Friday, October 22, 2010

Prayer tools

One area of Christian life and devotion that I hear people share their concerns about is prayer. There have been volumes written on the 'how to'; 'when to'; 'where to'; etc. ad nauseum. The fact is that we have difficulty setting aside the time to pray. And, when we do find the time, we don't always know what to do. Should we use a prayer list? intercede? supplicate?, (whatever the heck that is). Should we sit, stand, kneel, lay prostrate? Who knows?!? The scriptures reveal all of these and more. Fortunately, these questions have been asked throughout history, and some good practices have been developed. From time to time I hope to be able to find and share some things that may be of help in praying.
One thing that I have found very helpful is to use the form of the Daily Office. This has been practiced since the time that monasticism began to develop. While it may seem that it is too structured, structure can be a helpful thing to get us started. There are several online resources that can help. My favorite for the past couple years has been 'The Daily Office" at
This combines daily scripture readings and prayers taken from the lectionary of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. I don't follow everything found there exactly as written, but it does provide a good jumping off point for me.
I think that we should use whatever tools are available to us in order to bring ourselves into God's presence. After all, that is the life of the Christian.
If anyone has other suggestions, please share them. We can use all the help we can get!

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