A Season of Lent: On Prayer

Bow down and hear our cry…

Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints. ( Ephesians 6:18)

Lenten Prayer: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell, But most of all because they have offended Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. In Jesus name. Amen. Ora Pro Nobis

As our current crisis is moving many of us, Chesterton prayed incessantly as scripture encourages us to do. He looked at all activities as occasions for prayer.  The following began as two poems, one written about the activity of prayer while he was quite young and the other eventually became a famous hymn still sung today in many churches.

You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the concert and the opera,
and grace before the play and pantomime,
and grace before I open a book,
and grace before sketching, painting,
swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing,
dancing;
and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” -G.K.Chesterton, Early Notebook, mid 1890s, The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton

O God of earth and altar,
Bow down and hear our cry.
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men,
For sale and profanation
Of honour and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
Deliver us, good lord.

Tie in a living tether
The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together,
Smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation
Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to thee. – G.K. Chesterton, O God of Earth and Altar

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