I prayed morning prayer yesterday, as I frequently do, from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (BCP). I kept thinking of a phrase I read; "Bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you." I prayed that throughout the day in quiet meditation. I like that I'm praying not just for others to know Christ, but that they may also experience his love. The BCP is a good guide. It's scriptural and dense with meaning. And instead of memorizing catechisms, I'm praying.
Today, during morning praying, I got to the passage I meditated on yesterday and realized I didn't remember the passage as well as I thought I had. It actually read, "So clothe us in thy Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know thee to the knowledge and love of thee;" (I was reading the more formal Morning Prayer I as I like to do during Lent which includes the "thee's" and "thou's." Morning Prayer II is less formal.)
The prayer I remembered incorrectly was still good and helped me think of others and want the highest thing I could desire for them; that they experience the knowledge and love of God. But the prayer in the BCP brings me into the picture. It's a prayer acknowledging my responsibility and asks for help. It's daring. I'm asking God to do something in me so he can give his priceless gift to others through me.
As I prayed this prayer throughout the day, I was becoming aware of a possibility that God might actually answer my prayer. Then, a verse from the book of Romans came to mind. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe." Is God preparing me?
Jesus taught us to include ourselves in our prayers. For instance, he taught us to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Maybe Jesus wants us to acknowledge our responsibility to God in prayer and invites us to see ourselves as part of the answer. This makes prayer much more challenging than just laying everything on God.
So, I prayed, "Help me bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you." And later, I prayed, "Help your Church bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you." And I also prayed the prayer I prayed yesterday.
Help others...help me...help your church. I think we need to pray for all three.