God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of glory and praise.

Glory to you for ever and ever.

I got an email from the town manager’s office yesterday. It was a reminder for submitting an annual report, and it came with an attachment to answer any questions that might come up. Since this was the first I’d ever heard of an annual report, and I had many questions, I opened the attachment right away. It wasn’t what I expected, and it wasn’t helpful. There were very specific directions for the form the report should take, along with precise directions on the acceptable format for tables and charts. There wasn’t a single mention of what the report should contain – no list of questions to answer, no sample of a report from a previous year, and no “for more help, contact ____” to find them. My first thought: all form and no content makes for a dull report and a poorly managed town.

But today’s prayer words are all about content: Who God is, what God has created, and who we are in the whole thing. We may say the same form of this prayer week in and week out – a familiar box for a gift that it cannot fully contain. No matter who prays the words, no matter where, no matter when, who God is will always be bigger than the words. All powerful, universe ruling, praiseworthy and glorious – there aren’t enough adjectives and there aren’t enough days in a lifetime to describe such a loving God. Such words are content in good form, but never fully contained.

Lord of the Universe, may my life be more than empty form. May the form my life takes be a vessel of your love. Amen.


[For complete prayer, click “Prayer C” above]

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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