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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Ancient prayer practices can help

We don't have to reinvent the wheel

Good, regular and faithful prayer need not be difficult. Like any practice it benefits from repetition, regularity and persistence. Thankfully, the church has an ancient pattern for prayer that offers exactly the regularity we need. It’s called the daily office, or the liturgy of the hours.

Hands and candleIn Constant Prayer (Thomas Nelson, 2008), author Robert Benson defines the daily office as “a regular pattern and order for formal worship and prayer that is offered to God at specific times throughout the course of the day. Each set of prayers, known as an office, is made up of psalms, scriptures, and prayers.”

Praying the daily office makes the whole day holy. Those who pray it wake up praying matins (morning prayer). They go to bed praying compline (night prayer). In between, they offer vespers (evening prayer) and other prayers throughout the day.


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