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Monday, April 26, 2010

# 95 Praying the Hours

Praying the Hours involves using a very specific set of prayers for each part of the day.
Matins is pre-dawn
Lauds is morning
Terce is mid-morning
Sext is midday
None is mid-afternoon
Vespers is evening
Compline is night
Many monasteries (ancient and modern, Protestant and Catholic) have refined and developed a unique set of prayers for each of the Hours, reflecting the priorities of their Order. But they all use a combination of Psalms, petitions and praise. These are available in various books of prayer and worship, also in guides to prayer. I sometimes pray Compline with The Virtual Abbey as they post the prayers on Twitter (about 9:00 pm Central Time). At other times I scroll back to their earlier tweets to pray and meditate at my own pace. Praying the Hours takes a lot of self-discipline and because it does can be a powerfully transforming force in one’s life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

# 94 - Alphabet Prayer

This is the A is for …, B is for …, C is for … prayer. Childish perhaps, but ever so useful. Think of 26 people, or countries, or causes each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet, and as you do, pray. Your prayer can be a listening prayer as in “God, what concern of theirs would you place on my heart today?” Your prayer could be a prayer of thanksgiving or an intercessory petition. Take time to discern what there is about your alphabetic prayer concern to cry over or to celebrate. Then offer a tear or smile for each of the 26 as your prayer. Or, as you name each one, simply pray a general prayer like, “Willingly or unwillingly, Jesus, may they in some way a) experience your blessing, b) draw closer to you, c) fulfill your Godly purpose.”

Monday, April 12, 2010

# 93 - Disney Prayer

Like the statues of the saints, Disney characters each represent a certain human trait or quality. You know people with all of these qualities. So you can easily pray your favorite Disney characters. Take, for example, the 7 Dwarfs. Using them as your guide to prayer you might pray for people you know who lead (Doc), who disapprove (Grumpy), who bring laughter (Happy), who are clumsy (Dopey), who are tired and un-motivated (Sleepy), who have allergies (Sneezy), who are shy and retiring (Bashful). In God’s kingdom there is a place and a purpose for everyone, just as in Walt Disney’s animated universe. When you finish your prayer, thank God for all the characters in your life, as well as for your own precious traits and qualities.