Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Daily Office, Part 2

One of the things I like most about praying the daily office is that a good portion of the time, I'm praying words that are not my own. When I try to just pray, it's difficult, and I often get stuck in same ruts over and over again. Furthermore, while extemporaneous prayer is good for getting across my concerns to God, its not nearly as good for helping me to learn and grow and expand my relationship and understanding of God. In this way, the office is really helpful. I am forced to pray ancient liturgies, scripture, canticles, hymns, comtemporary prayers and confessions. I am constantly being stretched by entering into the prayer of others. In addition, it prompts me to new ideas in my extemporaneous prayers and makes me more mindful of God's presence in the world during my daily life.

Brian mentioned that it sounds like too much of committment. You're right, it is. :) Don't commit to it. Just consider trying it to see if it is a style or practice of prayer that works for you. Compline might be the easiest way to start. And don't do the whole thing if you don't have time. Let it fit your life.

I have another suggestion as well. I just picked up a book today written by my New Testament professor, Richard Valantasis, who is also an Episcopal priest and expert on Roman history and asceticism. The book is Centuries Of Holiness: Ancient Spirituality For A Postmodern Age. It's a series of short essay on spirituality and appears to be a great book for the "smart seeker." I'm going to start adding it to my daily practice.


Blogger gavin richardson said...

i too am inriched by praying prayers and scriptures that i would not be able to pray on my own. it gives me new understandings and deepens my relationship with God.

not sure i'd call it a real committment. in actuality it takes about 4-7 minutes to go through my prayers at each hour. so this comes to 16-28 minutes of prayer a day. it seems so little, i think we are just so programmed as a society to be busy that we will push aside the prayers. those of islamic faith are quite faithful to this practice of prayer (although some are a bit more negotiable than others) because it is an important part of their life an faith.

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Anonymous prayers said...

How ya doing david, Hope you are having a good day. Your The Daily Office, Part 2 site is most interesting. I was looking for daily prayer related information when I came across it. Thanks for the read. I have a site that may interest you come and visit sometime, daily prayer thanks again, take care.

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