Musings of an Anglican/Episcopal Priest

Category: Prayers

Stretch our Faith…

I’ve always loved the prayer for the morning that is included in the Ministration to the Sick in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer for the use of a sick person. I’ve used it frequently when praying with people in trying circumstances, whether or not they were sick. I just stumbled upon the origin of the prayer, in a longer prayer from The Rev’d Theodore Parker Ferris, (1908-1972), entitled “In the Hospital.”

Here it is in its entirety. I’ve set the portion used in the BCP off with asterisks:

“Master my impatience Lord;
Muzzle my fears, and stretch my faith
to match my need.
Take me off my mind,
and fill my thoughts with other people’s pain
far worse than mine.
Devour my smallness, Lord,
and grow me into stature full,
my height, my breadth and depth.
That I may meet what comes and make it mine;
That I may more and more be thine.

*This is another day.
I know not what it will bring forth,
but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.
If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me do it patiently.
And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.
Make these words more than words,
and give me the spirit of Jesus.*

When I begin to feel better, Lord,
Let me not forget thee.
If I turn to thee when I am in trouble,
how much more shall I turn to thee
when I am not in trouble!
To thank thee for all my health,
and for the prospect of brighter days ahead;
To ask thee for the good sense to enjoy my health,
but not to waste it;
To offer thee my body, my will, my mind.”

May we all find our faith stretching to fit our need, and may the majority of us gallantly face the reality of doing “nothing” in terms of directly addressing the one thing that has us all holed up to one degree or another.

*From “Give us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican Prayers”

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