As the first century nears its close and the second century begins, the Church bids farewell to the apostles who die one by one as faithful witnesses of Christ.
Most scholars date The Didache, the earliest non-canonical Christian document, as being from the late first century or early second century. It consists of moral instruction, and includes guidelines for prayer, worship, baptism, fasting, and the celebration of the Lord’s supper. Its authorship remains unknown, although some ascribe it to the first apostles1. In it, we also find prayers like the one below:
We thank you, holy Father, for your sacred name which you have lodged in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which you have revealed through Jesus, your Son. To you be glory forever.
Almighty Master, you have created everything for the sake of your name, and have given people food and drink to enjoy that they may thank you. But to us you have given spiritual food and drink and eternal life through Jesus, your Son.
Above all, we thank you that you are mighty. To you be glory forever.
Remember, Lord, your Church, to save it from all evil and to make it perfect by your love. Make it holy, and gather it together from the four winds into your Kingdom which you have made ready for it. For yours is the power and the glory forever.
Let grace come and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David! If anyone is holy, let him come. If not, let him repent. Our Lord, come! Amen.2
Meditate on this prayer and then pray it to the Lord in your own words.
Throughout This Day: Reflect on all the things you are thankful for, and express your thanks for those things to God. If you can, write out your own prayer of thanksgiving sometime during this day.
References: 1. Ted Byfield, editor. A Pinch of Incense, A.D. 70-250, The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years, volume 2, © 2002, Christian Millennial History Project, Inc., page 54. 2. A Collection of Prayers, First Century
Photo Credit: Thea Hdc