The ritual of morning prayer may seem a bit too liturgical to us, especially given the myriad of on-going debates concerning what faith looks like in the 21st-century. Difficulties can arise when we simply do something for the sake of checking it off our list. But Scripture tells us to “pray without ceasing.” God is not worried that we might pray too often. Truthfully, we should be concerned that we don’t pray often enough.
“Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)
Still, we might find liturgy confining and fail to see the freedom it can actually bring us. In his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Christian author Richard J. Foster points out several benefits of liturgical prayer.
- Liturgical prayer helps individuals articulate the desires of the heart that yearn to be expressed. Let’s face it, sometimes we struggle to find the words to describe how we feel. Or maybe we just don’t feel up to it. Liturgy can help “prime the pump,” and provide us with a launching point.
- Liturgical prayer unites us in communion with fellow believers and the saints that have come before us. We are offering the very same words that believers preceding us lifted up to the throne of God.
- Liturgical prayer also helps us fight off the temptation to wow and awe others. You don’t need a charismatic personality to pray. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much intellectual knowledge you have stored up in your brain. Prayer isn’t all about us; it’s all about God.
These are just a few of the observations Foster shares in his book. But we’re not really talking about liturgical, rote prayer here. No, I’m simply offering a look at some morning prayers shared by people and intended to be shared with others, so that we might all benefit from a richer prayer life.
Who among us wouldn’t like to see our on-going conversation with God grow?
The Devotional Guy™