Playdates with God: Praying from a Book

I do my homework outside, say the sacred words with the accompaniment of birdsong and the music of the insect choir. Our professor was specific with the assignment. I haven’t been so much.
At least 3 days each week, use the resource Daily Prayer (or the Daily Prayer section in the Book of Common Worship, which begins on pages 489) for either Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, or Prayer at the Close of Day. Do not feel you need to include everything they suggest, but do include at least one Psalm and other biblical reading, an opening prayer, and a closing prayer.  Begin each time of prayer with a few minutes of silence.
The sun is still on the slow rise and the dew hangs from the grasses in the meadow like jewelry—glassy baubles catching the morning light.
I say the words out loud, because it seems right.
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
I am learning to pray from a book. I’ve never done this before—except from The Book—and I am surprised by the depth of emotion I feel. The Psalm sings over the meadow and I think I see the leaves of the apple trees sway in recognition. This book has everything and the meadow hushes in response to my voice as I sing David Crowder’s version of the ancient Phos Hilaron—the Hymn to Christ the Light. 
I read all the canticles, because they are so beautiful, and wonder about them. Not only do I “include everything they suggest”, but I read further, read more—enthralled by the ancient words.
I spend an hour in worship of my Lord and the creatures think I am a mighty fine preacher and we laugh and we cry and we call out the names of the ones we love in supplication.
And when I say the parting blessing, I have felt each word. This book, I think, has been a well-kept secret. And I hug it to my breast—smooth the dew from its surface, and begin my day.
The grace of God be with us all, now and always.
Amen.
Bless the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

  
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Comments

  1. says

    I tried to use the Book of Common Prayer, but without instruction I was a little bit lost. 🙂 I think it’s marvelous that you are finding such joy and richness in it!

  2. says

    I have a tiny little one-year devotional that was written in the 1800’s. The language is old fashioned, but the truth is the same, and it always moves me to praise. I’m going to check out the book you mentioned. Thanks, Laura.

  3. says

    Music of the insect choir… love that!

    “I am learning to pray from a book”…
    the operative word of course being ‘learning’. Interesting that, at first, I bristled just a bit, because that’s what I ‘had’ to do growing up… fearing that praying others words were not truly my own. Oh, it’s a long story =) But, to read that you hugged that book to your chest and felt his presence in those words… how endearing. Makes me think of that scripture about looking for the ancient paths and walking in them… including their words. Maybe I could learn too, think? =) Hugs to you this morning, Laura.

  4. says

    Laura, the beauty of your words draw me into worship as I see the jewel-like dew drops and the hushed leaves throughout your yard. Even the insects worship with you. Ah, and a final blessing.
    Is it any wonder, those ancient saints who prayed like this had such deep spiritual insight and close relationships to the Lord?
    Just loved this on this thankfully overcast Monday morning.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  5. says

    How wonderful it is when we find a book — or anything else — that helps point us to God, focus on God. I’m glad you have the ability to have an “outdoors with God” time.
    May God bless you richly today. My love to you, friend!

  6. says

    I have gone through periods of praying from a book, yes, and then periods of praying from the Psalms, and then periods of praying the lyrics of my Grandma’s hymnal.

    I think I must get Prayer Attention Deficit Disorder, because I switch tactics so regularly!

    This I know: You speak of prayer marvelously! Lovin’ your insect choir. 🙂

  7. says

    Growing up Baptist, I was unfamiliar with the beauty and richness found in the Book of Common Prayer. Now I’m thankful for both spontaneous prayer as well as the language and order the Book offers. Your photos are so beautiful and peaceful today. Blessings, always.

  8. says

    I use a daily Devotional called “The Upper Room” It is abbreviated compared to “The Book.” I am happy you are finding such joy in using your book.

    The church I visited Sunday used a similar book all through their service except when the minister preached. It was different for me, but extremely interesting.

  9. says

    Laura,
    I love to worship with creation, and you describe it so beautifully.

    Currently, I’m praying with The Valley of Vision in addition to my Bible. I love spontaneous prayers, but love to pray scriptures.

    Sometimes I’ve also used my Book of Common Prayer.

    I have Phos Hilaron by the band Passion. Love those ancient words, no matter who sings them.

    Thank you Laura, for letting us peek in.

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