Rector’s Blog: Adversity


By the Rev. Charlie Dupree

The office of Morning Prayer includes the following prayer:

Lord God, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I love this prayer. It acknowledges that God has brought us safely to a new day. We get a chance to start over. What didn’t go right yesterday, we get a chance to do better today. Specifically, we ask God to help us with adversity. Certainly, each day has an aspect of adversity – that which opposes us. There are things that are in opposition to us, our beliefs, our ways of doing things. There are circumstances . . . people, even, who aren’t in agreement with us. Every day contains some aspect of adversity. Yet, this prayer asks that adversity not overtake us. I’m reminded of the image of water slipping off a duck’s back. Feathers are intended to be aerodynamic. They do not create resistance. They let air and water flow over them so that movement can be smooth.

There are certainly times to push back. Surely, though, a little adversity is good for us. Adversity reminds us that “our way” is not the only way. Working together is important, but it can still be a challenge. This is why we pray God’s help in navigating the challenges of any given moment. Even though adversity may be annoying, it doesn’t have to overtake us. We acknowledge it, then, having grown and learned something new about ourselves, our neighbor, and a thing or two about our lives together with God, we move on, knowing that God already has something new in store.

Have a beautiful day.


Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Richmond, Virginia
Preferred pronouns: he, him, his