THEME: THE WALL
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME TRUST YOU WHEN I CANNOT SEE YOUR GOODNESS
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. (Psalm 34:14)
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
The Daily Office, also called Fixed-Hour Prayer, has been a practice of believers for thousands of years. The Bible tell us Daniel and David, as well as the disciples in the first church, prayed and worshipped multiple times each day. The practice of the Daily Office encourages us to turn our focus toward the Lord at regular intervals throughout the day, whether we feel close to Him or not, whether we feel like praying or not. Some monastic traditions have up to eight or nine fixed times of prayer each day, including upon waking, before beginning work, while working, mid-day, afternoon, evening, bedtime, and in the middle of the night! Anglicans around the world regularly practice the Daily Office through praying two or three times each day (Morning, Mid-Day, and Evening prayer).
If you’re reading this, you have probably already set aside a regular time of prayer to do these practices. Today, you should choose two smaller segments when you can spend 10 minutes or so focusing your attention toward the Lord. Ideally, one time would be in the morning and another at night, but adjust as necessary for your schedule. Set an alarm or add it to your calendar so you don’t miss them!
When you arrive at your designated prayer time, pull up the appropriate prayer guide below, spend a few minutes in silence to remember the Lord is with you, and begin. The following prayer guides are based on the Daily Office published by Mission St. Clare, but feel free to adapt them for yourself. Read through the words slowly and prayerfully, speaking out loud if you desire.
Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. (Psalm 43:3)
Prayer of Confession
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor. [Pause for a moment and consider what the Lord would have you confess]
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
Old Testament Passage
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever.
The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.
Our help is in the Name of the Lord;
The maker of heaven and earth.
Prayer of Confession
Let us confess our sins to God.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father: [Pause for a moment and consider what the Lord would have you confess]
We have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what we have left undone. For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us all our offenses; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
May the Almighty God grant us forgiveness of all our sins, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
New Testament Reading
May the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, and great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us.
Digging Deeper: The breath prayer is another way to intentionally turn our gaze toward Christ throughout the day. Specifically, this week’s breath prayer reminds us to look for God’s goodness even when we don’t feel Him near. Set a reminder to pray the breath prayer every hour today. Say it a few times slowly, being mindful of your breathing: Lord, help me trust You [inhale] when I cannot see Your goodness [exhale]. Say it a final time as you lie in bed before going to sleep. Consider how making the breath prayer a daily practice could help you center your thoughts, look for God’s goodness, and actively trust Him.
- Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your experience praying the Daily Office today.
- Closing Prayer: Thank God for His nearness, even when you can’t feel it. Lord, help me trust You when I cannot see Your goodness.