10 Minutes, Twice a Day

In my sermon yesterday I asked if the people of St. Mark’s (and others who want to) could covenant to prayer and the study of Scripture for 10 minutes,  twice a day.  I think it could make a tremendous impact in the life of our community if we were intentional in doing this.

So to help out, here are couple of tips.

1. If you keep a calendar, schedule the time.Make it repeating.  Maybe it’s getting up a few minutes earlier.  Maybe you can set aside the first ten minutes after the kids are out the door.  Maybe you know that after you get your morning coffee, you can sit for that time in quiet reflection.  Perhaps you can take a small break in the evening.  As I said yesterday, if you leave it to chance, you probably won’t do it.

2.  Find a short pattern of prayer to use.  There’s the daily devotions for individuals and families in the Book of Common Prayer (I’ll reprint it at the bottom of this entry).  Or Phyllis Tickle’s book The Divine Hours Pocket Edition.  Others are out there (see my post about keeping the office).  But if you have something to follow along, it may make it easier for you and you won’t be stuck by an uncertainty of how to pray.

3. Consider praying during regular activities.  Melissa read a fabulous book last year called PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength and Discipline that really gave her an idea to combine exercise and prayer I know some folks who pray on the train or while driving.  When we first had Noah, a priest friend said we’d be saying a lot of our prayers over the changing table, and he was right.  While it can be distracting at times (or filled with noise), I think it would be better to pray while doing something else than not praying at all.

I hope you’re able to take this on.  Maybe you have questions or comments.  Click below and let me know what you are thinking.

Daily Devotions from the Book of Common Prayer (pgs 127-130)

In the Morning

From Psalm 51

Open my lips, O Lord,  and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy Spirit from me.  Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

A Reading  Either this one or another reading may be used

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I Peter 1:3

A period of silence may follow.

A hymn or canticle may be used; the Apostles’ Creed may be said.

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the Early Evening

O gracious Light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!  Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of life, and to be glorified through all the worlds.

A Reading Either this one or another reading may be used

It is not ourselves that we proclaim; we proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants, for Jesus’ sake. For the same God who said, “Out of darkness let light shine,” has caused his light to shine within us, to give the light of revelation–the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.