Over the past few weeks, I have added some of the “Daily Offices” to my daily schedule. If you are not familiar with them, these are scheduled times of prayer throughout the day. They come out of a more liturgical and monastic tradition. The plan that I am using has four scheduled times each day: Morning, Midday, Vespers (evening), and Compline (before bed). Other plans will add more times during the day and through the night.
Though I don’t always get to all the “offices” each day, I am realizing benefits from the discipline. One is that they make me slow down and re-focus and they help me to live in more awareness of God’s presence and in an attitude of prayerfulness. Another benefit is that it is liturgical in nature and far different than the more “free flowing” prayer that I have practiced throughout my life. It stretches my ideas about prayer and meditation. Each office has specific prayers to be said (or sang or chanted) and specific Scriptures to be read. Most of these come straight from Scripture, but many of the prayers come out of the Anglican tradition and the Book of Common Prayer. Many of these prayers have been very meaningful and helpful.
I wanted to share this prayer that I came across a few days ago. It spoke very directly to the things that our ministry is trying to build into the lives of our staff and students.
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, the privilege is ours to share in the loving, healing, reconciling mission of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, in this age and wherever we are.
Since without you we can do no good thing,
May your Spirit make us wise,
May your Spirit guide us,
May your Spirit renew us,
May your Spirit strengthen us;
So that we will be:
Strong in faith,
Discerning in proclamation,
Courageous in witness,
Persistent in good deeds.
This we ask through the name of the Father.