B.C. Anglicans among those displaced by wild fires

Friends:

I have had a chance to talk to Bishop Barbara Andrews in the Territory of the Peoples area of British Columbia. Her diocese sits in the heart of the raging forest fires. She has asked that AFP members offer particular prayers for Williams Lake as another lightning storm is heading their way. There are about 1000 people in her diocese and every one of them has been affected in some way. Many parishes are offering shelter to those displaced . Please remember all of their communities in your daily prayers.

Archdeacon A. Paul Feheley,

Principal Secretary to the Primate,
National Director of The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer

BC Anglicans among those displaced by wild fires – from the Anglican Journal

The Daily Office Evening Prayer for July 13

Prayers for Canada Day

From Stephen Reynolds Book For All the Saints

Canada Day 1 July Canada Day is a national holiday, not a feast of the Church; and yet it is right that we Christians offer prayer and thanksgiving today, because all the good things which we enjoy as Canadians have their origin as gifts of God. The resources of our land and the oceans which border it, our diversity as Canadian people, the heritage of Confederation and our nation’s continuing efforts to ensure peace and justice for all its citizens — all these things call the Church to remember and celebrate the God who gave them. At the same time, we as the people of the Church must accept an immense responsibility as citizens of Canada. We believe that divine grace seeks to fulfill what divine power has created. We are the servants of this saving purpose of God: we do not leave the concerns of Canadian society behind us when we enter our churches; we enter our churches in order to gain fresh strength for the work of making God’s justice, compassion, and wisdom ever more present in the life of our nation. On Canada Day, our task is to dedicate ourselves to the mission of bringing all our country’s resources — natural and human — within the circle of God’s redemptive love in Jesus Christ.

(From the Canadian Book of Alternate Services)

Collect Almighty God, whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation. Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

There are also two collects in our Book of Common Prayer

O GOD, who providest for thy people by thy power, and rulest over them in love: Vouchsafe so to bless thy servant our Queen, and her Government in this Dominion of Canada, that thy people may dwell in peace and safety, and thy Church serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, who didst lead the fathers of our nation into this land of Canada, and hast increased us by thy favour: Grant, we beseech thee, that we who now enter into their inheritance, may prove ourselves a people mindful of thy mercies and ready to do thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Inventory

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it Matter if We “Take Stock” of our Prayer Life?

I think it does. Regardless of the way we pray, or how often we pray, God does not want our relationship with Him to stay the same. He desires us to come closer to Him and to grow in our love for Him, for others, and for ourselves. It is therefore appropriate that from time to time we “take stock” of how we are communicating with God, and how our relationship is developing. This article will ask you to pose a number of questions to yourself. There are no right or wrong answers. The results are intended to provide food for thought and in the hope that you will be spurred to take stock, and make changes if they are necessary to improve your relationship with God.
Continue reading “Inventory”

Intercession Preparation

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it matter that I prepare ahead of time to lead Prayers of the People?

Yes, I believe it does. It matters that the person who leads the prayers has an understanding of the purpose of the prayers, their place in the liturgy and the role of the Intercessor.

In a previous article of Prayer Matters, I wrote that Intercession is a relationship in which we share our concerns with each other and with God. It is appropriate that we should hold before God those people and situations in need of prayer. The Intercessory prayers should focus on God’s reconciling, transforming, and healing love. The Prayers of the People are the prayers offered as a Christian community. The worshipping community’s prayers are an expression of our belief that people, and the circumstances in the world that affect the human family, can be touched and changed through Jesus Christ and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. The prayers are given shape both by our awareness of human need and the Gospel vision of God’s Kingdom.

The Prayers of the People Gathered

In acting as an Intercessor in public worship one is bringing before God the prayers of the people gathered together. Ideally, the Intercessor expresses or vocalizes the prayers that the people have presented to him/her to offer on their behalf. The challenge facing parishes is to find ways in which the Intercessor can truly act as the gatherer of prayers and the encourager for others in the congregation to express the prayers that are in their hearts.

