The Friday-Tuesday Prayer

At least since being moved to my new ministry setting last year, I have endeavored to pray through the office of Morning Praise and Prayer from The United Methodist Book of Worship (BOW) as my primary prayer office each day.  I have long since come to believe that there is great spiritual value in the ordered rythms of daily prayer offered to us by the Daily Office, also called the Divine Hours.

In the past I have used similar forms of the Daily Office as such as the "Tan Card Rite" of the Order of St. Luke (of which I am a member) or the office of Morning Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer (BCP).  Using the rites of our Book of Worship over the last year has helped me to discover and celebrate the liturgical treasures of my own United Methodist Church, and has helped me to recognize that so much of our liturgy is nothing other than a maintaining of what we received from Anglicanism's Common Prayerbook.  At its best The United Methodist Church is a strand of the Anglican tradition that maintains its beautiful liturgical heritage as well as Anglicanism's "via media" vision of a church that is both reformed and catholic, while also putting a special - and evangelical - emphasis upon the personal experience of Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.

When I was frequently using The Book of Common Prayer (1979) form of the Daily Office, I discovered several wonderful prayers (such as the prayer for mission at the top of page 101).  One of my favorite prayers is The Collect for Fridays on page 99.  Friday is the day that Christ died for our salvation upon the cross, and the Friday collect reflects this.  This prayer is simple, yet very challenging to pray earnestly in a world where the Christian message is often reduced to a self-help technique of "getting prosperity and our best life now." 

I was delighted to discover that, like so much of Anglicanism's Book of Common Prayer, this prayer has also been 'inherited' by the Methodist tradition and is appointed in our worship book for the Tuesday of Holy Week (see BOW 347), though, of course, it may profitably be used on other occasions:

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was cruficied: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen.

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