Prayer happens at specified times. A person engages in prayerful silence in the morning, or offers Evening Prayer at sunset, or participates in a Sunday liturgy. Prayer also happens spontaneously at any time; some call this prayer on the run.
Prayer at specified times can enhance prayer on the run and vice versa. One way this happens is when we use familiar resources during our prayer on the run. These resources often provide us with well-tested words for what we find hard
to put into words.
The Prayer Book services of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer include Suffrages, sentences taken from the Psalms and arranged in a call and response pattern labeled V. (Versicle) and R. (Response). These Suffrages are memorable and can be used wherever we happen to be.
One pair is especially helpful when we want to pray for our country, recognizing
its current imperfections and desiring a future more in line with God’s gracious intentions. Consider repeating these simple words frequently in the days ahead:
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
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The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington