10 April 2024

Daily prayer in Easter 2024:
11, 10 April 2024

William Law (1686-1761) is remembered in ‘Common Worship’ on 10 April

Patrick Comerford

This week began with the Second Sunday of Easter (Easter II), sometimes known as ‘Low Sunday’ (7 April 2024). The Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today (10 April) remembers the life and witness of both William Law (1761), Priest, Spiritual Writer, and William of Ockham (1347), Friar, Philosopher, and Teacher of the Faith.

Throughout this Season of Easter, my morning reflections each day include the daily Gospel reading, the prayer in the USPG prayer diary, and the prayers in the Collects and Post-Communion Prayer of the day.

Before this day begins, I am taking some quiet time this morning to give thanks, for reflection, prayer and reading in these ways:

1, today’s Gospel reading;

2, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary;

3, the Collects and Post-Communion prayer of the day.

William Law’s writings stress the moral virtues, a personal prayer life and asceticism

John 3: 16-21 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’

William Law led a life of devotion and simplicity and caring for the poor

William Law (1686-1761):

William Law (1686-1761) was born at Kings Cliffe in Northamptonshire and was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. After ordination as a deacon, he became a fellow of Emmanuel College in 1711.

When George I came to the throne in 1714, Law declined to take the Oath of Allegiance, being a member of the non-juror party who believed the anointed but deposed monarch James II and his heirs should occupy the throne. He lost his fellowship, but in 1728 was ordained priest, and in the same year published A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.

His writings stress the moral virtues, a personal prayer life and asceticism, and strongly influenced people such as Samuel Johnson and John and Charles Wesley.

Law returned to Kings Cliffe in 1740, where he led a life of devotion and simplicity and caring for the poor. He remained there for the rest of his life and died on 10 April 1761.

The chapel and cloisters at Emmanuel College, Cambridge … William Law became a fellow of Emmanuel College after ordination (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayers (Wednesday 10 April 2024):

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is the ‘Certificate in Youth Leadership Programme in the West Indies.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by the Right Revd Michael B St J Maxwell, Bishop of the Diocese of Barbados.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (10 April 2024) invites us to pray:

Thank you, God, for the faithful response of youth ministers to be sufficiently trained and equipped to lead creative and proficient youth ministries throughout the Church in the Province of the West Indies.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
who called your servant William Law
to a devout and holy life:
grant that by your spirit of love
and through faithfulness in prayer
we may find the way to divine knowledge
and so come to see the hidden things of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer:

God of truth,
whose Wisdom set her table
and invited us to eat the bread and drink the wine
of the kingdom:
help us to lay aside all foolishness
and to live and walk in the way of insight,
that we may come with William Law to the eternal feast of heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued Tomorrow

John Myatt’s fading mosaic mural of Samuel Johnson on a corner of Bird Street, Lichfield … William Law’s writings strongly influenced Samuel Johnson (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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