Greeting God

Monday, June 25, 2012

Did you know that I am a confirmed Episcopalian? It is interesting, because I grew up Southern Baptist. For a long time, I didn't understand the Anglican use of the Book of Common Prayer. The Baptist in me thought it was some kind of affront to the Bible. Not so. It is, simply, a collection of prayers and devotions. It is full of the psalms. It is lovely. 

Even though we no longer attend an Episcopal church, I keep my Book of Common Prayer nearby. It reminds me of the importance of discipline and memorization, for there is comfort in the rhythm of recited, deeply ingrained words. I can still hear this:
Eucharistic Prayer II
The Lord be with you.
People      And with they spirit.
Celebrant  Lift up your hearts.
People      We lift them up unto the Lord.
Celebrant  Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
People      It is meet and right so to do.
I love that part, "meet and right." Meet here means "fitting, becoming or proper." It is meet and right to lift up our hearts and give thanks to the Lord. There is something about hearing the mixed voices of a congregation say that, every Sunday. It is full of promise.
But that's not why I started this post. I started it because I want to share a prayer from the Daily Devotions of the Book of Common Prayer. It is from the morning devotion, and it is the sort of thing that I'd like to memorize so that I could say it, and mean it, every morning:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reading it has made me really think about how I greet the Lord in the morning. Usually, the moment I wake up, my brain starts thinking about how I'm still tired, or what I need to do that day, or how much time I have before the children wake up. I might get around to saying, "Thank you, God, for bringing me into this new day," eventually. Maybe. This prayer has convicted me to change that.

How do you greet God in the morning? And also, do you enjoy the Book of Common Prayer?

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5 Responses to “Greeting God”

  1. This is a great reminder for me too! I feel the best and most awake in the morning so I tend to try to get a lot done. Such a good reminder to pray first!

  2. This post was so convicting for me Courtney! Mostly because I have under-appreciated the gifts in the BCP. For the past nine years we've attended an Episcopal church but for half that time, I've spent more time arguing with God that it just isn't a good fit for us than appreciating the gifts it gives. So thank you for this reminder. :) I think I need to spend more time greeting God than grumbling to Him.

  3. Since I read this in the morning, I was particularly moved by being thankful for being carried safely into a new day and asking for God's help to live out my purpose. I suppose it helps that I'm naturally a morning person and enjoy getting up before the kids are awake. 

  4. I grew up Baptist too ;) I think these words are beautiful - thank you for sharing! 

  5. You know what? I had this EXACT realization this week, too - after reading a daily devotion in Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling." I'm trying to train myself to greet God with thanks first thing when I wake up int the morning.