Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 50 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 impending hockey arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, May 08, 2017

Getting started on prayer - Rector's Rambling for May 7, 2017

Excitement it picking up for our special program Thy Kingdom Come, a time of prayer between the Feast of the Ascension on May 25 and Pentecost/Whitsunday on June 4.
Occasionally I hear from parishioners that they like the idea of praying, but are uncomfortable in doing so.  Recently one person said to me, “I am afraid I am somehow doing it wrong”.  It led to a very fruitful conversation about praying as a conversation with God, and I assured the person that it would be much worse for them to not talk to God than to perhaps get something wrong.
One great gift of our Anglican/Episcopal heritage is the Book of Common Prayer.  Morning and Evening Prayer, or the shorter forms for prayer beginning on page 587, are good starting points for our prayer time.  The Prayer Book is grounded in Scripture, and tested by the generations of saints who have been aided by it to become holy.  But once you have spent time praying formally, be sure to make time to just talk to God.  Thank Him for blessings.  Confess your failings and ask forgiveness.  Tell Him your needs, desires, and fears.  And pray for others who have asked your prayers, or anyone you would like to offer up in prayer.  And be sure to pray for St. John’s Church, for her members and her clergy.
The primary intention for these special days is for us to pray that more people come to know Jesus as Lord.  You can do that both by praying in general, as well as by making a list of people you would like to see come into a relationship with Jesus, and then praying for them by name every day.
One caveat is to make sure that as we are praying, we are open to how God the Holy Ghost may want to guide and direct us as we pray, and always to pray, “Thy will be done” – acknowledging that the results of our prayer will be His doing, not always our desired result.