I have a little book here; I’ve had it for some years now and its age is starting to show. It’s got highlighted lines, brief notes, question marks, bits of paper with notes stuffed between the pages. It’s really quite a mess and the leather binding, which looked sad when it was new, is not quite living up to its promise of beauty over age. But it’s one of my favorite books and maybe some day, my kids will come across it and enjoy it because it’s all beat up and Mom made notes in it. I like that thought.

I had it out this morning, looking for something in particular. It is a rich resource and once again, I think of the genius that put it together. It seems every occasion in life is mentioned here and its words can be applied, in some manner, to most of life. Quite a dandy little book.

This is what I was looking for this morning:

For Our Country
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (1928 BCP)

I think our English cousins use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. I’ve never seen one but I hope it’s as full of good, solid, every day prayer as our 1928 BCP. Ours has corporate prayer, private prayer, family prayer, and national prayer. Prayers for the sick and dying, prayers for women in childbirth. There are prayers for ‘fine weather’, prayers for times of calamity and war, prayers for travelers by land, sea, and air. The other thing I love about it is that it retains a lot of the ‘English’ English (you know what I mean – the language of the King James Bible and the different spelling of words; favour instead of favor, for example).

Yes, I know the controversy – after the Reformation, the Book of Common Prayer had changes made and someone once said our 1928 is “schizophrenic” because, in the rubrics, the person is referred to as priest or minister; it can’t quite seem to decide if its Anglican or Protestant. I’m laughing to myself because, frankly, I don’t care. I love my little book. It’s always within reach.