Today Pastor Tim spoke on one of my favorite passages, 2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)
He was reminding us of the importance of prayer. He was also very honest, in the fact that prayer isn’t easy and it goes against our nature. I’m not sure at the moment if he mentioned the “Daily Offices” or if as he was speaking I thought about them. But the Daily Office (or service) were an important part of the Early Life of the church. The Morning Office was a prayer service that took place early in the morning with the idea that people would attend on their way to work. Likewise, there was the Evening Office was to be attended on the way home from work.
As evangelicals we tend to discredit pre-written prayers and the type of liturgy found in the Common Book of Prayer, yet where would we be if no one wrote down the Lord’s Prayer. Or if Paul hadn’t wrote prayers in his letters. Much of the Psalms is David’s prayers to his Heavenly Father. There is beauty and encouragement in these written prayers. I believe God can still speak to us through written prayers.
Being the geek I am I went searching the web looking for more information about the Daily Office. After all, Pastor Tim encouraged us to “have a plan.” One of my favorite websites is www.heartlight.org they offer some prayer plans on their page: http://www.heartlight.org/prayerplans/index.html
Another sight that specifically talks about the Daily Offices is: http://www.prayerfoundation.org/dailyoffice/z_daily_office_000_index.htm
Under their “basics” section they suggest the following format to get started:
In the morning pray the Lord’s Prayer, at noon time Psalm 23 and then then in the evening Psalm 117. The website gives more detail prayers that can be prayed from scripture.
Prayer is such a critical part of the Christian’s life. Whether one prays scriptures or prays their own words, time with God talking and listening is critical to survive.
1 Thess. 5:17 reminds us to pray without ceasing. A tough thing, but I have to start one step at a time!