Monday, July 21, 2014

Daily Prayer (Monday Morning in the Desert)

While I have written about the Rule of St. Benedict lately, it has been awhile since I have quoted directly from the Rule, so I thought today's "Monday Morning in the Desert" post could come from the Rule.  Here is the portion of the Rule which speaks directly to the times of daily prayer:

"Let us give 'praise' to our Creator for his 'deeds of justice' [Ps 118(119):164] at the following times: Matins, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline.  And 'Let us rise at night to praise him.' [Ps 118(119):62].

(From Chapter 16.5 of the Rule, quoted at p. 144 in "Day by Day with Saint Benedict" by Terrence G. Kardong, OSB).

Why is it important to pray throughout the day as the Benedictines do? Father Kardong writes:  "Life on planet earth requires that some time be given to tasks like eating, working, sleeping, and so forth.  So the monks try to space their prayer periods throughout the day.  What should we pray for? Benedict wants us to praise God for his deeds of justice."  (From p. 144 of "Day by Day with Saint Benedict).

Sometimes, people who are interested in daily prayer ask me what books they have to buy, or resources they have to have to pray such a daily pattern.  With the advent of online daily prayer sites and phone apps, finding resources for daily prayer is easy these days.  For me, though, while I enjoy praying online (I just tweeted Morning Prayer @Virtual_Abbey), I still like using books more often than not.  For Lutherans, Anglicans, and others who have a common prayerbook or hymnbook, the resources for daily prayer are right at our finger tips.  Lutheran hymnbooks, such as the Lutheran Book of Worship and Evangelical Lutheran Worship, have specific texts for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline, and also "Responsive Prayer", which contains the prayers for mid-morning, noon, and mid-afternoon.

Having said all of that, I still fall into slumps where I don't pray as often as I should.  But, fortunately,  God is "merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." (Psalm 86:15).

1 comment:

  1. Wow! With praying, and pastoring, and practicing law, and Virtual Abbey, no wonder you have slumps. :-) It's awesome meeting you Jay!