Monday, November 8, 2010


Last month I read an article by Tim Keller which offered practical advice on how to pray in public and in private.  Tim had studied Thomas Cranmer's Collects - His short, pithy, doctrinally sound prayers,  move from

"a doctrinal basis (why we can ask for it) to the petition (what we want) to the aspiration (what we will do with it if we get it.) It is remarkable how this combines solid theology with deep aspirations of the heart and concrete goals for our daily life." 
Cranmer's Collects followed this design:

  1. The Address - a name of God
  2. The Doctrine - a truth about God's nature that is the basis for prayer
  3. The Petition - what is being asked for
  4. The Aspiration - what good result will come if the request is granted
  5. In Jesus' name - remembering His mediatorial role
Here is an example of one of Cranmer's more famous collects:

Almighty God,
unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid,
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit
That we may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy holy name,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

I have found the practice of writing collects of my own in response to my morning Bible reading to be of great benefit.  I will share some examples, listing the passage on which I based my prayers.

Psalm 116

Loving, Merciful, Gracious God,
Who always hears my pleas for mercy, and preserves my soul, and delivers me from death,
Help me to walk before You and serve You all the days of my life,
So that I can bring praise to Your name in the presence of Your people,
     and demonstrate thanksgiving and trust in Your provisions,
Through Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer.  Amen.

Jeremiah 50, Romans 3, Romans 8

Righteous and Just Judge of all the earth,
Who justified by the gift of grace all those who trust in Jesus
                             as the Propitiation for their sins,
Cause us to walk according to the Spirit,
                             mirroring Your righteousness to a lost and dying world,
So that Your name is glorified and Your reputation untarnished,
In the name of Jesus Christ Who is God over all, and blessed forever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 7

Heavenly Father,
Who indwells Your people and walks among us, and calls us Your sons and daughters,
Help us to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit,
So we are sanctified, becoming more and more like our Beautiful Jesus,
                     who embodied holiness on this earth,
And in Whose name we pray, Amen.

Ecclesiastes 12

Creator God,
You number our days, and order our steps, and decide when our spirit will return to You,
Grant me wisdom and strength to use words of delight
              and words of truth 
                        to teach others while I still have strength,
So that Your people will be encouraged to persevere and 
                        to walk uprightly with knowledge and wisdom,
In the Name of Jesus, our Beautiful Saviour, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Remember that you will give an account for every word. Respond with wisdom and grace, please.