The Prayers of the People Are: an expression of what we are concerned about; what we are excited about; of our joys and of thanksgivings; about the world in which we live; about the concerns for the whole human family – both local and wider church concerns; brief, but clear; intended to challenge people to continue to pray about issues on their own; and a response to the church season and theme for the day.

The Prayers of the People Are Not: a sermon; long; the announcements; an occasion for promoting a personal point of view on issues; or a monologue in which the people have no part.

Preparing the Prayers

When preparing, the leader should pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, remembering that prayer is a gift from God. St. Paul says, “The spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 – NRSV). Prayer is more than what we do; it is what God does through us.

When preparing: the bulletin should be checked; the order of service read; the appointed Scripture readings read, and the prayer focus they suggest, noted. The intercession format for the day needs to be chosen. Often churches use different formats each week with seasonal emphasis appropriate to the occasion. Individual parishes have different ways of encouraging parishioners to include particular prayer requests into the Intercessions. In some congregations, before the worship service begins, people are invited to indicate a name or situation for which they want prayers in an Intercession Book that is placed near the entrance to the worship space. The Intercessor expresses these needs when offering the Prayers of the People.

Various formats can be used. If special prayers have been prepared, or adaptations of the chosen form used, including the parish, diocesan, and world-wide Anglican cycle of prayer, they should be written out ahead of time. This will help to keep the prayers an appropriate length as well as avoid any embarrassing lapses of memory or confusion. The prayers can creative, and include current events, local, national, and international. Both thanksgivings, as well as petitions should be included.

There is sometimes a tendency to focus on prayers for local concerns and the healing of the sick. It is important to look beyond the immediate local concerns and pray for our political leaders, for business people, teachers, scientists etc., whose decisions affect the whole human family.

Leading the Prayers

It is important that the congregation understand that the Prayers of the People truly come from all of the people. Therefore, if practical, the Intercessor can lead from the midst of the people gathered. However, as with the Scripture Readings, it is very important the prayers be heard by the whole congregation. If a microphone is necessary to accomplish this, it should be used. The place from which the Prayers are led would be selected with this in mind.

When introducing the Prayers of the People it should be made clear to the congregation what the expected response to each petition is. In order to reinforce this, the Intercessor can introduce and join in the response. The response could also be printed in the bulletin or projected on a screen. During the Prayers, members of the congregation should be given the opportunity to express their concerns, and the intercessor should make space and time for them to articulate their cares and joys, either aloud or in silence.

Let God Work

Leading the Prayers of the People is a privilege and a responsibility. Be assured that, having been prepared well, God will hear the prayers and honour all that has been offered.

Intercessions

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it matter that I pray for others?

Yes. I believe that it does. It matters not only in our Anglican worship services where we traditionally include “Intercessions” or “Prayers of the People”, but also in our daily lives. Several years ago, a friend asked me: “Why do we pray every week for peace in the Middle East when history shows us that people have been fighting each other for thousands of years and the prayers for peace over the centuries have not made any difference?” How you would answer that question? The question caused me to think deeply about why we pray intercessory prayers for others.
Continue reading “Intercessions”

Reader Preparation

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it matter that I prepare ahead of time to read a Scripture Lesson

Yes. I believe that it does.

The scriptures are given a prominent role in Anglican liturgy. The church’s worship services are full of scriptural phrases and sentences. This prominence reflects the Anglican church’s emphasis through the centuries on the primacy of the scriptures. “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching , for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 – NRSV). If we are to respect this prominent role, we should understand the role of the Reader, or “Lector”.
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Thy Kingdom Come

Devoting Ourselves to Prayer

Ascension Day to the Day of Pentecost

May 25 to June 4, 2017

St. Luke writes that following the Ascension of the Lord, the disciples were gathered in an upper room “constantly devoting themselves to prayer”. A number of women joined them including Mary, the mother of Jesus. (Acts 1:14).
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Healing

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it Matter That We Pray for Healing?

It is natural and appropriates that we should want a person healed of whatever malady that afflicts them, and so we pray that they be cured. But what about the situation in which the medical prognosis is that of an incurable disease or affliction? Should we still pray for healing? Yes, I believe we should.
Continue reading “Healing”