God of the dying, God of the depths

A moving and powerful post from Michael Spencer on Christianity as “a dying word to dying men”.

All the affirmations to God as creator and designer are fine, but it is as the God of the dying that the Christian has a testimony to give that absolutely no one else can give. […]

There is little good news in “My argument scored more points than your argument.” But the news that “Christ is risen!” really is Good News for one kind of person: The person who is dying.

As most of you will know, Michael is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. His post is a cry “out of the depths” (I desperately hope it is “just” that rather than a report on his actual prognosis) and as such is something to which those of us for whom those depths are as yet unknown need to listen.

I’m terrible at praying, and when praying for Michael and others in his position I am particularly terrible at saying anything useful in my own words. If you’re in the same boat, here is a form of prayer (from the Church of England’s Common Worship: Daily Prayer) which I’ve used and which you might wish to use also:

Holy God, in whom we live and move and have our being,
we make our prayer to you, saying,
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant to Michael and all who seek you
the assurance of your presence, your power and your peace.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant your healing grace to Michael and all who are sick
that they may be made whole in body, mind and spirit.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant to all who minister to the suffering
wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful
and lift up all who are brought low.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Hear us, Lord of life.
Heal us, and make us whole.

Almighty God,
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew Michael and all your people
with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Amen.

Holy God, in whom we live and move and have our being,
we make our prayer to you, saying,
Lord, hear us.
AllLord, graciously hear us.

Grant to [N and] all who seek you
the assurance of your presence, your power and your peace.
Lord, hear us.
AllLord, graciously hear us.

Grant your healing grace to [N and] all who are sick
that they may be made whole in body, mind and spirit.
Lord, hear us.
AllLord, graciously hear us.

Grant to all who minister to the suffering
wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience.
Lord, hear us.
AllLord, graciously hear us.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful
and lift up all who are brought low.
Lord, hear us.
AllLord, graciously hear us.

Hear us, Lord of life.
AllHeal us, and make us whole.

This or another Collect is said

Almighty God,
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew [N, N, … and] all your people
with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
AllAmen.

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One Response to God of the dying, God of the depths

  1. Pingback: Under The Grace » Blog Archive » Real Apologetics from Michael Spencer

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