I have been using liturgical prayer for much of the past 10 years to keep me centered. While I was serving in an international church in Japan, it was an essential part of my life. There was not a culture of church surrounding us there and so I had to intentionally join with others across the world praying the Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer. I found the Mission of St. Clare’s website to be the most effective way to integrate it into my daily life.
For the past five years, I have worked in a variety of non-church jobs, but have maintained my conviction that it is holy work. I would not have been able to do this work day after day if it weren’t for a community of prayer.
In recent months, I have turned to another resource–Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. It is available in book form and online and it has been a way of joining in prayer with folks across the world and also some colleagues in my area who have taken up the discipline.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove in an article in Christianity Today, Joining the Eternal Song, closes the article this way:
Like the past, whose wisdom guides us, the future, too, is a gift. We do not achieve it through our efforts but receive it gratefully, as we learn to sing the eternal song resounding around the throne of God. “Holy, holy, holy!” we cry, with angels and archangels and all the saints who have gone before us. “Heaven and earth are full of your glory.” Then we resume our work until it is time, soon enough, to gather and sing again. This is the sort of life you can go on living forever.
I am convinced that having a community of prayer who I can join in singing the eternal song is how I can continue to live the life God has chosen for me, forever.
A prayer for December 29th from Common Prayer:
Lord, what you call compassion, others call weakness. What you call conviction, others call dissidence. What you call love, others call mixing with sinners. We pray that we too might be found weak, dissident, and in bad company, especially if it means we are closer to you. Amen.