until Palm Sunday.