For All Sorts and Conditions of Men

The following prayer appeared in the 1662 revision of the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer. It was subsequently included in the first American revision of the BCP (1789), and with one exception, has appeared in every subsequent revision of the American prayerbook, including the current (1979) edition.

I offer it for our brothers and sisters in London, to whom this morning brought fear and sorrow.

O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

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