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Prayer, a Work in Progress – Br. David Allen

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DavidA_2008_031Today’s Eucharist is the Monthly Requiem in which we especially remember those members of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist who died in the month of September.

In this Requiem Eucharist our Epistle Lesson today can become for us a reminder of the Communion of Saints.

We pray for others, living and departed.

Believing that the Communion of Saints is truly reciprocal, we also are prayed for by the saints who are at rest. (BCP p. 862)

There is a sentence in our Rule of Life, in the Chapter on Our Founders and the Grace of Tradition that can be applied to all who have gone before us into the larger life:

Risen in Christ, they belong to the great cloud of witnesses who spur us on by their prayers to change and mature in response to the Holy Spirit who makes all things new.” (SSJE Rule, Chap. 3, p. 6)

Paul’s whole Letter to the Colossians can be read as a Song of Redemption, not only for the faithful of the Church at Colossae, but also as a prayer of thanks for the redemption of all people everywhere.

I hope you can realize as I did when I prepared this sermon that this passage is a very rich prayer indeed.  It can, and should, be applied both to ourselves as well as to others.  Here, for example, are some of the petitions found in this prayer: We ask that we may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

We pray that we may be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power, prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.  Finally, as a work in progress, we give thanks that we are rescued from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

Can you pray this prayer? If you pray earnestly in good faith the reward is great– everlasting life! ­

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