Prayers teach us how to pray. The collect for this Thursday after Ash Wednesday is a simple prayer that says so much. Listen to it:
may everything we do
begin with your inspiration,
continue with your help
and reach perfection under your guidance.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever.
Let’s recognize where we stand before God– empty-handed. And so we look for God to put something into our hand, to give the bread we need, inspire us. We start with nothing.
Then, we ask for help with what we are about now. We can’t continue without God.
Finally, God must guide us to complete what we are about in our lives. It’s not about what we want or plan, but “your will be done.”
Yet, we pray with a sublime hope:
We ask this through Jesus Christ, who has shown us a God who loves us, who promises to make our prayer his own, who is our advocate, our Savior, our reward.