For well over a year, now, I’ve been praying some or all of the daily offices using Phillys Tickle’s seires of prayer books called The Divine Hours.
The more than I enter into structured, planned prayer of this nature, the more I notice that my prayer life is changing in some very good ways.
Before, my prayers tended to be very self-absorbed – focused either on thanks for all the good stuff God does for me or on a wish-list of stuff I wanted God to do for me.
There is still, of course, a place for prayers of that nature – but the real benefit of the thoughtfully assembled prayers in these books is that they take me out of my own world and into God’s. I come out of the time of prayer appreciating that God is up to big, big things in the cosmos. Instead of being filled with a desire for the things I want from God (or frustration because I’m not getting them), I walk away with a deep appreciation for God’s holy, transcendent nature, his love for our world, and a longing to be part of this beautiful thing that he is doing through Jesus.
The difference – for me, at least – is like night and day.