QUESTION OF THE DAY (asked elsewhere on Facebook): What do you use as a guide for prayer? Do you pray extemporaneously at a certain time every day? Do you use the Book of Common Prayer? Are there other prayer books that you use that you’d recommend?
I developed a practice for “Quiet Time” that I preached to my congregation, which I attempt to follow first thing each morning … with coffee. Usually around 6 am i.e. Lauds.
Step 1: Recommit my life … I use a prayer I wrote called the Centering Prayer, or Wesley’s Covenant Prayer or the Prayer of St Francis.
Step 2: Be Still … I set a timer on my phone for 5 minutes and sit calmly. Sometimes ideas float up and I write them down to get clear of them.
Step 3: Scripture Reading … I read one chapter, usually from Proverbs, the Gospels or the Psalms. I look for a command for me to pay attention to in that chapter and make note of it … something that is a personal lesson for me.
Step 4: Journaling. I write down any insights from the scripture, add to any thoughts that came to me, and make lists for the upcoming day.
Step 5: I’m fond of breaking my day for prayer at the times of the Canonical hours … 9, noon, 3, 6 pm and 9 pm (Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, Compline), . I set a chime on my phone to remind me to stop and take a moment or more to pray. The current sound I use is one of three knocks on a door, which reminds me of Revelation 3:20. My wife or I frequently comment when we hear it, “Jesus is knocking … better answer it!”
The Centering Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you IN FLOW as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen
The Android app which “knocks” to call to prayer is “Timely Chimer” by Kwad. The notification sound is “Knock” – what else?
The photo is by evan courtney, entitled Prayer. Conversations with God and is available through the Flicker.com Creative Commons License.