Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Prayer Series Part 1: The Collect

Amy Hanson, 2009
Ameugny, France.
The Collect is a form of prayer unique to the Western church (descended from the Roman Catholic tradition, as opposed to the Eastern Orthodox tradition).  

The collect is composed of five parts:

1. An address to God

2. A statement that refers to some attribute of God or to one of God's saving acts

3. The prayer petition

4. The reason for which we ask

5. The conclusion (a restating of the name of God and 'Amen')

There are many possible names and attributes of God, and even more in scripture.  We were discussing the Collect in our adult Bible study at church this week, and some people felt constrained by the collect.  For me, the structure is actually a blessing. I find that in my prayers my mind can wander and drift and my prayers drift off, so the collect provides a way to focus my intentions.  

Example of the Collect:
Gracious God, source of all goodness and peace, we ask that you care for our brothers and sisters in lands ravaged by warfare and strife.  We know that you would have us live in peace.  We ask this in the name of your most precious son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. 

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