Praying the Hours
By Judy Luffman of Redmond, OR, USA
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. —2 Corinthians 5:17–19 NRSV
Those of us who feel more of a connection with the Holy One through our heads—in other words, through reading good books and through thinking—may have a challenge when it comes to other avenues of spiritual formation. Author Corinne Ware in her book, Saint Benedict on the Freeway (Abingdon Press, 2001), explored using prayer in a way that has been transformational for me.
Ware suggested that one way to become more aware of God’s presence through all of life is to practice praying the hours. By that, Ware meant to use specific points of the night and day to pray in a particular way, for example focusing on thanksgiving at the start of the day (Lauds), planning before jumping into the usual schedule (Prime), intercession during your lunch break (Sext), forgiveness when you approach the evening (None), and so on.
I often used to wake up during the night and toss and turn, worrying about various concerns over which I had no influence or control. Those times of wakefulness are now times for praying a prayer of awareness of God’s presence, acknowledging God’s blessings experienced in the previous day and expressing trust in God for the day to come. This type of prayer or Vigil has brought me peace even in the midst of turbulent life events. How might your prayer life be transformed into a way to commune with God through the day and night?
May I see your light in all life.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Light of God
Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.