A collect is a brief prayer for the people of God. While it is not common in the Methodist tradition, collects are a regular part of prayer in the Episcopal Church as well as the Catholic Church. They offer a way to join our hearts together in a “collective” praise and request.
A collect follows the format of:
Address – begins with a name for God and often a description of God’s character or actions.
Petition & Purpose – this section asks for something and also often includes a ‘so that’ statement. The idea is to think about why we’re asking for something.
Praise – the final section is praise to God or states the basis on which we’re making the request.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; so that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.First Week of Advent
For personal reflection:
The prayer to move away from darkness and put on the armor of light is an important one. What spiritual practices leading to “light” might we take up for this season? Daily Scripture or time of praying for the needs of others? Recommitment to a life in community?