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Selections from
The Book of Common Prayer

For the Spirit of Prayer

O Almighty God, who pourest out on all who desire it, the spirit of grace and supplication; Deliver us when we draw nigh to thee from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections, we may worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.


About this prayer

This Collect, which links so aptly an Old Testament phrase (Zech. xii.10) with a New Testament phrase (John iv.23), was composed by the Rev. William Bright, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, 1868-1901. In 1861 there appeared the first edition of his Ancient Collects, a collection of fine translations of prayers from ancient Sacramentaries, to which were appended a few original collects by Bright based upon these ancient models. This Collect is the first one in this appendix. The 1928 revisers, for some inexplicable reason, omitted the opening clause: 'from whom every good prayer cometh' (cf. James 1.17). The Collect teaches us that true prayer, prayer that is a gift of God and acceptable to Him, is both a loving aspiration of the heart and a deliberate and conscious intent of the mind.

from The Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary by Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr. (New York : Oxford University Press, 1950)

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