Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I recently read a similarly titled blog post (An Ancient Prayer Saved my Faith) and was inspired to share my won reflection on the Collect for Purity. This prayer (above) is used at the beginning of worship in the Anglican tradition. The prayer originates from an ancient prayer, and was translated from Latin and included in the original Book of Common Prayer.
My interest in the history of the prayer aside, I didn’t realize that others had had similar experiences to what I felt when I first heard this prayer. I remember the first time I heard this prayer on my first visit to an Episcopal Church in 2009. I had never heard a prayer that expressed an innate desire to worship God, while simultaneously admitting that to God, all that was within us was known and yet we were all being called to worship and stand as one before God. In my life, I’ve met plenty of people who think that their failings would make them not welcome in church, or have made God not interested in them. Nothing could be farther from the truth…and this prayer brings it home.
Upon hearing this prayer, and every week when I hear it in worship, my faith is renewed in knowing that regardless of my faults, God calls me to worship and to be in community with the Church universal. Thanks be to God!