One of the things that I find comical about extemporaneous prayer is that the person praying sometimes yields to the temptation of telling an apparently absent-minded God what he is like, who he is, what he thinks, what he likes, what he dislikes and what he should do, rather than humbly laying petitions before him.
It could be worse, though, and in Primate Fred Hiltz’s case, it is.
In the case of the soon to be held Primates’ Meeting which has filled Justin Welby with an excitement exceeded only by that of teenage girls attending a Justin Bieber concert, Hiltz has somehow contrived to leave God’s will out of his prayers entirely.
Rather than, for example, praying for insight into whether or not it’s in God’s plan for two marry to men, he asks for “patience with one another in continuing conversations about same sex marriage”, as if patience for an incorrect view is the guiding principle for theological understanding.
Similarly, the rest of the prayers are largely given over to nudging God into Correct Thinking on the fashionable preoccupations of the day: a shameless attempt to co-opt God’s support for the leftist, intolerant, power-hungry juggernaut that replaced the Anglican Church of Canada some years ago, a speaking of power to Truth, delivered in the pious trappings of prayer. The good news is nobody cares what Anglican leaders think. Including God, I suspect.
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, offers his prayer for next month’s Oct. 2-6 Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury.
Pray that we have patience with one another in continuing conversations about same sex marriage.
Pray for perseverance in our commitment to honor the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission. These calls revealed the horrible suffering endured by Indigenous People through the Residential Schools System established to enforce a colonialist policy of assimilation.
Pray for God’s continuing guidance as we work together in supporting the emergence of a truly Indigenous Church.
Pray for our commitment to eradicating the crime of human trafficking.
Pray for our Church’s response to the Communion Wide Call to a Season of Intentional Discipleship.
Pray for the Primates that at our gathering we have a heart not only for the unity of the Church but for the peace of the world. Pray that we be humbled and graced to be a prophetic voice speaking into the suffering of the poor, the enslaved, and those forced to flee from their homelands.