The Divine Hours

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I recently picked up the collection of books entitled The Divine Hours: A Manual for Prayer by Phyllis Tickle. I first heard of these from my mentor some time ago; he was mentioning how he was using them during his personal prayer time. Since prayer has always been a struggle for me—sometime I would go days without praying, something I am not proud of—I recently decided that I would find used copies of the collection and begin building a consistent, healthy prayer life.

The format is broken into four times throughout the day in which you are to find a place to sit and quietly sit before the Lord: The Morning Office (6-9am), The Midday Office (11am-2pm), The Vespers Office (5-8pm), and the Compline, or the Night Office (right before you turn in for the night). Now I will admit, I am not use to liturgy. Written prayers have not always sat well with me. But this is changing. I need structure, and the prayers, hymns, and confessions have given me just that. I have been able to take the formulated prayers and begin to internalize them, making them mine. I have been able to use my guitar in my prayer time and put music to some of the prayers and confessions, which has intern helped me internalize and memorize some of the nightly prayers. In many ways my prayers have become more vibrant through liturgy and less stale, which I never thought this Baptist would ever admit to.

So all of this to say, I recommend these excellent books to anyone looking to find structure for their prayer time. In these Manuals you will find hundreds of years of godly wisdom and prayers, prayers that will encourage, uplift, convict, and humble you like never before. So Christians, liturgy is not something for the Catholic church down the road. It is for us to use in our sanctification and growth in Christlikeness.

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