Daily Word of Grace # 33 (April 30, 2020)

One of the many powerful prayers in The Book of Common Prayer is this: “Almighty God, to whom our needs are known before we ask: Help us ask only what accords with your will; and those good things which we dare not, or in our blindness cannot ask, grant us for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen” (394-395).  Before you are ever aware of what your needs are, God already knows what they are.  God is never caught off guard or surprised by your needs, although perhaps you often are (I know I am).  On his haunting song “The Whole Night Sky” on his equaling haunting 1996 album The Charity of the Night Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn puts it this way, “Derailed and desperate, how did I get here?  Hanging from this high wire by the tatters of my faith.  Sometimes a wind comes out of nowhere and knocks you off your feet.  And look, see my tears, they fill the whole night sky.”  That is exactly when and where this prayer hit home.  Even when we are aware of our needs we still may ask God for the exact wrong thing to help, and this prayer reminds us we are utterly dependent on God’s grace to meet our needs, known and unknown, in ways that accord with God’s will, and in ways that we could never see.  And God often answers that prayer in unpredictable—but always good—ways, to repair the tatters of your faith and set you on your feet again—because it is not only our tears that can “fill the whole night sky” but also the love of God, who made the whole night sky in the first place.

Love and Prayers,