|Church House Publishing 2012|
The book's compilers have collected into one volume some of the most popular and enduring prayers of the Church of England, both old, traditional ones ( from The Book of Common Prayer and other sources) and the more recent prayers from Common Worship that have captured our imagination and are already loved by worshippers up and down the country. Many of these prayers express in a few words thoughts that are too deep for spontaneous utterance - you know the feeling 'I couldn't have put it into words myself, but that's exactly it!' Many of the texts also make me think and challenge me - can I really mean that? I think this is the heuristic use of prayer - to pray something that is a bit more than you can manage but to feel that you would like to be drawn to that place of grace and understanding. This is prayer that stretches the imagination. A Roman catholic priest who taught me theology once said that the glory of the Anglican tradition is its Collects (short prayers which collect into a brief space complex and profound thoughts.) I predict that this will become one of the Anglican classics of the first part of the twenty first century providing, as it does, an insight into Church of England identity and spirituality. The prayers each have a short introduction to their historical context which helps the worshipper to dig deeper into their meaning.
I'm sure we've all got our favourite prayers that chime with something very deep within us. One of mine is