Each Sunday our service includes a collect, which is a special prayer set for the day. Collects are short prayers which get straight to the point. They usually begin by addressing God as the one who is willing and able to answer the prayer. For example, “Heavenly Father, giver of all good things”. In this way we praise and thank God for who he is.
After this, we bring our request. Often these short requests are not about our health and prosperity, but our godliness. For example, the well-known collect at morning prayer: “grant that today we fall into no sin”. These are excellent prayers which show that we want to please our heavenly Father.
Most collects finish with “through Jesus Christ our Lord”, and sometimes say something more about him, such as that he is reigning with the Father and the Spirit. In this way we acknowledge that it is only through the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we are able to gain access to God in prayer. Without Jesus’ high priestly work, we could not take it for granted that God would be listening.
The collects are thoughtful prayers that bear much reflection. You may like to pray through the day’s collect slowly again at home.