Prayer and the End of the World

I’ve always been impressed with the number of occasions for prayer listed in the Book of Common Prayer. Everything from the obvious “For the Gift of the Birth of a Child” and “For our Enemies” to the surprising “For the Good Use of Leisure” and “For Prisons” is included. However, the one I wanted to find was missing. So, in order that our prayers take fitting shape, I offer:

“For Comfort when the End of the World is Prophesied”

Almighty Father, who made of one blood all the people of the earth, you saw fit to let our brothers, the Mayans, end their longest calendar on December 21 of this year.  Time has erased their reasons for doing so, yet we know that all times are governed by your will. If these great mathematicians and astronomers saw in the stars the end of an old cycle and the beginning of a new, remind us of the renewal of all creation that you have initiated through your Son. Each dawn is a renewal, so let us rejoice in the renewal of the cosmos. If, instead, our brothers predicted the end of all things, remind us of our mortality. We are like a vapor, that appears for a moment and then vanishes. We do not know the reason why you have waited so long to allow your Son to return, but if the end is to be tomorrow, or even today, empower us to pray with even greater fervor that your kingdom come. Amen.

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