A reader commented on how great the prayer was that I shared in the post, “Eradicating Spiritual Virus.” The prayer came from the Book of Common Prayer. Printed prayers used as a guide for our own prayers can be a wonderful way to expand our prayer vocabulary and awareness. I have two particular favorites that have distinct strengths to them.
One is The Book of Common Prayer and its strength is the fact that is “common.” It is common in the sense that we hold or share it together. As I use the Book of Common prayer as a guide for my own prayers, I am always mindful of the fact that I am in all probability joining my prayers with countless other people who may be saying those very same prayers at that time. My brother in Christ who is a pastor in Harrison, Arkansas or lay person in another country is very likely reading the same scripture and voicing the same prayers that day. Being invisibly tied to these other faith family members is a powerful thing. I almost feel as if I am attending a worship with my whole family despite being alone as I do it. I will admit that I find the Book of Common Prayer a bit confusing to use at first, but well worth the effort of learning how to navigate it.
Another favorite prayer guide for me is the classic, A Diary of Private Prayer, by John Baillie. For those of you unfamiliar with this little known classic, Baillie lays out a month of morning and evening prayers. The page opposite of each prayer is blank for you to write in your own prayer. What I love about this prayer book is that Baillie thinks to pray about so many things I might never pause to consider. Baillie is compassionately mindful of his community. He is much more selfless in his prayers than I find myself to be. This humility inspires me. The language in places is a bit archaic, but even that I appreciate. The spots of unfamiliarity cause me to pause and really consider the meaning of the words. I have filled out at least three of these diary’s over the years and two of them where my anchor during particularly stormy moments of life. For these reasons and many more, A Diary of Private Prayer is my current recommended resource.
Lastly, I find that a prayer book is a tangible trigger that moves me to praying more frequently and for longer periods of time. A prayer book tightens and tames my wandering focus. God deserves my very best in prayer and a prayer book moves me closer to that excellence. Blessings from The Practical Disciple.
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