A Prayer of St. Chrysostom
“Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.”
The Book of Common Prayer p. 102.
How often I have said this prayer at the end of the daily Morning Prayer Office from The Book of Common Prayer as well as when praying with one or two others in desperate need, letting them know that God hears our prayer, most certainly even before we pray. As I say this prayer, I remember that C.S. Lewis always reminds us that we pray not to change God but to change ourselves. As we pray this prayer in the Daily Office of Morning Prayer we also can feel connected to all others praying Morning Prayer this day especially at this time in the early morning. That is why I have often also been part of a group of pray-ers saying prayers for a specific person or condition at a certain hour during the day when that person is in need. Knowing that others are praying petitions for the same person or cause all over the country or the world is a force of nature. Sometimes we may later know whether that person is safe or better, but always, always, we are changed.
St. Chrysostom’s prayer also reminds us of how fleeting fame is. Chrysostom was the most famous early Christian preacher and prolific writer, only exceeded by Augustine in writing, outspoken about abuses in the church and politics, an archbishop of Constantinople in late 4th century, often referred to as the “golden mouthed” because of his excellence in preaching He is still a strong part of the Eastern Orthodox tradition and has a feast day on September 13. However, in the West, I know only a few preachers who deliver his Easter sermon, most often at the Vigil. Primarily, this daily prayer is all the majority of us in the western church have to remember him by, but definitely, it is more than enough.