The Riches of Your Grace: Living in the Book of Common Prayer, By Julie Lane-Gay

The Riches of Your Grace

Living in the Book of Common Prayer

by Julie Lane-Gay

The Riches of Your Grace
  • Length: 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: June 11, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: A0816
  • ISBN: 9781514008164

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An Invitation into God's Grace

As we race to work in the morning, have coffee with a friend, or fall into bed exhausted, we want to feel God's presence, to sink into his grace. Yet too often he feels aloof, absent. Our prayers feel trivial. But as Julie Lane-Gay discovered, the Book of Common Prayer is designed for just this purpose: to root Christians in the riches of God's grace.

Lane-Gay has written this book to share the treasures she has found in the Book of Common Prayer. It's not a history of the prayer book nor a guide (though it will certainly help readers get their bearings). Instead, using stories from her own life, Lane-Gay shows what it means to live in the prayer book: to allow its prayers and patterns to shape an ordinary Christian life. Discover how the Book of Common Prayer can anchor us—our prayers, our daily lives, our hearts—in Christ.

"In The Riches of Your Grace, Julie Lane-Gay models for us how Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, along with the Anglican divines, intended Anglicans across the centuries to use the Book of Common Prayer. She will enrich the spiritual lives of many by sharing this testimony of the immense benefit she has derived from such joyful engagement with the prayer book. This work will encourage those who are struggling spiritually, emotionally, and relationally in their walk with Jesus; it will help frazzled believers find their spiritual footing in our frenetic world. I highly recommend this book to the church and to those who are seeking to find their way back to God."

Felix Orji, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of All Nations, Anglican Church in North America

"'Something deep and sturdy' is how Julie Lane-Gay characterized the power resident in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer when she was first invited to make it a part of her daily life. As a mother of children and editor at Regent College, her times of devotional reading and prayer were limited. But in this glowing new book she details how the seminal ancient prayers and responses of the prayer book began to sink into her spirit, becoming as warm and powerful as glowing coals as they fed her burgeoning spiritual life."

Luci Shaw, author of Reversing Entropy and The O in Hope

"Something utterly unexpected is happening to many North American Christians. They are discovering that a book nearly five hundred years old is having a deep, rich, and strengthening impact on them and their relationship with almighty God. Julie Lane-Gay's book is a gem. In it she describes her journey with the Book of Common Prayer and how God used it to teach her deeper truths about herself and ourselves. This book will become a treasure to countless people who are finding their way along the Anglican path in God's kingdom. It should be given to all new members in our churches."

John W Yates II, rector of The Falls Church Anglican, retired

"Beautifully written and disarmingly honest, Julie Lane-Gay's book is a gift. You will identify with her longing for a rhythm in her worship and personal prayer life. You'll want to join her in her discovery of how the Book of Common Prayer gives us a framework for words we struggle to pray. This is not a guide on how to pray better but a vista of a lay person's real life, a life like yours and mine. Grab copies for yourself and for all your people!"

Susan Alexander Yates, speaker and author of Risky Faith

"Julie Lane-Gay has given us a one-of-a-kind introduction to the Book of Common Prayer. She takes us through the book as it has intersected with her life, providing some of the book's historical context along the way. Each chapter takes us to a different section of the book, like a tour guide who describes destinations and is personally familiar with all the stops. Julie knows the prayer book intimately and shares candid and often poignant moments when it has deepened her life with God and others. I have used the prayer book for decades, but she reacquainted me with aspects of it that I had not often visited and in ways that show me how it connects with our daily lives."

Dennis Okholm, professor emeritus at Azusa Pacific University and author of Monk Habits for Everyday People

"Julie Lane Gay has provided us an exquisite guide to the Book of Common Prayer—demonstrating its formative power for both the shared worship of the church and in our personal prayers. She shows how it can foster within us and among us the capacity to live in the grace of God in a post-Christian and secular age, and further, how this ancient Anglican resource is a potential gift to Christians of all theological and spiritual traditions."

