to Daily Office or not to…

So I’ve been re-thinking my prayer time recently… Having been ill I had stopped getting up early to pray, which has meant that with alarming regularity my morning prayer time goes out the window when other things come along. So something had to change and I started getting up early again. Needless to say I am more tired, but I’m working with it! Anyway, sometime back a lovely local curate suggested doing the morning office. In a slightly (well, very) arrogant way I dismissed it out of hand – not my kind of thing at all… However I found the sheet she had given me (from the Northumbria community) a few weeks back and decided to give it a go. And, surprise surprise I am enjoying it…

As I am more tired than I used to be, getting up early is harder to do, and often I am rather fuzzy first thing, so to have a structure to start me off has been incredibly valuable. Where I was tending to drift and couldn’t focus myself on my prayers, now I am finding it so much easier as I can focus on the structure of it. I have also been working my way through the bible in a more structured way than I was. Just working through the Psalms numerically and for the OT currently working through Jeremiah – a chapter a day. Then, to be more me, I just wait on God to see where I should go in the NT and so far he hasn’t failed me! Every time the readings are linked or link to my daily life in some way. Then once I’ve finished  I am sufficiently awake enough to carry on in a freer way as I usually would.

Isn’t it funny how we get ideas in our heads about what we are and are not, what suits us and what doesn’t. And I like to think I am open to new ideas but in this case I totally dismissed it originally… Then today someone told me that I have a calming ‘aura’ about me, that I was very calming and soothing in the way I am. I thought, is she actually talking about me?! I always think I am like a busy bee, zooming around, getting things done and that people must think I never have time for them, so it was, although surprising, really nice to hear. And again made me realise how set in my opinions I am, even though I think otherwise!!

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  • Reply
    May 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    That's interesting – I had never heard of the morning office until now. But I do use a system for prayer and Bible reading and also finds it really helps me to focus and get a lot from it. I feel like reading from different parts of the Bible is like having a 3 course meal 🙂 The reading schedule I have used for years is M'Cheyne's Calendar and I love it because it takes me through the Bible in a year, and the New Testament and psalms twice. So I really feel like I'm getting to know the Bible!

  • Reply
    May 18, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I am a bit curious. What is a "morning office"?

  • Reply
    Nancy Wallace
    May 18, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Megan – a 'morning office' is a sturctured 'morning prayer' based around psalms and readings from Old and New Testaments.
    Red – Does it have to be either structured or free? I use Common Worship Daily Prayer as a basic structure. The discipline helps when I don't feel like praying and it ensures a balanced diet of Scriptural readings over the year. It can be used flexibly so doesn't preclude spontaneous prayer or any other way of responding to Word and Spirit.

  • Reply
    May 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    yeah, actually I think the whole day thing is called 'daily office' and the various parts 'morning prayer', 'noon prayer' and 'evening prayer'. I just do the morning bit.. I think, and someone pelase correct me if I'm wrong, that Anglican priests are 'supposed' to do the daily office daily but I'm not sure that many do.
    Nancy thanks for the description, and I don't really know what it should be, I only have one version!!
    Hi Megan and welcome, don't think I've seen you here before 🙂
    red x

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