By Gail van Deusen
It is only fitting that our order began on Easter Eve, 1885, during a Bible study class of seven women in what is now the Church of the Resurrection in New York City. Margaret Franklin led these women in prayer and in studying the scriptures. She encouraged them to serve the church and to spread God’s word to others, especially girls and young women. Our Amy Harold Chapter has continued to provide meals to Interfaith Emergency Services, to serve on the Altar Guild, and to participate in various ways during our Sunday services throughout the Covid pandemic. We are all members of the prayer team, sometimes called “Prayer Warriors”. Today, chapters throughout the world live their vows through our Motto and the Prayer of the Order. A Daughter’s daily Rule of Life fulfills her vows of prayer and service. “Prayer without work is empty words; service without prayer is labor lost.” This sums up our mission since prayer is the foundation from which service grows. The practice of prayer is our commitment. We begin each morning with a quiet time. Reading from our Bible is an effective way to center ourselves. The Gospels or Psalms are a good start. Adoration, followed by confession, is a perfect way to reflect on God’s greatness, His power and majesty. Just thinking about our actions, thoughts, and words of the previous day and asking for forgiveness can bring us closer to God. In the words of 1 John 1:8, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Next, our prayer time gives priority to giving thanks and expressing gratitude for requests answered, appreciating what we consider positive in our lives, as well as noting our hardships and sorrows. We offer thanksgiving for those who have recovered from Covid (also the souls of those who have passed away), for successful surgeries, convalescence from illnesses and healing from serious injuries. All our prayers are confidential and kept private. Finally, through supplication, or “asking earnestly and humbly”, in our personal petitions and for those of others, we conclude our morning time with God. Prayer can take place anytime and anywhere. Grace’s Daughters have learned “to pray the sirens.” Whenever we hear a siren, we pray: “Dear Lord, I pray for the safety and care of those responding and those they are responding to. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” This is a prayer anyone can say during a serious time of need when the sirens sound. More formally, Grace offers Morning and Evening Prayer on-line while Compline can be found on-line in other Episcopal churches. No matter where we find ourselves, we Daughters pray regularly and unceasingly, not out of fear, but out of love. During this past year of Covid our chapter has been praying for all those this virus has affected, those in our parish family and beyond. May we embrace prayer through scripture as the first seven Daughters did...For His Sake.