Skip to content

Praying Shapes Believing

July 6, 2010

Welcome to our blog!  This will be the online journal of the Nevil Memorial Church of St. George in Ardmore, PA, as scribed by its current Rector, the Rev. Ryan R. Whitley.  I encourage you to stop in here, read, reflect, think, pray, comment, and discuss with one another, in the spirit of Christian charity, the topics which I will here raise.  For the first post, I thought it would be beneficial to talk a little bit about the title I chose for this blog.

Loosely translated from the Latin, “the law of prayer is the law of belief,” is what our blog title means.  “Praying shapes believing,” is another way to put it.  In a few words, this Latin phrase manages to capture the spirit of traditional Anglican worship; in other words, the idea that how we pray is important to our spirituality and our development as Christians.  Are there other ways we grow in our Christian faith?  Absolutely, and some of those will be discussed here as well.  But principally, I see this as a forum wherein we can explore topics of our corporate worship, our prayers, our theological and historical reflections, and our common life.

So, the idea for today is that how we pray shapes how we believe.  Given that theme, reflect on your experience of worship in the Episcopal Church (perhaps specifically in St. George’s) and try to call to mind that one prayer that you just love.  Perhaps it is the Prayer of Humble Access from the Rite I Eucharistic liturgy.  Perhaps it is the Post-communion prayer from Rite II.  It might be the Nuptial Blessing from the Rite of Christian Marriage or it could be the Commendation prayers from the Rite of Christian Burial.

All of these prayers and more have shaped us as we have heard them, recited them, read them and prayed them over the years.  How has the one of which you’ve thought shaped you?  Would you share that with us in the comments section below?

God bless you!

Fr. Ryan+

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Pete permalink
    July 7, 2010 11:30 am

    I pray the same prayer every day and it is not a prayer for stuff. It’s a prayer to have the strength to use the gifts I have already been given….so I can get the stuff.

  2. Alice permalink
    July 7, 2010 11:33 am

    Great Idea, Fryan!
    Though I am not a parishioner anymore, you invited others to comment by posting this on FB! So, here’s the 2 cents from a St. Mark’s communicant and evangelical seminary graduate.

    The Prayer of Humble Access summed up my teen years of insecurity and depression, with the power of God’s grace just within grasp tangibly at the Eucharist. We are not worthy of His grace and mercy, and certainly not worthy of the price paid at Calvary. But God’s love transcends all our sins and covers all our unrighteousness. This prayer sums that up for me. It also brings back memories of the warmth, love and gentleness of my first rector. Fr. Bill Musselman (Christ Church, Ridley Park, Diocese of PA) was a good mentor and spiritual advisor.

    Now that I am older, wiser (I hope) and educated, I love the variety and depth of the collects and prayers and have relied on their eloquence when I was speechless with worry or grief. The Holy Spirit knows what we intend, and groans on our behalf. The collects and prayers help me feel connected to His ministrations and therefore, comforted.

    Thanks, Fryan. Keep well.

  3. Valerie Santangelo permalink
    July 7, 2010 12:08 pm

    “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World hear our Prayer. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World hear our Prayer. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World grant us PEACE!”

  4. July 7, 2010 12:35 pm

    Welcome to all three of you, our first commenters! Alice, of course others are more than welcome to visit and comment here! Glad to see you! Thanks to Pete, Alice, and Valerie for breaking in our commenting system!

    Fr. Ryan+

  5. June A Jaquith permalink
    July 7, 2010 12:53 pm

    Fr. Ryan,
    Thanks for starting this blog it is a great idea!!! Even thought I pray the Lords Prayer each and everyday at bedtime. Something my father has instiled in me since I was just a sample child. There is another form of pray that I practice each and everyday. A long time ago we had a group that did centering prayer. To this day I take 15 mins and sit quietly and let prayer and God come to me, I find this very soothing and beneficial in my prayer life.

  6. Susan Kratzinger permalink
    July 7, 2010 2:01 pm

    I pray every night, giving thanks for the gifts and the blessings of the day–and there are always many. I follow this up by asking to God to watch over and protect my family and friends. I know He is always listening to me and I find it a comfort to pray before going to sleep.
    Ryan, thanks for starting the blog–great idea. I hope all are doing well at St. George. I am enjoying the cooler blessings of the Pocono Mountains and will see you all in September. This, however, is a nice way to “stay connected.”

  7. Allison Marcus permalink
    July 7, 2010 11:41 pm

    A loooooong time ago a Sunday school director at St. George’s (Caroline Leland) taught my class a lesson about someone (a saint I think) whose life goal was to say the Lord’s Prayer without thinking of anything else. Of course, as kids, we took this as a major challenge and to this day I can’t say the Lord’s Prayer without thinking about the story. Whenever I start to say this prayer – I immediately think about the story which causes me to have not met my goal again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: