How the prayers book began: We stand naked in front of God. We can hide no secrets. And when we pray, it might not be fitting to hide behind the mask of words that don’t reflect the reality of who we are and what we are feeling.
On the Wednesday evenings at the end of choir practice, when our choir director would turn to me and say, “Stan, would you lead us in prayer,” it was me who was praying—so the thoughts and how those thoughts were expressed were mine.
It’s tough—no, impossible—to lead group prayer and do it right for everyone. I can’t apologize for these prayers that are reproduced in the pages that follow. But I can warn you that it was Stan who was talking. If you can pray along with me when I say, “If we eat dessert, let it be to Your glory,” or “O Master Architect, You give us windows and doors,” then enjoy what follows.
How many of us would frame our thoughts: Eternal Ground of Being who hast been exalted in diverse times and places, we beseech thee, leave us not comfortless but vouchsafe to us thy Paraclete to succor us in our afflictions that we may abide in the consolation of Thy promises, etc.?
There are several English teachers in our congregation who would cringe at what I just wrote. With a pencil they would amend: it was me who was praying
On the other hand, if you are like the zillions of choir members who thought, “Why does the choir director keep asking Stan?” I certainly can see your point of view.
I have a calendar with Ansel Adam’s pictures of Yosemite, Big Sur, the Grand Canyon, etc. on the top of my desk. I turn to a new page every day or so. May I suggest you do that with these prayers.