The “Daily Office”
By Darrell Belrose of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
These are portentous times. The lives of many are being sacrificed unnecessarily to the gods of war, greed, and avarice. The land is being desecrated by the thoughtless waste of vital resources. You must obey my commandments and be in the forefront of those who would mediate this needless destruction while there is yet day. -Doctrine and Covenants 150:7
My transition to retirement has taken longer than anticipated. Mary and I planned to move back to Ontario, and then one of our sons and family were transferred to our city. Spending two extra years in Calgary was a great joy for us as we had more quality time with our three grandchildren. The time arrived, however, when we needed to move “home.” Calgary was in its worst economic recession in history. House prices were plummeting. With a reduced price, our home sold in two days with eight offers pending. We were incredibly blessed despite the economic downturn.
The next dilemma gave us cause for concern but also an opportunity to evaluate what was most important in our lives. Our home sold in January when temperatures are typically around -20C (-4F) and moving cross country could be very dangerous. We initially moved to a furnished apartment in the city core for three months, then to our house trailer in Ontario for five months while our new home was being built. What was most important for me to take to the apartment, then to our summer trailer, and finally into the new house?
This decision was a no-brainer. I needed to choose my “daily office” routines I had established. I needed to continue to give “the first fruits of my day” to honor God and express my appreciation for God’s ongoing blessings of life. I have found great joy in starting each day with Daily Bread readings, Bible study, meditation time, and an exercise program which is typically my prayer time. When I do this routine, my days are enriched, and my joy for the day is noticeable. When I omit this “daily office,” there tends to be a void in my zest for life.
I look forward to completing our move this year, but more, I look forward to keeping this priority of what matters most to me as I strive to express to God how much I have valued God’s blessings in life. I hunger to express my gratitude to God and to seek out opportunities to be a grateful servant.
“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8 NRSV)
The Prayer of the Heart
Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.