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Classic Daily Prayer: Helpful Overview

May 30th, 2009
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matins1549I just bumped into another pastor’s presentation on the classic orders of daily prayer, as featured in Treasury of Daily Prayer. These orders of daily prayer are also known as “offices.” The word “office” comes from the Latin word officium and derives from the term officium divinum meaning “divine office” or “divine duty,” the term used to describe the various orders of prayer used in the Western Church, developing eventually into seven set “hours” of prayer, hence the expression, “The liturgy of the hours.” Here is a PDF file that Pastor Karl Bachman prepared. divine_office (PDF) and here is the Word format of this document: divine_office

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  1. May 30th, 2009 at 13:24 | #1

    Your definition of “hours of prayer” is important for understanding Luther’s comment that he usually prayed three hours, but that on a busy day he prayed four. When I first heard that statement I imagined Luther spending hours pouring out his heart to God every morning (and an extra one if he had a lot to do), rather than beginning and ending his day with a psalms, readings, and prayers and pausing once or twice during the day for more of the same. My misunderstanding left me feeling inadequate. As talkative as I am, I just have never had that much to say to anyone, even God. As I’ve matured, I come to understand that God does not measure our prayers by elapsed time, frequency, beauty, or liturgical correctness, but by our purpose, faith, and relationship with him.

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