Monday of Lent 4, April 1, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
This week, we look at the intersection of our relationship with God and each other that begins in prayer and worship.
The Litany of Penitence continues with:
Our negligence in prayer and worship,
and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.
In the baptismal covenant, we promise to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers” (BCP 304). We can do all four parts of this promise at corporate worship: during our weekly worship we gather together as a community to acknowledge God’s holiness, hear Scripture read, pray, and celebrate the sacraments (Catechism, BCP 857). Our weekly worship together can provide a structure for our daily prayers. Our daily prayers, whether structured through the Daily Office (BCP 37-135), Daily Devotionals for Family Devotions for Individuals and Families (BCP 136-140), or some other form of prayer, center us daily in our relationship with God, each other, and the world, and prepare us for our corporate worship times.
Sometimes, for reasons beyond our control, we aren’t able to be present in corporate worship. When this happens for too long, our personal daily prayer and worship times are diminished. We are made for community worship life.
Sometimes, it’s hard to enter into either prayer or worship for a variety of other reasons: the press of the world upon us, problems in our relationships with one another, or problems in our relationship with God. And, as a result, we neglect our part of tending to our relationships with God and each other: our worship of God and our prayers to God for the world, each other, and ourselves. Participating in corporate worship is the normal means for refreshing and rejuvenating our daily prayer and worship life. But sometimes even that is hard work and we forget that our prayers and our corporate worship are not just for ourselves, but for the sake of the world.
Our baptismal covenant calls us to stand firm with one another, in both prayers and in worship, against a culture that too often tells us that we can be completely independent, that we don’t need community life, and that we don’t need to be in relationship with God and each other to be whole and healthy.
What distracts you from prayer or worship?
What keeps you from praying in church or in other places?
What keeps you away from corporate worship?
Almighty God, you have revealed to your Church your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace to continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; for you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Collects, Various Occasions, 1. Of the Holy Trinity, BCP 251)