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Praying for Discernment

Last Saturday, Bishop Reed and the Vestry sent out an important email update and invited the whole parish to enter into several weeks of prayer and fasting for discernment.

Many of us talk about praying for discernment when we have difficult decisions ahead, and we want to make the right choice. And of course, this month’s season of prayer will eventually involve a series of decisions by our bishop and parish leadership.

However, I want to suggest that decision-making is not the most important aspect of discernment. As a Spiritual Director, I often tell people that our work together is fundamentally about recognizing how the Holy Spirit is at work, and entering into what the Spirit is already doing. The same is true for all truly Christian discernment. It’s about opening ourselves to divine action. It’s about getting closer to God.

I hope that each of you will accept the invitation to daily prayer and weekly fasting through the month of July. And as we pray together, I hope that our work of discernment will be an act of trust, a way of drawing closer to God.

The Holy Spirit is alive and active among us. May we seek to participate more fully in the Spirit’s work.

O God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful: Sanctify this Congregation by your abiding presence. Bless those who minister in holy things. Enlighten the minds of your people more and more with the light of the everlasting Gospel. Bring erring souls to the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ; and those who are walking in the way of life, keep steadfast to the end. Give patience to the sick and afflicted, and renew them in body and soul. Guard those who are strong and prosperous from forgetting you. Increase in us your many gifts of grace, and make us all fruitful in good works. This we ask, O blessed Spirit, whom with the Father and the Son we worship and glorify, one God, world without end. Amen. (BCP 649)

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