Some years ago the late Reverend F P McMaster MBE, who served as the Minister at Canberra Baptist Church for 29 years and who was highly recognised for his ‘Pulpit Prayers’ sent the Olympic ministry's Mark Tronson a paper he had written titled ‘Prayer through the Centuries’.
The paper titled Prayer through the Centuries, was lengthy, six pages. In this series taking into account this F P McMaster paper Mark Tronson has divided it into four separate articles. This first one he has titled the Chords of Prayer, this second article is titled Prayers of Accountability.
Prayer of Accountability
F P McMaster wrote: Divine Authority exists and is accepted without question in prayer. The Will of God requires our submission in every situation and pray to help us accept this submission. The Holy Spirit features in prayer very consistently, but not in any charismatic manifestation.
Eternal life a natural expectation, but not as an escape, but as a natural sequence. Moreover, a stronger element of social concern that I had expected has come out of prayer. A desire for God above all else, is one of the most powerful impressions from my lifetime in Ministry.
Give me Thyself for I hunger and thirst. Here are some examples of prayers from early church, the mediaeval church and the pre-Reformation period:
Liturgy of St Mark (175): O God of light, Father of life, giver of wisdom, benefactor of our souls, who givest to the faint-hearted who put their trust in thee those things into which the angels desire to look. O Sovereign Lord, who has brought us from the depths of darkness to light, who has given us life from death, who hast graciously bestowed upon us freedom from slavery, and who has scattered the darkness of sin within us; do thou now, also enlighten the eyes of our understanding and sanctify us wholly in soul, body and spirit. Amen
Liturgy of St James (200): O God the Father of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, whose name is great, whose nature is blissful, whose goodness is inexhaustible, God and ruler of all things, who are blessed for ever, before whom stand thousands and thousands and ten thousand times ten thousands of hosts of holy angels and archangels, sanctify, O Lord, our soul and bodies and spirits, search our consciences and cast out of us every evil thought, every base desire, all envy and pride, all wrath and anger, and all that is contrary to thy holy will. And grant us, O Lord, lover o men, with a pure heart and contrite soul, call upon the, our holy God and Father, who art in heaven. Amen.
St Augustine (300) O Lord our God, under the shadow of they wings let us hope. Thou wilt support us both when little and even to grey hairs. When our strength is of thee, it is strength; but when our own, it is feebleness. We return unto thee, O Lord, that from their weariness our souls may rise towards thee, leaning on the things which thou hast created and passing on to thyself, who has wonderfully made them, for with thee is true refreshment and true strength. Amen
St Basil (300): O Lord, our God, teach us we beseech thee aright, to ask thee aright for the right blessings. Steer thou the vessel of our life toward thyself, thou tranquil haven of all storm-tossed souls. Show us the course, wherein we should go. Renew a willing spirit within us. Let thy Spirit curb our wayward senses and guide and enable us unto that which is our true good, to keep thy laws, and in all our works evermore to rejoice in thy glorious and gladdening presence. For thine is the glory and praise from all the saints for ever and ever. Amen.
St Jerome (345): Show thy mercy to me, O Lord, to glad my heart withal. Let me find thee, for whom I long. Lo, here the man that was caught of thieves, wounded and left half dead, as he was going towards Jericho. Thou kind hearted Samaritan take me up. I am the sheep that has gone astray, O Good Shepherd, seek me out, and bring me home to thy fold again. Deal favourably with me according to thy good pleasure, that I may dwell in thy house all the days of my life, and praise thee for ever and ever with them that are there. Amen.
Catholic Prayer (400): O God, who chastises us in thy love and refracts us amid chastening, grant that we may ever be ale to give thee thanks for both, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
St Thomas Aquinas (1300): Grant me, I beseech thee almighty and most merciful God, fervently to desire, wisely to search out, and perfectly to fulfil all that is well-pleasing unto thee. Order thou my worldly condition to the glory of thy name, and of all that thou requirest me to do, grant me the knowledge, the sire, and the ability, that I may fulfil it as I ought, and may my path to Thee, I pray, be safe, straightforward and perfect to the end. Give me, O Lord a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards, give me an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out, give me an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon me also, O Lord, my God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee. Amen
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html