The first chapter of Brad J. Kallenberg’s excellent book God and Gadgets opens with the following passage from the 1790 version of the Book of Common Prayer. He tells the reader to “watch for a surprise,” so please, watch for it.
Almighty and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being; we, Thy needy creatures, render Thee our humble praises, for Thy preservation of us from the beginning of our lives to this day, and especially for having delivered us from the dangers of the past night. For these Thy mercies we bless and magnify Thy glorious Name, humbly beseeching Thee to accept this our morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, for His sake who lay down in the grave and rose again for us, Thy Son our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. (577)
Did you find it? Does anything in this prayer seem out of place?
Look again: “…especially for having delivered us from the dangers of the past night.” This phrase sounds childish even, as if the pray-er is still afraid of the dark. What’s going on here? … I have a hunch–but you’re probably not going to like it. The single most important difference between their lives and ours, between their prayers and ours, between their Christianity and ours, lies in the fact that we have electric lights. The Book of Common Prayer eventually dropped the line about dangers of the night. (2)
Interesting, right? If you think about your own life, is there anything you no longer pray for because of technology… or anything new that you pray for now only because of technology?