Modern life and prayer seem antithetical. Family life and prayer can seem antithetical. The reality of my family’s situation is that the earliest rays of sunlight are greeted by the cries of children. The needs that these cries signal continue throughout most of the day. At the end of the day hundreds of mini- crises have been averted and my wife and I are exhausted. Prayer? What’s that? Well, thankfully our understanding of prayer has been necessarily expanded. However, we have found consistent fixed-prayer with others to be an anchor. Last year a small group of folks from our church began meeting together on Wednesday mornings (6:45am) to pray a modified version of the Morning Prayer service from the Book of Common Prayer. It was rich. We took a break for the summer months and are reconvening this Wednesday morning to continue this Christian practice.
Historic Christian (and Jewish) prayer is intentional and God-focused. I have found that rehearsing the ancient words of the church is a necessary comfort that points beyond the sayings to the sayer. I have also found that learning the language of fixed-prayer (a mix of written prayers, readings, and spontaneous intersessions) can be daunting for the uninitiated. Anyone who has picked up the Book of Common Prayer for the first time can attest to this confusion. With this in mind, I put together this prayer guide for every upcoming Wednesday until Christmas. This is my attempt at a more user friendly introduction to historic Christian prayer. A brief explanation of this type of prayer is included and the BCP morning prayer service has been condensed into two pages. Take a look and check it out. You may also find this a valuable resource for personal prayer. There is a lot of freedom that can be cultivated within this type of structure. Our group is looking forward to trying a variety of approaches to the weekly Psalms (chanting, antiphonal responses, verse/chorus songs etc…).
If you don’t live in California, but would like to join our Wednesday morning group occasionally, please let me know. We would love to have a group join us via webcam (Skype or Google+ video chat hangout). How fun would that be?!
Download a PDF of the prayer guide here: CCD Matins Template (PDF)
Or browse the the prayer guide below and download later…