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Collects for Various Situations
Lionel E. Deimel

Ever since I attended a short class on the construction of prayers known as collects, I have enjoyed writing collects for various situations. I have posted two of my prayers here on Lionel Deimel’s Farrago. (Those prayers are for Christian Unity and Inquiry.) I have written other collects that I have posted on Lionel Deimel’s Web Log and am only just posting here, where they may be easier for readers to find.

This first collect was written in anticipation of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, a conclave of Anglican bishops from around the world generally. Nominally, the conference is held every 10 years. There was a concern that many of the meetings held during the conference would be private affairs without press or other observers. (More information is available here.) I wrote the collect below on 7/15/2008.

For the 2008 Lambeth Conference

Eternal God, who is revealed to us in the written word, incline the hearts of our Anglican bishops to allow their conversation to be observed and recounted; and may those entrusted with telling the story of their efforts be faithful in their accounts, insightful in their observations, and blessed through their involvement; that your servants may become better able to contribute to the mission and maintenance of the Church of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen

The Book of Common Pray contains a section of “Prayers for National Life.” Situations do arise in our national life that are not covered by those prayers, however. The Senate trial of President Donald Trump is certainly one of those. My collect is from 1/20/20. When I posted this collect on my blog, I wrote, ironically, “I hope that this collect is seldom appropriate.” (More information is available here.)

For an Impeachment Trial of the President

Almighty God, whose precepts direct us into all righteousness, inspire those who sit in judgment of our president to pursue justice with wisdom, courage, and integrity, so that this nation may again display the love and compassion of your Son, our Savior, who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The above prayer, obviously, was not answered.

The COVID-19 pandemic was the inspiration for this next collect, written 2/27/2020. It was, for a time, a regular part of services in my Indiana, Pennsylvania, parish. (More information is available here.)

For a Time of Contagion

Most merciful God, whose Son manifested your love by healing the sick, protect us from advancing contagion and the fear thereof, and grant wisdom to those who, by virtue of training or election, are guardians of public health, so that we may cast aside our fears and continue to advance the Kingdom of Heaven proclaimed by Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever Amen.

As we know, things did not go smoothly during the pandemic. Misinformation about the virus, about treatments, and about vaccinations was rampant. Moreover, many people came to believe things that were clearly untrue. The situation led to my composition of the next collect on 10/6/21. (More information is available here.)

For the Misguided

Merciful Creator, God of wisdom and truth, soften the hearts of those swayed by purveyors of falsehood to value their own desires above the needs of others, so that we may live more fully into the call to love our neighbors as ourselves commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Inspired by tornado-caused devastation, I wrote the collect below on 12/12/2021. My prayer considers natural and man-made disasters. The recent fires on Maui come to mind, where both human mistakes and nasty weather contributed to the conflagration. (More information is available here.)

For Disaster Victims

Mighty God of wind and rain, who created the earth and set it in motion, comfort those suffering from misfortunes we call natural and those we bring on ourselves, that they may restore their lives and experience the love of Christ Jesus our Lord who, with you and the Holy Spirit, reigns on high for ever and ever. Amen.

— LED, 8/28/2023

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