Friday, July 11, 2014

Bishop's Note: Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Pentecost - Proper 10

Bishop Eric Menees

“O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee, and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

In Part A of this week's collect, we ask the Lord: "...mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people…." Did you know that God hears and answers every prayer? The range of answers is generally the same. YES. NO. And NOT YET. Of course, when the answer is YES we are thrilled. When the answer is NO or NOT YET, we are less than happy. However, the Lord's answer to our prayers is ALWAYS the correct answer. Our responsibility is to ask the Lord, receive the answer and then to obey the answer of the Lord.

Part B of this week’s plea to the Lord is: "...who call upon thee, and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do…." The answer to this request will most assuredly be YES.  If we ask the Lord to show us how we should be following Him; how we should be serving Him; how we should be loving others; the answer will be YES. The question will be: are we open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit? The ways He answers are numerous. For me, I often go to sleep asking the Lord for guidance, and I wake up in the morning just knowing what it is I'm supposed to do. This is most especially true with my preaching: “Lord what would you have me say this Sunday,” is often my prayer on Thursday night going to bed - I generally write my sermon on Friday. Now, this prayer also comes after having read the scriptures on Monday and having begun my study of the word - so things are already percolating in my spirit - but it is the Lord's prompting that directs my preaching.

If we are seeking to do God's will in our lives, then we'll be reading His Word, speaking with godly brothers and sisters, examining our dreams, and quietly listening to The Lord. The problem is that, too often, we come to Him out of stress and anxiety because we find out backs against the wall. But I promise you, if you pray for His guidance, God will offer it.

Part C is the most important part of the prayer, in my opinion: "...and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same…." This is the part of the prayer that we often leave out. We ask God for guidance, but then fail to ask Him for the grace and power to fulfill what He guides us to do.

I pray that this week's collect will open you up to the prompting of the Spirit along with the power and grace to fulfill God's desires for your life.

I pray you all a blessed week!

Bishop Menees

Catechetical  Question #2

2. What is the human condition?

The universal human condition is that, though made for fellowship with our Creator, we have been cut off from him by self-centered rebellion against him, leading to guilt, shame, and fear of death and judgment. This is the state of sin.

Note: The Bishop's notes are written for the ADSJ and posted here with his permission for a wider audience. I included his Catechism question because To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism is a seminal document that I believe will help form our identity internally and give other churches an orthodox picture of Anglican Christianity in post Christian cultures. May God richly bless those who wrote it and those who read and inwardly digest it. The Catechism is available from the ACNA website as a PDF, Word or Kindle download. It is also available from Amazon as a leatherbound document.

No comments: