Monday, 25 May 2009

"Help us to repent"

That was one of the prayers that we prayed in church, and I said a hearty internalized 'Amen' as well (being Anglican, I don't like loud noises).

But I also thought that Cranmer (author of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer), had he been rostered on for prayers at our church, would more likely have said "Cause us to repent."

More Cranmerian, more Calvinist, and ultimately more biblical.

1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

-Ephesians 2: 1-7 .


Andrew Barry said...

I'm interested in this idea of asking God for "help". It is so common in our prayer, but so rare in the Scriptures.

Looking through Ephesians, Paul doesn't pray

help "the eyes of your heart" to be enlightened (1:18) OR

help them understand the love of God that is in Christ (3:14-21) OR

help me have words to speak (6:19-20)

Paul's prayer are much bigger than that.

Gordon Cheng said...

We're all inclined towards Semi-Pelagianism, and nothing shows this more readily than our prayers.

Andrew Barry said...

There are a lot of appeals for help in Psalms, but it is not in our usual sense of a little moral assistance. ("Help" me be a good person today)

It is help for the helpless, the dying, the sinking and those who need deliverance.

Psalm 40:13
Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.