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Published byEthan Kelley Modified over 7 years ago
Using a Familiar Prayer for Reflection : The Prayer of Richard of Chichester
Who was Richard of Chichester? Faithful follower of Jesus. Thirteenth-century Bishop of Chichester. Caring priest. Scholar. Great administrator. Strong reformer. Loved by his people.
Richard gave us this prayer: Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, day by day.
The Hebrew people celebrate the exodus – the time when God rescued them from slavery in Egypt – which still forms part of each Shabat – focusing on freedom. As Christians we thank Jesus for all the benefits won for us by his life, death and resurrection so we may know ‘the glorious freedom of the children of God.’ (Romans 8.21)
What does freedom in Christ mean?
‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8.38–39)
What do you need to be freed from?
Freedom in Christ means freedom: from fear, especially fear of death from worries about the future from guilt about past wrongdoing from having to pretend we are okay all the time from having to fix things or make people happy from loneliness and self-criticism
How do we learn to know Jesus more clearly, love him more dearly and follow him more nearly day by day?
We wake and thank Jesus for life – we ask God for what we need for today, we commend those we love into God’s care. We can pray the Lord’s Prayer and the prayer gifted to us by Richard of Chichester. If we are able, we read or listen to a portion of the Bible.
During the day we can remember that each of us bears the image of Christ – we are Jesus’ hands and voice to and for each other. So we try to be kind and helpful and not take offence or gossip.
At bedtime we give thanks for the gifts of the day, we bring to Jesus any pain or sadness or difficulties, we commend those we love into his care, and we ask that we may sleep, held safe in the arms of our redeemer, friend and brother, Jesus.
Freedom in Christ also means: knowing Christ’s friendship and acceptance knowing we are forgiven and forgiving others trusting God no matter what is to come approaching death knowing we go to God who is Love
Freedom in Christ also means: commending loved ones and problems to God; leaving God to do what is best being part of a loving community whom we serve in the perfect freedom of God
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