Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Daily Office

I am doing a 30-day experiment. I have read a lot about praying the daily office, and have even done it from time to time, but never for an extended period of time. However, I have decided in the month of August to pray the office every day. For those unfamiliar with the practice, it is essentially periods of prayer [typically about 10-15 minutes] that are set at regular times or intervals throughout the day.

For example, each day, I will pray through scripted morning prayers, midday prayers, and evening prayers. It is a very liturgical approach to prayer, but I think these structures might help me to embrace more rhythm in the spiritual life.

I will not be a stickler about doing the prayers at specific times [although that might be additionally helpful]. Instead, I'll start each day with morning prayers. After lunch [whenever lunch happens], I will have midday prayers. Then before bed each night, I will pray my evening prayers.

The resource I am using is Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro. I like it because it is justice-centered and Kingdom-of-God-focused. It is also contemporary, has special insights on each day, and schedules time for praying for others and silence for meditation within its structure. All in all, it appears to be an awesome resource.

I know some don't like the recitation of prayers, because it feels stiff or formal, or insincere, but I've never had a problem using these prayers. In fact, I have found that they often give voice to longings and emotions, and thoughts that I struggle to convey to the Lord.

I am committing to it for 30 days, and will report on my experiences here on my blog. We'll see!

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