Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Benefits of Regular Prayer Times

It is the practice of the Benedictine monks to come together several times a day for prayer and reading/reciting of the psalms. I have had the privilege of being a guest at the Blue Cloud Abbey and have been blessed to participate in these prayer times whenever I have desired to do so.
I have always been one who lives best with routine or schedules. My first introduction to daily schedule was at Bible Camp when I was 9 years old. I remember trying to emulate the schedule when I would come home from camp because I loved the rhythm of the day and the regular times for Devotions and Bible study:
7:00 Wake up
7:30 Devotions
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Cabin Cleanup
9:30 Class
10:45 Sports
12:00 Lunch
Etc. Etc. Etc.
7:00 Church
8:30 Snack
9:00 Get ready for bed
9:30 Devotions
10:00 Lights out!

Of course, my attempts never worked for very long, because soon summer was over and school schedules ruled my life and I could never seem to make a reasonable facsimile that satisfied my desire.
A few weeks ago, I was really low physically, emotionally and spiritually. My circumstances seemed to whirl around in my mind like a tornado and all I could do was cry - seemed like I was crying all the time during some days.
A friend shared with me that there is a site where Prayer Times and Readings are available, similar to those used by the monks. I remembered how much I enjoyed camp schedules and so I've been spending time praying and reading the word at regular times throughout the day and I have to testify of the indescribable peace and grace that is mine right now.
I really didn't realize how low I was spiritually because of allowing my concerns to roll around in my mind instead of prayer. I guess, maybe, I thought I was praying...but, the proof is in the pudding, as they say.
The line between prayer and worry is very fine and crossing it can be very subtle. And yet, there is a significant difference in a life when it is touched by the presence of God and His word regularly. It is unmistakable.
You would think I would know that - and I do. I guess I'm just very thankful for His grace and unfailing love that never changes in spite of how I fail to remain faithful.


Richard said...

Is this the site you are referring to: http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/hours.php

Diane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.