Friday, June 17, 2016

Habits of the Mind in an Age of Distraction

Small steps to meet the challenge of hearing God in a technologically disruptive environment.

Hidden away in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer may be found a small masterpiece of pastoral theology called "A Prayer for Persons Troubled in Mind or in Conscience." The prayer is a kind of exploded collect—longer and more complex than is typical:
O Blessed Lord, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comforts; We beseech thee, look down in pity and compassion upon this thy afflicted servant. Thou writest bitter things against him, and makest him to possess his former iniquities; thy wrath lieth hard upon him, and his soul is full of trouble: But, O merciful God, who hast written thy holy Word for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of thy holy Scriptures, might have hope; give him a right understanding of himself, and of thy threats and promises; that he may neither cast away his confidence in thee, nor place it any where but in thee. Give him strength against all his temptations, and heal all his distempers. Break not the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. Shut not up thy tender mercies in displeasure; but make him to hear of joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Deliver him from fear of the enemy, and lift up the light of thy countenance upon him, and give him peace, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This prayer has not achieved a prominent place in the Anglican tradition, although it contains great wisdom and comfort. Read More

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