Debi Kraal is a long-time member of the Church of the Ascension in Twin Falls, Idaho. She has been active in youth work, including a mission trip to the Gulf after Katrina and serves on the Green Team. Debi is also a nurse, working with a local school district and the Early Head Start program. Please join with me in welcoming Debi as an A Year with the BCP blogger.
When asked by Stephanie Crumrine what I enjoyed about the Episcopal Service, the Birthday Prayer came to mind as one of my favorites.
I was raised Lutheran(ELCA). Church attendance was not an option at my house. Every Sunday without fail we attended church, even while we traveled. What do I remember most about my church experience as a child? Every passage, every hymn, every sermon and every prayer were so, so long.
I did grow up, stopped attending church for a number of years and came back to a new appreciation for all the words that are said and sung during the service. OK, honestly I don’t believe them all. Who cares, I believe a lot of what is said.
The Birthday Prayer has words that are so well chosen. It says so much in just a few short lines. In case you’ve forgotten, here it is.
”Watch over thy child, O Lord as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she falls; and in her heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen”
Short and meaningful, right? I so appreciate short.
This prayer sums up the service for me. Provide me with blessings, guidance, strength, comfort and the peace which passes all understanding. The peace is the best part.
We’re all in search of peace. When you feel it, even for a flitting moment, you realize how close God is.