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A Collect Prayer for Beginnings: “Make me new in the middle”

One of the assignments that I give students in my "Practices of Worship" course at Fuller Seminary is to write a weekly Collect Prayer. Most will not have been familiar with this term, and it will sound just as strange to their ears as it did to mine when I first heard the term in college.

I will tell them, however, that if they wish to understand the basic grammar of Christian prayer, then they need to get a clear grasp of the Lord's Prayer (the basic New Testament prayer), the Psalms (the basic Old Testament prayer), and the Collect Prayer (the basic prayer of church history).

Dating back to the 5th century of the church’s liturgical life, the Collect Prayer is rooted in a basic biblical pattern of prayer that “collects” the prayers of God’s people. As C. Frederick Barbee and Paul. F. M. Zahl explain in their preface to The Collects of Thomas Cranmer:

"This at first extemporaneous prayer would later also be connected to the Epistle and Gospel appointed for the da…

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