Gordon Smith, president of Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta, and author of Courage and Calling

"There are, happily, now a number of how-to guides for using the Book of Common Prayer from the Anglican tradition of Christianity. But this book is something different: more of a warm invitation than a simple instruction manual. It is a disarming personal testimony of a spiritual life lived with the prayer book and a hospitable summons for others to experience the rich gifts of that life."

Wesley Hill, priest in the Episcopal Church and associate professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan

"Julie Lane-Gay is guide and fellow explorer in this rich contemplation of the Book of Common Prayer. Her personal journey through an ancient text of Anglicanism is honest and poetic. As she reads the Book of Common Prayer at church and at home, the book reads her, and we all benefit. The Book of Common Prayer can at first seem formal and a bit complicated for some of us, but in Lane-Gay's skilled and sensitive hands, we experience how it opens the mysteries of God's grace, love, and direction in our daily lives. I put down this book and felt encouraged to pick up that 'small red book' once again."

Karen Stiller, author of Holiness Here: Searching for God in the Ordinary Events of Everyday Life and The Minister's Wife: A Memoir of Faith, Doubt, Friendship, Loneliness, Forgiveness, and More

"For almost five hundred years, the Book of Common Prayer has been one of the Anglican Church's great gifts to God's church around the world, drawing its readers into the Jesus-centered, true worship of God. The Riches of Your Grace is a wonderful, wise, warm, informative, and down-to-earth invitation into the treasures of the Anglican prayer book. Julie's Lane-Gay's theological insight and deep appreciation for the profound way that the Book of Common Prayer helps people draw near to God in real life today shines through this captivating book. I give it the highest of recommendations."

Dan Gifford, diocesan bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada

"On my shelf are many guides, handbooks, and histories of the Book of Common Prayer, but Julie Lane-Gay has offered something refreshingly different from these. She knows this background and draws on it skillfully, but more than this, she shows us from her own experience what it means, from the inside, for one's real life to be shaped by the rhythms of the prayer book. There is nothing stuffy here. Julie's compelling personal narrative is all about how these ancient words seep into you, little by little, and change you at the very depths of your being. The Riches of Your Grace is a winsome companion to prayer book worship in everyday life."

Bruce Hindmarsh, James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and author of The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism

"The Riches of Your Grace offers a deeply personal encounter with the liturgical and sacramental treasures of the Book of Common Prayer. Reclaiming the lost art of devotional writing, Julie Lane-Gay shows how the structure and discipline of Anglican common prayer do not leave us with a rote piety; the prayers nurture deep intimacy both with the living Lord and in our life together as his body. Church libraries will bless their parishes with a copy on their shelves."

Kathryn Greene-McCreight, priest affiliate at Christ Church New Haven and author of Darkness Is My Only Companion

"Julie Lane-Gay has written a book that weaves an accessible explanation of the practices of the Book of Common Prayer into a narrative of her own life, described with such simple candor that we can easily feel she is talking about us or those we dearly love. She has done this with vivid images—sights, sounds, smells—using just the right amount of words, so that this book is not only eminently readable but artistically beautiful. She has prepared and presented this feast well! The result is a testimony of the transformative power of the Book of Common Prayer that invites us to partake in the feast ourselves."

Steven Breedlove, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Christ Our Hope in the eastern United States

Read an Excerpt


1. Morning and Evening Prayer
2. The Collects
3. Prayers for Families and Individuals
4. Liturgical Year
5. Psalms
6. Baptism
7. Compline
8. The Catechism
9. Holy Communion
10. In Sickness and in Death
Conclusion (and More Surprises)

Suggested Guides to The Book of Common Prayer


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Julie Lane-Gay

Julie Lane-Gay is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in a range of publications including Reader's Digest, Fine Gardening, Faith Today, Anglican Planet, and The Englewood Review of Books. She teaches occasional courses at Regent College and also edits the college's journal, CRUX. She lives with her husband, Craig, in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is active in her local Anglican church.